The OFFF festival is a post-digital culture festival that takes place every year in the Catalan Capital. It’s congress, a meeting place and workshop for the most relevant IT artists of our time. OFFF Barcelona is an entity in continuous transformation, alive and revolutionary.
Over a decade ago the festival was born to host the most contemporary creations in the field of art and technology through an in depth program of conferences, workshops and performances.
My contributor Sara Taigher – motion graphic director for RAT Creatives in Rome, attended the festival on my behalf. Here’s her report:
OFFF’ING IN BARCELONA
By Sara Taigher
Everything is possible at the Offf Festival. Sometimes video and reality intertwine as they are the same thing.
I’m a motion graphics director and I went to the OFFF festival with my boyfriend, who’s a musician and a sound designer. We went there to check what was going on in the industry and what the new tendencies of film making and motion graphics, design and CGI are today. What we really liked though was seeing how the artists and the professionals talked about their work and how they supported it, while enjoying live their personality, their commitment and love for their work.
We loved breathing their ideas and their creativity as seeing their working style reflected into their presentations.
The festival was divided in two rooms for the conferences and a big hall where people could interact, buzz and chat about the last presentation,while buying things like books and posters, and eventually watch Joshua Davis painting a wall canvas!
But let’s start from the end:
These are the Offf Titles for 2012 edition of the festival. You may like it or not (I do because it’s either cheesy and grotesque at the same time), but I think it’s a perfect mix between two really really different worlds:
Brosmind is a studio founded by two spanish brothers who have been working mostly in comics and illustration production while Upper First is a swedish studio of motion graphics and special FX artists.
Brosmind created expressly for the OFF titles a comic called “SHE” that narrates the circumstances under which the video is constructed.
The 2 character designers entertained the audience during the presentation in a lovely comedy-style flavoured with a fresh spanish “savoir faire”, while Upper First talked specifically about the technical issues and the design of the video itself.
It’s so nice to see the result of the fusion of two such distant worlds.
At the end of the presentation they pleased everyone distributing for free thousands of comics of “she” and plastic masks of the two main characters !!!
Here’s a little synopsis of some other presentations that really hit me:
Morning/Day 1 : on the main stage director Aaron Duffy from 1st Ave Machine during his speech grabs a crochet, some wool and starts talking about the perception he has of his work.
After some time, while he’s still crocheting, he starts repeating his last sentence again and again for 8 -9 times, showing how doing hypnotic loop works make him feel relaxed.
Some of his presentations have been ironical and entertaining whereas others have been more academic and high-brow, others have been more emotional, but almost all of them had a great impact and were crowded with good sense of humor
Afternoon/Day 1: Lucy Mcrae is an australian videomaker, completely devoted to her work, I quite liked her because she shows coherence between the kind of style she follows and the concept of each work she does. I really appreciate people who can do that, people who has such a strong personal “immaginario”. What’s truly interesting about her is that she tries to produce digital effects in a real organic and tangible way. She’s fascinated by the idea of merging technology and biology therefore often in her works she applies metal or plastic artifacts to the human body.
Her work is not really based on emotions, but it rather focuses on the execution and pursues a unique eye-catching visual style.
Watching her job and how committed she is about it really encourages everyone to get over the top.
Evening/Day 2: Joshua Davis jumps on stage screaming a big “heeeeeeey”, and he gets a giant scream back from the audience. He’s a star in the graphic design world so he’s very confident and carismatic on stage.
The whole presentation is about play. He encourages everyone to play while working because working is a game itself and can be approached in the same way as a child would do. Getting the right inspiration, experimenting, building projects even if they’re not gonna feature anywhere, all these things are part of the whole process of playing. During his speech he showed us some bits of his recent work reminding people all the time to never forget the concept of playing;
I would say Joshua represents a very simple and fresh approach to the technique showing how this way to be can generate a wide range of stunning graphics and designs.
Afternoon/Day 3: Jonathan Harris is a photographer and an artist. Although he’s got not much to do with graphics and video, he’s been one of the guys whose work I appreciated the most. In his work he’s been consistently taking pictures that reflect the most intimate part of photography.
Pictures that could eventually narrate a peculiar episode, a strong emotion or a useful encounter.
At some point Harris started taking a picture every day, uploading them in his blog. After that he created a website ( http://cowbird.com/ ) where users could share their intimate memories by uploading photographs or videos, telling a story or sharing an emotion. All this files could be reached and linked through metatags related to mood, feelings or other different original emotion related elements.
He says: “I wanted to find a way to be more in the moment, to be more in every day; to understand time more and to understand my life more, to have more memories — all of these things. Basically, to live more richly, as a human life, not just as a work life.”
Among the others, I found very interesting ad funny the work from a young spanish collective called Physalia, the unconventional presentation of Nico Casavecchia, and last but not least the amazing video mappings for Playstation by Memo Atken.
In particular this video from Physalia gained the attention of the Internet community because of the very innovative technique which the colored balls are lifted with…
Naturally the balls are computer-generated but the initial ambiguity that Physalia created around the piece worked in their favour: it became one the most watched and commented videos on youtube.
Well people there really would be a lot more to say about this 2012 Offf festival edition, but I can assure you that if you’ll ever have the chance to go, there is an entire new world to discover if you’re interested not only in the specific field of motion graphics but in the enormous world of creativity !
Photo Credit :http://www.typ3d.com/