Official Closing Report 2014
1st international Light Art Congress and 3rd LPWA Exhibition was held in Oviedo (Asturias, Spain) in July 4-13 2014, in Auditorio Palacio de Congresos Príncipe Felipe de Oviedo. It was highly advanced space for such complicated events.
This Congress & Exhibition took place thanks to the efforts of Spanish artists. Listen to LPWA Spain Representative Alfredo Álvarez Alonso:
“It all started with the idea of bringing the exhibition to my city, Oviedo, as I am one of the LPWA representatives. I tried to make it in 2013 but it was not possible then. After our work in Oviedo’s White Night 2013 our city put their eyes on us and started to be interested in what I could offer as a light painter. They believed in this big light painting event I was offering them, bringing experts from all over the world to show us their art and techniques… and they financed us making this event possible. We wanted to make this big event in order to show the city, Spain and the whole world what light painting is: a great art form. We also wanted to bring to the people the opportunity of learning from the biggest light artists; to make impressive and collaborative works, and to live this event as unique experience.
The congress involved a lot of work, much more than expected at first. We found some obstacles in our way but we finally could got over them. It was very difficult to keep the secret while everything was being confirmed, nobody knew this was coming, but all the guests were so happy about the event that we knew we had to keep working hard because it was going to be a very special event. Visitors started arriving on thursday, all of them very excited and wanting to help us with everything we needed. We were so busy that we had to accept everybody’s help so everything could be working fine on time. From the first day, many light painters got together, hanged out together, and we could breathe in the air a general feeling of happiness. There was time for meeting people you already know from their work showed on social networks, time for learning, time for collaborating, time to create… everyone seemed to be on their element, and there was time to make photos and have fun at night.
The final result was indeed big success. If we think on the inscriptors, they were all so happy with such interesting speeches and workshops from the invited experts that they were thanking us so much the whole weekend. The experts were so happy too and friendly with everybody. For all of them this was one of the best experiences in their life. The exhibition was a big success in the city, everybody loved it and we had lots of congrats. As organizers, me and my team feel so happy for making this possible, not only for the fact of doing it but also because now we see how productive and necessary this was for everyone, how this experience marked us all, great light arts and collaborations were done here, future projects are to come…. and the most important thing, Oviedo is so happy with the Congress that we are going to have the 2nd International LightArt Congress in Oviedo by July 2015!!!!! That’s really good news for all the LP Worldwide Community. Special projects could be presented here and now we have much more time to do it better with lots of interesting contents.
We were a five people organizing team. Alfredo Álvarez “Frodo” ( Children of Darklight ), Iván Barco (Herramientas Lightpainting) , Nacho Cosío “Chin” ( Fotografies ), Marta Rodríguez and Raquel Lana. Sergey Churkin was also a big part of the team with all his support and designs for the web and for printing. But many other people made this event possible, we did this event altogether, because it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of so many, even before the congress with their inconditional help, during the congress, and even after the congress. There are so many people to say thanks that I would say a general thanks for all the spanish light painters and night photographers, all the volunteers that worked for us at the congress, our nice guests, every other light painters from around the world, friends, and Oviedo city for their support.”
For sure, this incredible event couldn’t be possible without great support of Oviedo City Town Hall and Philips Spain. The event was financed by Oviedo Town Hall, and exhibition was performed on brilliant Philips AmbiLight monitors.
So, July 04, Auditorio Palacio de Congresos Príncipe Felipe de Oviedo. Congress and exhibition opening ceremony. Speakers – Oviedo Town Hall Councillor Gerardo Antuña, LPWA Founder Sergey Churkin and LPWA Spain Representative Alfredo Alvarez.
Mr. Antuña says: “Lightpainting is a pioneer discipline in the world, with great reference artists as Picasso. It’s all about painting with light on long exposure night photographies. We have here in Oviedo one of the spanish pioneers, Children of the Darklight (Alfredo Álvarez, who organizes this congress). Last year, and with the help of other light painters, they made a collective light painting photo in Los Alamos walk in Oviedo, something never done before in Spain which had much impact on the international light painter’s community. This international congress comes to Oviedo with the support of UNESCO, who celebrates next year the International Year of light 2015. Therefore, Oviedo hosts an advanced and artistic discipline making Oviedo a reference city for this form of art”.
Sergey says: “Spain is a country with great art background. Goya, El Greco, Velázquez, Dali and Picasso are internationally recognized painters. Today we celebrate new high day on Spanish land –the day of Light Art. I hope, new generation of Spanish artists also will become famous! Let the show begin!”
