Portuguese multimedia artist and researcher
Interview – 10 questions
1 July 2022
1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
I am HERNANDO URRUTIA born 1964, a Multidisciplinary Artist, Researcher, Designer, Curator and Cultural Manager. Colombo-Venezuelan, of Basque roots and Portuguese nationality. PhD. in Digital Media-Art. Collaborating Researcher at CIAC. Visiting Researcher at M-ITI. Member of the International Scientific Committee (International Special Guest) at OVER THE REAL VIDEOART FESTIVAL – VI Edition (2021) Italy. Curator of the Pavilion “TRANSGRESSION art + technology” (Portugal) of the “5TH INTERNATIONAL EDITION OF THE WRONG BIENNALE – 2021-2022”, in Spain. International Curator (Selection and Award Jury) of LANDSCAPE 2022 II Edition in Salermo, Italy. Founder, Director of the Project “FX DIGITAL ART- Digital Art Exhibition in Public Space “, Funchal- Portugal. Founder, Director, Producer and Curator of EXPERIMENTA – Audio-visual Transformation (International Video Art Exhibition) and “IMAGE PLAY – International Video Art Festival, in Portugal.
Director of the projects: “+ Sound Art Project”; “olhAR-TE tocAR-TE”; “INexTERNO”; “DIGITAL Communication Processes”; “Urban Som”; ” Punto Visual”; “Ha-Ser Contemporary Art Foundation”; “+ PROJECTION AC – Projection of Contemporary Art in Public Space”; “olhAR-TE MAPEA- MENTO”; “LINE – Art Project”; “Signo-Simbolo” and “+ Art Contemporary”, Sound Research and Experimentation Group “Celacanto – Sound Art”, among others. Founder, Director of the Project “MAD 01 – Digital Art Museum 01”, Funchal – Portugal.
I have completed 113 post-graduate training courses and 3 artistic residencies. Curator in 31 artistic projects. I have received Awarded 229 Acknowledgements and 8 prizes, for my artistic work, especially in recent times for his research, video art, gif and digital art. I have been special guest in several Contemporary Art Salons. I have been special guest in several Contemporary Art Salon. I have been exhibiting professionally since 1986, participating in several projects and more than 400 group exhibitions and 17 solo exhibitions in 37 countries.
I am represented in more than 214 important Public Collections in different Institutions, Foundations, Museums and Galleries and more than 180 Private Collections in countries such as Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Scotland, Spain, United States of America, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, England, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Porto Rico, Serbia, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, among others.
Member of 30 International Experimental Film Groups in the United States of America, Albania, Spain, Brazil, among many other countries. I have given 30 lectures and several training workshops. I was invited for several years as Selection and Award Jury in Exhibitions, Competitions and Art Salons.
I have been teaching for several years as a lecturer in various universities. I have published several scientific articles at national and international level, including the scientific article “Multimedia Mural Projection in the Public Space: The Diffusion and Formation from the Urbe”, which was included for its importance in the WEB OF SCIENCE CORE COLLECTION of the WEB OF SCIENCE GROUP | Web of Science Author Connect, in the United States of America.
I have also been indexed and published my Scientific Article “Contemporary art as a factor in generating knowledge from video” in the first scientific and educational society dedicated to computing the ACM – Association for Computing Machinery in Nueva York U.S.A. | DL – Digital Library, from the Proceedings of ARTECH 2021: 10th International Conference on Digital and Interactive Arts – October 2021.
My scientific articles and publications have been referenced and cited in several scientific papers from different parts of the world, related to Art History, Digital Art, Video, Multimedia, Digital Media, Video Art, Post-Digital Configurations: Art and Technological Culture, Image in Space: Cartography of contemporary production, Visual Literacy, Between the receiver and technological art, Cultural Studies, Cultural Sociology, Transdiciplinarity, Interfaces, Urban Space, Design Theory, Cinema and Interdisciplinarity, Visual Studies and Public Art, Phonotropies: A Research Method from Aesthetic Experience, Latin American Contemporary Art, Digital Theory and Technology and new media: from education to cultural and consumption practices; Art, New Technologies and Communication: Phenomenology of contemporaneity; Hispano-Electronic Studies; Art; Experienced Researcher; Computer Graphics; On a lighter Internet; The power of the poor-light image; Artistic Education; The Image; Social History. I have 15 articles and 20 curatorial texts in print and another 26 articles on the web, which 3 are art reviews (art criticism).
