From Russia with Love

Posted August 8, 2014


There has been a lot of news coming out of Russia these days that detracts from the country’s reputation. Not withstanding the geo-political concerns of the area, there is great culture and art taking place in the home of Tolstoy.

For example, there is a New Media Night Festival that takes place in July and features some projects that are constructed at the intersection of media and nature. That is, the festival takes place in an open park and utilizes media in the sculpture and installation works. On the art and design blog, Colossal, Christopher Jobson called special attention to the Universe Mind structure, constructed for previous festivals by  Nikolay Polissky. This year, the design studio Radugadesign set up an impressive projection mapped light display inside the brain-snake-octopus looking construction.

It was an eight minute projection — which can be seen in the video below — and really was, well, unreal against the backdrop of the Nikola-Lenivets Art Park. The way that the light is harnessed to reveal the different ways the building can be viewed is of particular interest to us. The overlap of lighting design and experience design is prevalent in this work. It would have been fascinating to circle the building, go inside, run outside again, all while the eight minute projection was taking place. Then, for the next round, I would have just sat in the grass and watched the show.

This festival seems to bear a nice resemblance to a local favorite, the FIGMENT festival. If you don’t know about FIGMENT, you should, because artists in 10 cities, NYC included, gather every summer and make art projects, some interactive, some installation, in open spaces. The parks and the areas that FIGMENT takes place in are transformed into short term sculpture and play gardens. It is truly a unique experience and full of the wonder and play that invigorates ESI’s work.

HT: Colossal

Ian Lewis Campbell

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