Alfredo says: “When I made my second attempt to bring LPWA World Exhibition to Spain in late 2013 and I was asked to do an international Congress instead, I think I said “yes I do it” very quickly, without realizing where I was getting into, and all the work we would have to deal with. With great enthusiasm, we created an organizing team, and with great effort and the help and support of many people (and of course the Oviedo’s Townhall). We are proud now to being able to organize this first International LightArt Congress, with very special guests, an exhibition that showcases the best light paintings in the world, and many art projects that bring light painting to the city of Oviedo, its citizens and the whole world. It is a conference for everyone, it’s made with the help of many people, and all we want to thank all of them, and make this year our best in order to repeat next year and the following ones.”
Next was welcome cocktail party for artists, VIPs and special guests. The exhibition was opened officially.
As usual, we managed our exhibition in LPWA firm “screen” style – all artworks were shown in the manner in which they were born – as shining stream of photons on plasma screen monitors!
This provides a very unusual and modern energy, and is the most pure form of the light painting artworks. Each monitor contains a slide show of 10 images – all together they create a stunning impression of an infinite light universe.
In all three days there was a lot of workshops and master classes.
1) July 4, workshop by Hugo Baptista:
“For my workshop entitled “crowd sourcing a bullet-time stop-motion video” there were 12 people with Nikons and 9 with Canons. The first hour of this 3 hour workshop was spent setting up cameras. I knew this required a considerable amount of time to get right but we did it in the end. I have learned a lot from this experience and I will certainly do it better next time. Particularly during setup I should have given a printed copy of the desired settings to all participants as this would have avoided a misunderstanding that took place with 2 members of the Canon row. They understood 80mm when in fact I said 18mm which made the canon row unusable for the intended purpose. I was not expecting to have an audience but there were some people looking at us while we were setting up cameras on stage. After setting up we proceeded to light paint with Cisco LightPainting, Darren Pearson, Will Wildmot and the dance duo from ZigZag Danza. We took 10 second exposures after a 3 second countdown. Half-way through, when the dancers had met in the middle every participant took center stage for 4 photos each. Total number of photos taken per camera was 150 just like I planned. At the end of the workshop I asked everyone to leave their cards with me so I could copy all the files to my PC. I returned the memory cards personally to most people over the course of the weekend. It was my intention to make a small preview to show on Sunday but due to some technical reasons I couldn’t but everyone was very understanding and we all agreed that it’s better to see it when it’s done than to see a half-baked video. The video is now practically done except for the music which will be made by a professional composer the coming week. What I hope everyone learned from this workshop is that by collaborating we can achieve great things”. See incredible results of this workshop here! More detailed interview about this unique experience you can find here.
2) Midnight July 4, Plaza de la Gesta in Oviedo. Unbelievable feelings!
LPWA care of art support of International Year of Light, proclaimed by UNESCO for 2015. Oviedo events was officially listed in IYoL2015 calendar. And one of most incredible collective collaboration was made for UNESCO’s International Year of Light 2015.
More details here.
Next day, July 05.
3) All day working photocall tent. Amazed visitors crowded in the line to enter the tent and to be light painted!
4) “Riders of Light” speech “Possibilities and alternatives of light painting photography”:
Ivan Lucio Boluda (Spain) : “For me it was a very useful event has been wonderful to meet in person with great references from light painting for me, knowing that they are ordinary people like everyone else who only work with enthusiasm for this technique, I took new ideas and new motivation to improve my work in this Congress, I have wanted to experience more, to grow and to meet again with more artists to continue creating this great family.
it was very interesting to show our path to light painting community, very interesting to work in a photograph alongside Darren Pearson and other artists, eat together, talk and create a bond of friendship. I really enjoyed the conference as I can discover little secrets of great artists to create their works as Janne Parviainen (wonderful), the best experience possible for a painter of light is attending a conference as it happened in Oviedo.
I think a mistake in the organization was to announce the conference too late, I think such a beautiful and big scale event must promote at least 4 or 5 months in advance, and create from LPWA a commission to promote all social event from the best artists, networks that have that option JanLeonardo, Cisco, Dana Malby and great artists collaborate in promoting any light painting event for the sake of the art. I think it’s very important addition to the conference to make a wide range of specific workshops
My personal opinion is that the Congress of Oviedo is the key to get to other cities, it is important to create good visual highlights of the event and to promote and maintain a good Dossier to the municipalities of big cities, have now made it more difficult, the first …
We must work hard to try to create an international event every year, so that over time several cities to bid for bringing this event to their country, is a work of the whole community and we must work together, offering quality and especially art.”
5) Darren Pearson (USA) speech “Illustrating with light and evolution of style/technique”:
“This events was very helpful for me, I feel like I established life-long connections and learned about art from different perspectives around the globe. Many artistic collaborations, educational talks, and a chance to meet with the community that has developed around light painting photography. I think we could add a more basic educational element – to show people that are new to light painting, exactly what long-exposure photography is with a step by step illustrated procedure booth at the entrance or video projection. I wish Los Angeles could have a LPWA exhibition”
6) Janne Parviainen (Finland) speech “Visual tricks”:
“I think the management for the speech was very well organized, with translators ready, headphones for everyone and the speech ready in written for the translators. Also the arena for the speech was really nice, both from it’s size and equipment. The only thing I was missing was a computer since I hadn’t brought my own. Luckily Darren’s girlfriend Jordan lended me her computer so I could show the attached photos. The gift after the speech was a very nice gesture and the RGB Led Lenser I got has been in constant use ever since. I was also pleasantly surprised of how many people had come to hear the speeches and the workshops!
