"Among é um ambiente escultórico de luz e som composto por tubos de luz articulados, onde a pulsação e movimento são controlados pelo comportamento de formigas observado por um sistema de visão por computador. A posição e intensidade dos tubos luminosos gera por sua vez uma sonificação do ambiente. O efeito resultante, luz, som, movimento é uma interpretação amplificada da actividade da colónia de formigas."
O projecto AMONG de Sérgio Soares Ferreira, aluno do MTAD, foi premiado na categoria "Incentivos à Produção" do VIDA 13.0 - Concurso Internacional de Arte e Vida Artificial organizado pela Fundación Telefónica (Espanha). O concurso VIDA tornou-se uma referência mundial ao nível da investigação artística em vida artificial e visa promover a investigação no terreno da arte e das novas tecnologias. Nas 13 edições que leva, já foram apresentados no VIDA um total de 1280 projectos. Para esta edição deram entrada 285 projectos apresentados por artistas de 39 países dos quais 135 americanos (EUA - 27, Argentina - 28) e 132 Europeus (Espanha - 50). Na categoria específica em que AMONG participou, "Incentivos à Produção", estiveram a concurso 129 projectos, tendo sido seleccionados apenas 7 propostas para financiamento.
Antes de mais dizer que o Sérgio Soares Ferreira não é propriamente um novato é antes de mais um artista confirmado com quase 20 anos de experiência e um currículo invejável. Cresceu na Antuérpia, Bélgica trabalhou para empresas como a RTL, Riverland, Ernst & Young and Price Waterhouse e Arkaos em cargos como a direcção de iluminação e vídeo, e a consultoria em New Media. Impressionante o trabalho que desenvolveu como director de vídeo para a Oxygene Tour (1997) de Jean Michel Jarre e para o maior concerto de sempre o 850º Aniversário da Cidade de Moscovo também em 1997.
850º Aniversário da Cidade de Moscovo (1997).
Concerto de Jean Michel Jarre com 3,5 milhões de espectadores.
Depois disso trabalhou ainda nas tournés dos Daft Punk ganhando visibilidade na comunidade VJ. Em 2001 regressa a Portugal a convite da Porto 2001, permanecendo no Porto aonde participa na fundação de Ula.Li.
Among (2010) de Sérgio Soares Ferreira
Depois de vermos o excelente trabalho vídeo acima que exprime o conceito criado e apresentado no VIDA nada melhor do que deixar falar o autor sobre obra em si. Tendo em conta o facto do Sérgio ter vivido a maior parte do tempo fora de Portugal optámos por realizar a entrevista em inglês.
P: What are the objectives of AMONG? Is this personel or created with some kind of public in mind?
The objectives of Among are to explore non-screen based media and an attempt albeit a naive attempt to delve into the concept of moist media. In 1964 Marshall McLuhan wrote about the symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. To me screen based media suffers from a certain sense of deja vu, screens are everywhere, their power as a format has become such that it not just influences how the message is perceived, it has indeed become the message.
Moist media is a term coined by Roy Ascott the way he describes it reads as follows "We are witnessing the convergence of the information technology (dry) of silicon with biological systems (moist) as the substratum of a new art. Morphogenetic fields of thought, flux and transformation, energy and light are the manifestations that inform a new sensibility for creating realities and exploring the world."
My attempt is naive in the sense that if we make an analogy to computer programming, I am merely dealing with high level building blocks, working at a lower level would for example imply dealing with molecular structures.
Regarding being it personal or made for an audience, I don´t see it as an either or situation, all creative expressions are to a certain extent personal, one could argue for example that some commercial pop songs are merely commercial constructions, even when they indeed are, they do carry expressions that are personal to their creators. I usually tend to work with an audience in mind, in the end expression is about communicating, and communication works better if you know who you are trying to communicate with.
P: What does AMONG talk about, what is behind the surface?
I hope Among encourages its visitors to discuss certain topics that are inherent to the proposed experience. I try to not give it an explicit meaning, but rather offer a semiotic framework in which visitors can construct their own narrative, going back to the computer programming analogy one could say that I try to operate at a lower level in regards to the narrative. I personally think that for this particular work, this approach shows more respect to the mental capacity of its visitors. It would be too easy to stick a narrative to the work which in the end would only limit its scope.
P: How much time did you take to create the concept? How many more months do you need to implement it?
It is hard to define an exact duration in regards to its conceptual creation, as quite often concepts come from many different past experiences. If we narrow down its conception to when I started to come across works that had a direct inspirational influence, such as writings by artist and theorist Roy Ascott, and creations by artists like Eduardo Kac and Ken Rinaldo, I would say 4 or 5 years or maybe more. I don´t think Among will ever reach a finished state, but I plan for it´s first implementation open to public to be ready by the end of April 2011.
P: What was the value of MTAD for the creation of AMONG? Would AMONG ever existed without MTAD?
MTAD has had an enormous impact on the creation of Among, the MTAD has provided me with the perfect environment to create, it has allowed me to discuss ideas with peers. The first physical working prototype of one of the elements of Among, was made in collaboration with fellow student Hugo Barreira. The MTAD professors have motivated me to express my thoughts more clearly. In these regards I would like to especially thank Professor Pedro Branco for his vision and extremely flexible mind. I don´t think Among would have existed if it was not for the MTAD as the work was especially created for our integrated project assignment, deadlines do help to concretize ideas into projects and projects into works.P: What were the biggest problems you faced in the conceptulization, and then in the tentative implementation?
Regarding the concept the problems I came across where more of an ethical nature, to which some I still haven´t found an answer I hope to find some answers when exposing Among to the public. The technical part as always is one problem after the other, these type of installations are like a puzzle where you need to solve one problem to discover the next one, luckily none of them are insurmountable.
P: How does it feel to win this award from VIDA?
It feels good to have some recognition from an international jury formed by specialists. Of course the money is also very welcome, it will allow me to finish the work. As this is a production incentive award there is still a lot of work to be done. I can´t rest on my laurels just yet.P: And after Among?
There are some offers from fellow students to collaborate on performance projects, it would be interesting to integrate some of the physical aspects of Among into dance and theatre performances.
Para mais informação detalhada sobre AMONG visitem o site oficial.