„Staro Rīga” – conduct a choir, get lost in fog!
What it’s like, to conduct a choir
A project titled „Conductor” will „shine” at Vērmane Garden Park where everyone will be able to try and be a real conductor leading a virtual choir. It’s a special project produced by „I Did It” Foundation, they take part at the festival for the fourth time this year.
Kaspars Bērziņš, the representative of „I Did It”, tells that „Conductor” was created in four months when mixed choir „Sōla” led by Kaspars Ādamsons recorded Latvian folk songs at the studio and also filmed their rehearsals and various daily situations. „The rest was technologies. We used „Kinect” sensors and a special computer programme that allows us to catch the movements of conductor’s hands, in that way, the choir follows the lead.
As the result, a real choir turns into a projection with solid „artificial intellect” that understands and reacts as if it was a real choir singing at Vērmane Park.”
How does this project work? Kaspars Ādamsons replies: „You have to come to Vērmane Park, then select one of Latvian folk songs, stand in the front of the choir and raise arms above the head. The rest is just following the music and listening to the choir singing an observing a special display where „singers” will be seen.”
If conducting with serious attitude and care, one will be able to hear the tone and rhythm changes or a particular voice at the choir. If the „conductor” stops leading, the choir will show their dissatisfaction, but, if the song is completed in full, the conductor gets ovation. „Good mood is what matters, and you will have to concentrate for a while. And don’t be shy, take your part! Of course, the representative of this project will guide you if some help is needed.”
He also reminds that projects from previous years curated by „I Did It” Foundation were particularly popular in Riga and abroad. For, example object from „Staro Rīga” in 2011 titled „Fonoscope” was presented at „The White Night” in Brussels, but last year’s „Emograph”, a technology that turns people’s heartbeat into sounds of music and kaleidoscope, represented Latvia at this autumn’s „Lumina” Festival in Portugal and Slovenia, but in the end of November, the project will be shown at Tallin Light Biennale.
Producing work of „Conductor” was supported by „Rīga 2014” Foundation in addition to Ministry of Culture in Latvia and EU programme „Culture” within the international project „Spectrum” uniting artists from Latvia, Estonia, Portugal and Slovenia „under one roof”. Thanks to this cooperation, works from these foreign artists will be represended at „Staro Rīga”.
A Latvian style meal
It’s definitely worth visiting Riga Central Market where video and sound installation titled „Feast of Māra” will be shown between between the Dairy and Delicatessen pavilions.
Gatis Krievāns, the idea author, tells that pre-made visualisations – epizodes where Latvian gardens and flower-beds are documented in film as well as stands from Riga Central Market, will be used at the project. Vegetables and fruits available at the market will be used for a virtual meal preparation titled „Feast of Māra”.
„The fertility of our land, Māra’s eternal repast, is our true survival kit without which life would not be possible. Everyone is invited to „Feast of Māra”; the pagan goddess, guardian of the fertility of our land, wishes her repast to remind us that fertility is a great gift to our land, as also is the hard work of many „invisible” people, very rarely in the limelight: their involvement in the transformation of the energy of fertility.”
The main idea of this project is to tell visitors about the market as a place where Māra serves her meal and people from Riga city learn to know their land better. „Bargaining is not replaced with shopping yet, communication and long-term relationship between a salesperson and customer is still important, and those components create an individual Latvian taste,” tells Gatis Krievāns who also notes that probably this project will be an additional incentive to buy local food, our own tomatoe and bread.
By the way, also a special menu in real life will be offered at the cultural place/dining room „371” all four days. Only local products will be used for the meals. Installation starts at 18.00 and continues until the last customer.
Teleportation in fog
„The Constitute” group, who will offer „The Ready to Cloud”, a multimedial project (at 5 Aldari Street, the new exhibition hall „Atklāj Rīgu” („Explore Riga”) and 9 A.Briāna Street next to „Piens” club) from „Connecting Cities Network” programme, uses the potency of academic research, artistic practice and economic reason to create outstanding and unique objects, processes and experiences. The company’s work relies on interiors as well as exteriors, visual language for public space, digital and physical expressions and the poetic qualities of misuse, error and inspiration.
Within the last years „The Constitute” has been showcasing their work internationally and worked with clients and partners from cultural organisations, media industries and research institutions. The field of expertise contains design solutions, improvements of creative processes and aesthetic consulting aswell as own artworks.
All „The Constitute’s” work has a forecasting and partly critical approch. They strongly believe in the power of design to make an impact, whether economically or socially, to improve all people’s lifes. Sharing knowledge and access to recent developments is important to us. Christian Zöllner and Sebastian Piatza, the heads behind „The Constitute” regularly give courses and workshops in different academic institutions, helping students and professionals redefining and refining their personal expertises. „The Ready to Cloud” project is realized in cooperation with Julian Adenauer, Pfadfinderei and Action Bronco.
„The Ready to Cloud” project started in the beginning of 2013 and is an approach to set up a holographic - ephemeric display for the use of teleportation as we all know it from Star Trek.
With the project it is possible to teleport the 3D scan of a person in one city into a specially and artificially made up cloud in another city. The person there sees the person from the other city (next to his/her own scan) spatially in the cloud in front of him/her and can start communicate with his or her avatar in realtime.
With this project „The Constitute” proposes a first try to set up display technology for trans-urban communication that is totally unstable and not in a way relieble like telephones. It´s situative and works only when in both cities people are ready to cloud.
Showing your thoughts to others
„Space for Mind Migration”, a project curated by Kristaps Ancāns, „Connecting Cities Network” and „Ideju Institūts” will be represented at „Esplanāde 2014”. The project is being funded with the support of the European Commission’s Culture programme.
„We want to show people that „Space for Mind Migration” is a particular place where thoughts travel outside us. The idea is to represent how our thoughts make an impact on us and the society in general. The environment around people is constantly shifting, directly and indirectly affecting us.” He also remembers last year’s „Staro Rīga”. „I did not read the news, so was not aware of the fact that, as it turned out, everyone prepared for the world end during the festival time.”
I personally found it strange that a single idea from the Maya civilization made such a huge impact on the society around the world.
So, our main goal is to show that thoughts can travel from one head to another, thoughts can multiply, we can capture them or spread outside our own heads.”
How about thoughts of those people who are going to visit „Esplanāde 2014” ? Kristaps Ancāns explains that the projection will be interactive. „Thoughts will take the picture of our heads and will „live” in there. Thoughts will be those small goals that can reach other people’s heads and travel around the space.” The idea author points out that, of course, visitors will be able to take part in the activities. For this purpose, three cabins will be available at „Esplanāde 2014” where one can exchange thoughts with the other person sitting in the next cabin. So, various interactions will be offered such as thoughts that multiply, are being captured, etc.
Of course, there are thoughts that people would like to keep in secret, but there is nothing to be afraid of, says Kristaps Ancāns. „The main emphasize stays on showing different thought types - multiplying, capturing, etc.”