The event was definitely helpful to me, it was very inspiring to change views with other artists and to learn new techniques. I got tons of new ideas for my work and also ideas for collaborations with other light painters as well. I think the real power behind these events is that artists can learn each other in real life and broaden their view of thinking.
I enjoyed very much seeing the kaleidoscope show and workshop, and light painting together with other artists was a real dream come true! the whole event was amazingly well executed and everything went extremely well in my opinion. One thing we need to have is more people to the exhibition and the events that are not light painters, so that we would get as much attention to the art form as possible. In the kaleidoscope show it was a good idea to involve dancers to light painting, maybe next year collaborative workshops and shows with musicians, painters, photography schools, etc too?”
7) Workshop by Ivan Barco (Spain) “Building and repairing light painting tools” :
“It really was a fantastic experience that I could share and meet other artists. In future I think conduct joint activities beyond the expo in collaboration of all the artists could be very good. It would be nice to have the presence of most of the expo artists trying to grants of countries or cities where they do take them to cities where the sample is made and so to make a greater number of activities and that is not only a large expo, but a great event. For that we would need the support of both large international firms as organizations culture of cities in the sample realize. It might make some outings together for a few days a way of living and this seriously a great way to have more bond between everyone. Personal experience after the conference and expo of Oviedo was perhaps the most rewarding.”
9) Dana Maltby (USA) speech: “Digital double exposure. Covering the Lens”
10) Performance “Kaléido Light Show” by Cisco (Morocco) and Will Wildnot (France).
Friendly party at La Casona de la Montana. First time in a history of mankind more than 50 light painters selebrate this tremendous success of Congress and exhibition.
Last day of Congress, July 06.
12) Round table discussion “Present, past and future of light painting”. Moderator El Niño de las Luces (Spain)
The Congress was over, but the exhibition continued till July 13. Total visitors in all working days was about4500. On this exhibition we presents 114 artworks by 67 artists from 18 countries. 26 artists was presented at first time. On the previous exhibition in Paris we have only 18 newbies, so this is confirmation that every LPWA exhibition attracts more and more new artists. This is very expected and nice result! This exhibition has specific detail – in accordance with agreement between LPWA and Philips Spain, all exhibited images could be used by Philips as brilliant screen walls for Philips monitors in Spanish and Portugese Philips showrooms. Every image will include the name of author and URL to LPWA website – thus, any interested person could easily find artist’s profile on LPWA website. In other words – sharing of artists could be much wider than usual exhibition limited by time and place!
Felipe Ferreira (Brazil):
“it was good to meet a lot of people that I only know from the web. It was a great time to expand the ideas about light painting that everybody has. We are a big community with a lot of thinking and philosophy involved, so Oviedo was a great place to change ideas. We can see some patterns in LP photography and think out of the comfort zone is what I’m looking for in my photography and be able to talk with people eye to eye was an incredible experience for my way to understand and feel the light art.
I think we can be better about the translating. I would be happier if the last talking about the future of light painting made by ours Spanish light friends were real time translated to English. My luck was that I can also understand more or less Spanish, otherwise it wouldn’t add much for me. I think we can make bigger workshops with artists. This is what I’m thinking to bring to Brasil, I would like to offer some workshops with great artists, so people could really change information and to something together better than only listen to a speech.
Every time we have the opportunity to exchange ideas is a good opportunity to learn. There are so many aspects about light art that I’m sure a lot of artist are not concerned about that and it really doesn’t matter for now, but the idea is not to divide between “great masters” or “new artists”, only history is going to tell us. The main goal of Oviedo was to put a lot of people who are striving to understand something together, trying to develop a acceptable idea for everybody even everyone has his or hers approach. Light seams to be bigger than any definition we could possible put in it. Light Paiting is just one arm of this huge umbrella that put everybody together.”
We have to thank a lot to all our sponsors, supporters and collaborators:
Oviedo Town Hall and personally major Agustín Iglesias Caunedo
International Year of Light 2015 by UNESCO
Children Of Darklight and personally Alfredo Alvarez
Herramients Light Painting and personally Ivan Barco
Links to Facebook photo albums from Oviedo:
We can think of the congress as a place to enjoy the best light art forms, a source of motivation for innovative projects, a place to learn and collaborate and share experiences with other light painters… a date you shouldn’t miss!!!
See you next year!!
Alfredo Álvarez Alonso and Sergey Churkin.