Leading up to the festival, we’re highlighting the participants in Digital Graffiti 2018. Join us and learn about these incredible artists from all over the world and what informs their artwork. This week, we’ve got Q&As with Jes Van Zee of AOA out of Orlando, FL, and César from Alhaurín el Grande, Spain.

Artist: AOA (featuring Jes Van Zee)
Location: Orlando, FL
Project title: “Participation”
Website: http://www.aoabuilds.com/jes-van-zee

How did you find out about Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach?
Jes Van Zee, who works for AOA as a Jr. Multi-media Designer, participated in the event last year.

Have you participated in other projected art exhibitions? Where and how did location play into your work?
While working at AOA, Jes recently projection mapped for an event at the Kennedy Space Center called “Yuri’s Night,” an international celebration held every April 12 to commemorate milestones in space exploration. Her media can also be seen in Panasonic’s Hollywood Studio, a research and development center located at the AOA Orlando Studio in Winter Park, FL, to display new projection technology for the themed entertainment industry.

When working on a project, Jes creates art for a specific space, rather than forcing the space to fit her art. Whether projecting on trees or leaves, live models, or a building, she always takes into consideration her environment. She thinks about the textures of surfaces, how the light reacts to it, how people move within or around the space, what the natural flow of the setting is, and what elements present the opportunity to be enhanced.

How much technology is required to create your work?
“Participation” requires one computer, a heaping mound of software, a dash of projectors, and a sprinkle of cables.

What else can you tell us about your work, for example use of color (or lack of), rhythm or texture?
“Participation” is intended to provoke thought and interactivity. It is meant to be disrupted, divided, and destroyed. The audience should feel like a contributor to the piece, as it is made by them, for them. Each guest is encouraged to put their unique interpretation on the piece by determining for themselves what the images mean together, and separated.

What do you find most remarkable about projected art?
The typical screens that we stare at for hours on end are cliché, sterile, and expected. Projection creates an enticing feeling that viewers gravitate towards because it’s different. In a world of mass production, mass media, and mass distribution, humans are thirsty for a unique experience. Projections, outside of the typical classroom projection screen, are diverse just based on surface alone, and are notoriously temporary. Projections can alter a familiar and ordinary space into something truly unique. Projection mapping furthers this originality by completely transforming a space into an immersive setting that presents the opportunity to completely surround a viewer.

How do you see expanding your use of projection for your art?
AOA is a leader in designing and creating themed entertainment projects from concept to completion. As part of our design team, we plan on leveraging Jes’s talents to continue to grow our AOA portfolio in media creation and projection mapping.

Artist: César
Location: Alhaurín el Grande, Spain
Project title: “softporn”
Website: http://www.cesar.style

How did you find out about Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach?
[Digital Graffiti curator Brett Phares] told me.

Have you participated in other projected art exhibitions? Where and how did location play into your work?
I have never.

How much technology is required to create your work?
Just an iMac computer.

What else can you tell us about your work, for example use of color (or lack of), rhythm or texture?
Nothing else… the artwork should speak for itself and says it all.

What do you find most remarkable about projected art?
The size of canvas matters! It has the same effect as drinking a shot (a mobile screen) or drinking a big glass (a big projection).

How do you see expanding your use of projection for your art?
Techorating (incorporating AV technology into décor), creating moods, relaxing experiences, and atmospheres.