UVA: United Visual Artist
Who are you and wich are your creative contributions to de Audio Visual world?
At present UVA consists of eight people. Although each of us has our particular skill, there is a lot of crossover - all are considered creative participants in the company.
Lately, you´ve incorporated music composed by your own to your creations. In that music and image fussion do you put one ahead the other? If it´s like that wich is the one that goes ahead?
We're moving towards a form of composition where instead of "creating visuals for music" or "creating music for visuals", we work with events that have both visual and audio components. Those events can be generated using sequencers or algorithms, but it's a fundamentally different form of composition because it has to consider audio and visual aspects equally.
How do you create, wich are the common point between both disciplines... Is it just a rhythm thing, a syncronization between both?
Some ideas stem from technical possibilities; others from visual ideas; and others from musical ideas. There are no set rules. Certain tracks work purely on a rhythmic basis, others are more melodic and emotional; others are purely textural. At certain points the visual systems emit audio, so the sound is more machine-like and less traditionally "musical"; at other points, sequenced music events drive visual events; at still other points, the two affect each other in a feedback loop. The idea is to create a variation of mood and pacing.
You also explore another ways of putting music an image together.... with texture association, emotions, concepts...
We consider that the visuals can create an extra layer of emotion and create new meanings for music.
When you work for bands such as Massive Attack or U2, how do you prepare your work? Do you have freedom to the visual contents you use or do you work with the bands to agree the contents?
It depends on the particular band. In all cases we are producing work for a client, so they are in control. In the case of Massive Attack, we have more freedom to produce work in our own way, but there is still a 'creative brief' that we must follow, and the band's opinions are respected. In the case of U2, we were producing work for the show director along with many other artists, to a specification; we didn't have a creative relationship with the band.
To prepare your work do you study previously the estructure and intensity of the songs or the concert itself?
When working with bands, we immerse ourselves in their world - listen to their music, watch their recorded concerts, and generally try to place ourselves in the position of the audience. It's very important to get that right at the start. It's also important to see what has gone before, so that one can avoid repeating it.
One of the characteristics of your artistic proposition is that you use Leds screens... why did you start experimenting with them? Do you prefer it to the projected video?
We began working with LED for the first Massive Attack tour because the creative brief specified a notion of "digital information", for which digitally-driven LED was the best solution. We're not wedded to LED, but it has become associated with our style. We do prefer it to projection for most applications as it has a more intense, precise and emissive light, rather than passive.
How inportant are social and political issues in your work?
They are important, but we prefer to keep them subliminal - to stimulate an emotional response and elicit critical thinking, rather than preaching a particular point of view.
How do you see the future of audiovisual creation?
We see more and more people taking the means of production into their own hands - namely, people creating their own software rather than relying on off-the-shelf products. More people are realising that "programming" is not as difficult as it looks, and that it is a valid creative and artistic activity just as much as painting or animation. The borders between "technician" and "artist" are continuing to erode. We also see a move towards more real-time, immersive and responsive installations.