"Fragment," architectural forms lit by artificial light, by the UK's United Visual Artists. In Dubai earlier this year.

“Fragment,” architectural forms lit by artificial light, by the UK’s United Visual Artists. In Dubai earlier this year.

Projection … visuals … video … VJs … pixels.

What we’re really talking about is light: light, manipulated in three-dimensions as dynamic digital medium.

So, it’s fitting that as the draft form of educational programming for the Moscow International Festival of Light was being passed around, I noticed the following edit on a panel title:

“Shaping the future – Projection mapping as an expressive artistic medium”
was renamed:
“Shaping the future – Light as an expressive artistic medium.”

The new forms of light intersect art and architecture, physical and urban environments and online realms, animation and performance and environment.

And to deepen our understanding of what that means, it’s vital to listen to one another. In Moscow this weekend, artists from around the world will get to better know their Russian counterparts, in a unique educational collaboration. The event is curated by the creative tech community MIGZ.ru – a platform for work in Moscow and beyond, together with Creative Applications Network (I also helped contribute to the programming with MIGZ), and organised by the Government of Moscow.

CAN’s incomparable curator-founding editor Filip Visnjic has an extensive preview:
Moscow International Festival “Circle of Lights” (5/6 October 2013)

I covered some of what MIGZ is doing with large-scale projection interventions last year:
Mapping Gorky Park: MIGZ, Russian Festival, Makes a Landmark Public Spectacle

MIGZ 2011 Videomapping weekend from MIGZ Festival on Vimeo.

The international character of the scene can’t be denied. But visual communities are too often still disconnected by geographic barriers, something current political tensions aren’t making any better. So this is an extraordinary opportunity: the program is half Russian, half international, a chance for artists, developers, teachers, and journalists to encounter each other’s work and share experiences.

I’ll talk about some of the developments in the scene, and lead a panel on the ways in which visuals intervene in spaces with projection. I’ll also be running a hands-on workshop in which we experiment in ways of connecting sound and image.

But as a writer, I’m delighted that these threads also run through the rest of the programming and artists’ work.

“Wearable” projection and theatrical visuals by Russian Visual Artists (who have worked with legendary Moscow theaters from ‘Praktika’ Theater to the Bolshoi):

Видеомэппинг платья от Франка Сорбье from RussianVisualArtists on Vimeo.

“Assembly,” by Seoul-based Kimchi and Chips (Mimi Son, Elliot Woods):

Assembly from Mimi Son on Vimeo.

Bologna, Italy’s Roberto Fazio will be teaching projection mapping – ideal as we also discuss urban intervention:

Austria’s choreographer/electronic visual artist Klaus Obermaier is at the leading edge of body mapping; it will be a pleasure to see him again. Here he is at Ars Electronica in 2010:

Russia, here’s information on the event from MIGZ, in your language:
Образовательная программа Московского Международного Фестиваля «Круг Света» 2013

From visualist to VJ, many terms have failed to catch on. But perhaps “light artist” is the best way to describe this community – and the range of tools, digital and optical, at their disposal.

Stay tuned. Oh, and afterwards, CDM and I head to p a t c h: audio_visual_lab in Krakow, Poland for more of the international scene; we’ll be reporting on both.

What work inspires you? What trends? What questions do you have for this international scene? Relating to sound and image, current visual techniques, or urban intervention, I’d love to hear – and will respond in my presentation and writing – so do feel free to comment.