I am currently a contributor to the magazine “Fotografía en Movimiento” from Mexico City – Mexico; Contributor to the publication (Visual Arts Magazine) Zine Without – A Crow, from Wroclaw – Poland; Contributor to the publication (Art Magazine) “Cooltzine” from Cooltsalon and Urban Dwellers Collective, from Sofia – Bulgaria; Member of Art Connet (Berlin – Germany); Member of Artista Mundo (Mexico); Member of Red VADB – Organization Latin-American of Art Contemporary; Member of ARTEINFORMADO (Spain); Member of ARTRABBIT- Independent platform for digital art, contemporary art and visual culture (London – England); among others. Founder, Director, Coordinator and Member of several Cultural Projects.
My current artistic work covers several areas, with emphasis on video art, gif, video installation, digital art, installation, video mapping, sound art and new narratives of electronic sound, in the context of technology and contemporary art.
In the area of research, I am particularly interested in developing: – The intervention of public space; – Visual projection in public spaces as a form of dissemination and expansion of thought; – Narratives as configurations of creation and action of knowledge in the areas of digital arts, from the public space; – Multimedia interventions where image and sound are transformed through the participants’ own movement in the use of sensors, with the intervention of the public in their immersion and reverberation as a fundamental part of the project; – The democratization of knowledge and digital inclusion in the globalization of knowledge from the public space, means of transmission of contemporary thought in the confluence between technology and contemporary art; – Contemporary art as a factor for knowledge generation from video; – The democratization of knowledge and digital inclusion in the globalization of knowledge from the public space means transmitting contemporary thought at the confluence of technology and contemporary art; – The hybrid display of art today; – Contemporary art as a factor in generating knowledge from video; – The audiovisual contemporaneity: an approach to experimentation and transgression; – The image as a precursor of thought: an approach to the contemporary moving image; – The still image and the moving image, digital arts in today’s cyberculture; – The Thought and Reflection of Transgression in Contemporary Creation.
For my articles, publications, researches, projects and works I have been referenced and cited in several scientific articles from different parts of the world, related to Art History, Digital Art; Video; Multimedia; Digital Media; Video Art; Post-digital configurations: art and technological culture; Cinema Theory; Image in Space: Mapping contemporary production; Visual Literacy/Literacy; Between the receiver and technological art; Cultural Studies; Cultural Sociology; Transdisciplinarity; Interfaces; Urban Space; Design Theory; Cinema and Interdisciplinarity; Visual Studies and Public Art; Phonotropies: An Investigation Method from the Aesthetic Experience; Latin American contemporary art; Digital Theory; Technology and new media: from education to cultural and consumption practices; Art, New Technologies and Communication: Phenomenology of contemporaneity; Hispanic-Electronic Studies; Arts; Experienced Researcher; Computer Graphics; On a lighter Internet; The power of the poor-light image; Art Education; The Imaginary; Social History; Educational Technology; Musicology; Critical Discourse; Visual and Cultural Studies; Methods in Cognitive Linguistics; Film Studies; Contemporary Art; Digital Media; Urban Studies; among others.
Throughout my career I have been working as cultural facilitator, with special interest in cultural programming and its planning, for the expansion of culture to the public, from different entities of society. In my career as a cultural manager, projects highlight the importance of culture as a dynamic element of cohesion and progress in societies.
I have been published in more than 140 books, magazines, newspapers and catalogues, as well as being interviewed occasions by television, radio and newspapers in the different countries through which I visited. I have received recognition for my artistic work and for support Culture, especially to Contemporary Visual Arts.
