Interview: Vasco Diogo

Interview: Vasco DiogoImage courtesy of Vasco Diogo

Interview: Vasco Diogo

Luca Curci talks with artist Vasco Diogo during BODIES+CITIES SKIN exhibition in Venice on May 2016. Experimental director, performer, video artist, new media and cinema assistant professor at Universidade da Beira Interior (Covilhã-Portugal), Vasco Diogo has produced many experimental single channel videos, multimedia performances and video installations. His artworks have been shown at several galleries, theatres and international festivals such as Festival Temps d’ Images, Rencontres Internationales Paris – Berlin, Media Art Festival Friesland (Netherlands), Instants Video de Manosque (France), COURTisane Festival (Gent, Belgium), Museum of New Art (Detroit – EUA), Videomedeja (Serbia); Antimatter Festival of Underground Short Film and Video (Canada).

 

Interview: Vasco DiogoImage courtesy of Vasco Diogo

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Luca Curci – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting work?

Vasco Diogo – Anexperimentalviralvlog-the movie remix#! wasn’t created for any specific festival. It all started about two years ago when I decided to film myself in a chroma studio having in mind the main influence of the youtube vlogs, in order to merge popular culture with video art. By that time I filmed myself on a regular basis and posted 15 “episodes” of that process on my youtube channel. 

L.C. – Please tell me what are you working at right now…

V.D. – I’m working right now on a single channel installation that will be closer to a video dance piece where I’m also the performer. I’m working mainly on the concept of the body as language using also chroma possibilities and multiple track image editing. After finishing the image editing I will focus my self on composing and mixing an original soundtrack using electronic devices. Next, I intend to edit an experimental documentary I’ve already filmed about music-therapy sessions with eldery people suffering from diverse mental diseases.

 

Interview: Vasco DiogoImage courtesy of Vasco Diogo

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L.C. – What is art for you?

V.D. – For me art is a space of freedom, intuition and flux that transcends ordinary reality in order to reach a spiritual dimension that should be connected to contemporay issues on a conceptual level. Art is the only way we have to merge concepts with perceptions that are ahead of time and escape all determinisms, including those of mainstream media and rational structures of living, thinking and acting. It’s a strategy of survival.

L.C. – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?

V.D. – I started to make video art, influenced first by cinema directors such as Godard, Tarkovsky or Antonioni, then by experimental directors such as Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage or Michael Snow and finally by key video artists like Nam June Paik, Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, Dan Graham, Gary Hill and Tony Oursler. The experience that has influenced me the most was my first video performance, self awareness and always seeing things with a beginner’s mind.

 

Interview: Vasco DiogoImage courtesy of Vasco Diogo

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L.C. – What role does the artist have in society? And the art?

V.D. – I don’t think we can talk about society as a whole but only about multiple social structures and processes. Those structures and processes should be permeable to creativity, imagination, freedom, tolerance, ethics. The artist has the role to make people feel, think and act on a deeper level which includes the utopic idea that every person is an artist. Artistic practices, processes and ideas should play a central role on general education and on every people’s way of living. In that sense, the artist and art can lead us to a more peaceful, harmonious, beautiful and loving world.

L.C. – What is your creative process like?

V.D. – For me the creative process is always more important than the result as I love spending time working on my projects. So, first is about spending a special kind of time and including the notion of time on the works. I’ve always worked on trial and error experimental processes, many times without knowing exactly what I’m actually doing but trying to understand it afterwards, and transporting that knowledge to future works. Anyway, I like to work in a state of creative flow regarding every project with the innocence of a child’s gaze. That means trying to expand my consciousness and perception without loosing the sense of classical values of art like form, composition, colour, movement.

 

Interview: Vasco DiogoImage courtesy of Vasco Diogo

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L.C. – What do you think about It’s LIQUID Platform?

V.D. – It’s LIQUID Platform is a very interesting site that matches exactly my criteria of interest about what is happening in contemporary art, architecture and design.

L.C. – What do you think about our organization of the event?

V.D. – I didn’t have the opportunity to go to the event, but by the feedback I’ve received I thing it was extremely well organized and full of really interesting, inovative and moving works.

 

Interview: Vasco DiogoImage courtesy of Vasco Diogo

 

Interview: Vasco DiogoImage courtesy of Vasco Diogo

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