One of my favorite and iconic projects done with MadMapper to date is the Space Invader project directed by the Bogota based A/V Director and VJ, Laura Ramirez Leal l (aka Optika VJ). The simple concept of the classic icon of a Space Invader reproduced on a grand scale screams fun for the eyes. We have some great photos of it as well, courtesy of Boris who joined the project as technical adviser.
Such a large project needs a lot of energy and I am always curious how these things come about. Via email (my favorite medium for conducting interviews) I got all that I wanted to know about Space Invader.
ilan: What was the name of the event?
Laura: Fiesta Electronica de Verano, Summer electronic party.
ilan: Where and when was this exactly, dates?
Laura: It was 12 August 2011.
ilan: Was it one night only?
Laura: It was just 6 hours, 4 pm to 10 pm, because the laws for public events in this venue.
Plaza de eventos simon Bolivar Bogota – Calle 63 entre carreras 50 y 68 Bogota.
ilan: Who were the Headlining acts?
Laura: The main DJ was Jhon Acquaviva and local DJ’s were La french toast, DJ H, El mono.
Boris Edelstein and I (Optika Vj) were the VJ’s.
ilan: Was the project commissioned directly?
Laura: It was commissioned by two different companies. I was in charge of managing and creating the general concept of the party. This included:
– Project direction
– Creating the campaign and concept
– Designing the stage
– Supervision of technical development
– Direction of the Visual content, loops and footage
– Booking of the international and national DJ’s
– Booking of the international support , Boris Edelstein and Vjing
ilan: What was the creative process?
Laura: To give you a background, there is a 2 weeks event in Bogota organized by the Municipality of the city called “summer festival.” This festival is dedicated to culture and sport activities and is offered for free to the citizens. In the program, there is a day dedicated for an electronic party. This time the organizers were looking for a special proposal due to the fact that they had the same conventional format for more than 7 years.
At first, there was the idea to buy an international show and bring it here, but in the end I encouraged the idea to do something local with that budget. I designed the stage and the visual concept and also designed the campaign which was aimed to reinforce the real meaning of the electronic party and electronic culture.
The first step was create a unconventional stage, show people something that they have never seen here before, so, due to my passion for mapping and real time performances and inspired by the creative use of scaffolding made by 1024 architecture, I designed the “AV invader – 8 bits and light,” a huge space invader that serves as a multi-projection surface to create optical illusions, and at the same time as a stage that displays the DJ inside. The visual content is a trip through 80’s video games and 8-bit culture. This idea was approved by the municipality and the project started to run!
I looked for a crew of animators and based on the measures, we started to design the video footage. For this, we built a mockup to make preliminary tests of color, geometry, contrast, etc. On the technical side, the project was analyzed with various companies who supplied the scaffolding, projectors, scenery, screens, montage, etc.
The final step was looking for international support, someone with experience who could advise us on the process, and for this reason Boris was invited to work with us. His work was essential for the technical execution, giving us advice for the video footage composition and helping with using Modul8 and MadMapper for the mapping and performance. That gave us more security because I had never made something this big.
I really wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to make something never made here before, make a giant scenario based on video mapping and Vijing performance and let people know what is happening, talking about visual arts and real time performances involved with electronic music culture. Personally, it was an amazing opportunity to take a new step in my career and put in practice all that I have been learning the last 2 years.
ilan: How many people were involved?
Laura: The design crew was 3 animators working under my direction. The technical part was about 180 people working from 4 or 5 different companies.
– 2 x 20K Christie projectors stacked
– Modul8 and Madmapper
– 20 mts wide – 14 mts high and 6 mts deep inscaffolding covered with material
– Public : 90.000 people