2. When, how and why started you filming?
I started filming in the mid 80’s with Super 8, after studying Visual Arts, when I studied Graphic Design at the University, where I saw the handling of cameras and editing, I began to experiment the possibilities of the moving image, always with the desire of the transformation of the image, I take advantage of the different possibilities from there I realize the project Transformation of the Image, from the field of the static image, where I won the prize “Maximum Award”, MENTION OF HONOUR, with the project “Transformation of the Image” in the SALON “XI MUESTRA”, in June of 1991, from there arises the desire and the possibility of realizing transformation of the image in movement, course the matter of the Module of specialization “Image in Movement”, from there I made a work that was realized in Super -VHS, with which I was winner of the “Maximum Award”, MENTION OF HONOUR, with the project “Image in Movement” in the “XII SHOW”, in November of 1991, from there I continued exploring the potential of the audio-visual ones.
After a long time away from audio-visual production, I took up production again after my Advanced Studies in Digital Media-Art in 2013, already experimenting with digital possibilities, which I later expanded in my PhD in Digital Media-Art, not only in its technical nature but also in its openness to research, which allowed me to outline from 2014-2015 all the production of what is now my work as a director, which I have continued to develop non-stop until the present day.
3.What kind of subjects have your videos/films?
At the moment I approach themes and reflections that are in my works, from the perspective of the penetration of the digital domain, as a virus that constantly affects everything, is its continuous digital
infiltration as a form of contemporary expression, that surrounds all the peripheries that is mutual for all in this globalized world. It is a reflection from the anonymous view from an appreciation, transforming our organic vision taken to the future, with the digitalization and transforming everything we assimilate from our organic vision, with technology in its sensor conjugation, taking our organic visual perception to the digits, binary codes and algorithms able to be processed, to have measurement, and control.
We can locate ourselves in a symbiosis with the cyberpunk world with an environment that surrounds it in a virtual computational and electronic world, where its environment changes according to its desire; it is also look from itself and from the others.
It is the birth of a new era … of a new dark underworld … opposed to the “fiat lux”.
In the future we will be able to process everything we observe and virtually transform our environment, according to our wishes?
It will be that in the post-human, the human will not only be adding some technological elements to the organic to transform us into a hybrid being … but also in new constructed beings, for the simple ego of wanting to create artificial form something similar to human, “build” new beings … With capabilities similar to human.
It is the post-human or trans human vision of wanting to protect yourself from the invasion of the digital age as if it were a transgenic virus … not getting separated from it, assuming it as part of your environment and your mind. It presents a reflection on the future conditions of the human and its connection to interfaces as computerized prostheses, where it is postulated that the human body is biologically altered to face the future world, as a post-evolutionist strategy. Allowing the transgression of borders between human / machine, time / space, where the human being appears in the most immersed of genetic memory, but reconfigured in the digital field of the circuit. Proposing the reference thought “Beyond the human” of Nietzsche.
4. How do you develop your videos/films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
To start any art work I start by taking a concept and several sub-concepts to create a synopsis of the subject I am going to deal with. As I am always making images whether they are video or static, I have a large library of material, which I consult to see what elements according to the concepts of the synopsis I can use or start from them to create new images, then I make shots of images that are necessary to create the narrative from the previously created Storyboard. At the same time, I am in my sound library and with the instruments looking for the sounds that can be used to create the sound creation that will accompany the visual work, then I create the sounds, either in the form of microphone capturing or creating new ones from the digital field that are necessary, then I create the melodies, and the mutations and variations of the sounds, as well as the percussion that is according to the concept to follow.
All this material normally varies during the creation, when I am editing, adding or removing elements, sonorous or visual, until I reach the final result which I am satisfied.
Although I have a general vision in my works previously exposed. I don’t have a specific style in my works, but I do have a fundamental element that is present in all my works and that is the transgressive character, such as noise, distortion, metamorphosis, creating a technical appropriation and at the same time subversion/rebellion, insubordination, and its transgression in the disturbance of the visual and sound signs, the cut and the impious decomposition of its fragments, with a hybrid character for new languages and paradigms.
5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
To develop my art work I use different tools according to the needs that are necessary to develop the project at a conceptual and formal level, which leads me to look for hybrid solutions, from the highest digital technologies to the most basic, I don’t have a specific tool. I obviously use a DSLR video camera, with the appropriate lenses, as well as the necessary peripheral elements, such as green screen, and for the sound creation I use different instruments, synthesizers, audio interfaces, microphones, samplers, sequencers and different instruments and percussion processors, as well as various software for Mac computers, I currently use a MacBook Pro 16″ M1 Max, 64GB unified memory, for sound creation and digital visual creation, from open source software like Processing to various different software like Photoshop, Moviestorm, MaxMsp 5 Runtime, Norrkross MorphX, Resolume Arena among others and I even use tools like Leap Motiom, depending on the work I want to do. For editing art work I use Final Cut Pro or Premier CS, but I usually work with Final Cut Pro, and Ableton Live Suite.
6. What are the chances of new media for the genre videos/films in general and you personally?
Nowadays, new media generally imply a greater possibility of dissemination and promotion for videos/films, which democratises their visualisation in the different genres and categories of creation, where the individual is allowed to have a new approach and aesthetic compression, increasing the perspectives and aesthetic appreciation of the different paradigms that contemporaneity proposes to us.
I personally believe that new media are fundamental as a vehicle of connection between the artist video filmmaker and the public, as they create bridges in the expansion of the new individual’s thought and the reflection on the different concepts, moments and foundations of our own society, at a cultural level, which modify thought, generating knowledge, which to a certain extent is transferred to the public through audio-visual works. It becomes a way of democratising knowledge, creating openings for new possibilities of reflection.
The expansion of video/film through new media in today’s culture is a strong instrument for the dissemination of knowledge, is a strong instrument for the dissemination of thought and concepts, even if they seem complex.
Increasingly, the audio-visual medium video/film is becoming a form of knowledge transmission that generates, expands and democratises contemporary thought, due to its immateriality and material form that allows its rapid dissemination to a wide audience in different parts of the world through new media.
7. How do you finance your films?
My works are generally self-financed, which does not allow me to extend myself in difficult exterior or interior shots, or in complex productions.
When there is support for the creation, I work more calmly in the development of the different shots, but always planning them so as not to incur additional costs, although normally I never use all the material captured for a project, be it sound or visual.
8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team? if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
I usually work as an individual video artist/producer, but I have already made projects together. At the beginning of this year, I was invited to be a member of the CADÁVER XQUISITO Collective International Audio-visual Production Project, an Audio-visual Co-production of filmmakers from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, France, Mexico, Portugal, to make an experimental audio-visual project together, where each filmmaker takes the last images of the previous work made by another member and creates a work from his own vision, in counter-proposal or in conceptual or formal follow-up.
Normally, due to my research for themes and guidelines of my interest, I prefer to work individually, although the collective work enriches the possibilities and becomes a laboratory of experimentation in the process of elaboration, which is very interesting.
9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
I think that more than influence we can have from filmmakers who in one way or another can influence us, to the extent that we are constantly absorbing audio-visual material, which for me is largely science fiction works. But what really influences my work is my research and the different fields that go from the different visions of the individual, whether internal or external, from the field of technology. Focused from the perspective of the penetration of the digital domain.
That influences in a fundamental part all my audio-visual work.
10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
I believe there is still a lot of work I want to do, so as a filmmaker I only hope to have the possibility to create for many more years and my works with their reflections and knowledge intrinsically exposed in them, provoke a reaction, a criticism, a reflection, through my elements of transgression, proper to the subversive character, which propose scenarios close to the supposed future, to the idea of knowing what could be, what will be the evolution or involution of the human being in a highly technological society, opening the speculation of what could be the future of the human being, in the era of the post-human, to stimulate the society a more open vision, because I feel the obligation to liberate the conscience of the imposed limits.
I seek with my works to always be at the forefront in my research and experimentation, where the responsibility does not depend only on my aesthetic search or my intellectual impact, but also on my ability to influence, challenge, propose, criticise and sensitise the spectator from the constant search for new forms of audio-visual creation.
I firmly believe that audio-visual creations are generators of knowledge, which in turn are capable of generating new perspectives that seek to involve debates and problems associated with subjectivity, consciousness and the construction of culture in our society. As part of a
generation that seeks to change the perspective of an evolution of the human being, empowering the citizen, as an action of transformation.