(2009) METAMORFOSE

This work shares part of its conceptual DNA with the installation/multimedia performance EFEMEROS, although the two projects are singular and very different in scope. METAMORFOSE is originally a film experiment, for which I asked friends throughout the world to bury my rolls of 16mm films bare into the earth for 1 year (4 seasons) following a set of chance operation instructions including bathing and spicing the film in substances of their choice before burial. These films are then used in both installations but in different forms as the METAMORFOSE series is shown as is after being unburied (no post-production aside from partial cleaning), and the version shown in EFEMEROS contains direct animation (manual additive and subtractive methods on film according to answers from friends obtained from a questionnaire I sent them).


The visual construct of METAMORFOSE films happens via immersing them in the singular context of each city where the installations are presented. They reveal a doubly organic relation: how the buried film (a material itself made from gelatin and silver crystals) was directly affected by that earthly interaction, surfacing the characteristics of the soil of the location where it was buried.

Vanessa Ramos Velasquez

METAMORFOSE:BRASÍLIA    Installation as proposed for Galeria Fayga Ostrower, Brasília, Brazil, 2010.


An immersive experience, having as point of departure a film made by hand (with direct manipulation originating graphics and geometric and organic forms), generating multiple layers of meanings and relationships with the city of Brasília (capital of Brazil) and Neo-Concretism. The process of creating the film Metamorphosis:Brasília, whose film as matter has been buried for about a year, seeks to mirror and reveal the birth of form from nothingness, a feature analogous to the construction of Brasília, where the architecture is considered unusual and belonging to a fantastic world, as the poetic constructions of Oscar Niemeyer are sometimes described.


The type of soil from Brasília points to a parallel in the creative processes of this film. The characteristic of the reddish soil and its dust that so bothered everyone (including Niemeyer) at the time of construction of the city, is now mostly a memory because the city is already developed, paved away, and full of concrete and large green areas (which in fact inhibits the appearance and action of that soil). Mirroring this process of transformation of the landscape, my installation also confronts past and present, contrasting the use of a medium considered old: 16mm film, to a new one: satellite images accessible to the public in the digital era.


This confluence thus enhances the two facets of the creative process: the organic - through forms created from aleatory means due to the natural metamorphosis of film buried open and unprotected, reacting with substances in which it was immersed and interacting with the soil during a period of time; and the artificial (or constructed): forms created from a conscious, conceptual process, assisted by the newest technologies available today (based on the computational, calculable construct).


As a result of the dialectics implicit in this creation process, I chose as a functional and conceptual background (covering the walls of the room), topographic photographs of the city of Brasília. This immersive image scene shows the amplitude of the city space and soil, not only representing the red and green areas (vestiges of the past in present location), but also the overlap and interplay of the organic form contained in the digitally represented topographic landscape.


The ten large scale frames (10 selected printed frames from the 16mm film Metamorfose:Brasília) on the walls on top of the topographic wallpaper are significant imagetic juxtapositions. Additionally, the video-projection of the film on the wall opposite the entrance to the room blends with the topography of the city of Brasília, establishing the collision with and the engulfing of the organic by the constructed.


The ceiling of the gallery is “bathed” by a very bright blue light representing the sky of Brasília, while the ground is raw cement, representing the “constructed” city.


In the center of the room, a compacted reddish earth (like a termite mound), taken from the soil of Brasília and measuring approximately 1m in height. On top of that compact mound of red earth is planted a piece of the 16mm film that was buried for the production of the film, showing how the raw film stock reacted to the interaction with the organisms in the soil, the weather, and the substances in which it was immersed (a Brazilian black bean and meat stew, and Cachaça - the Brazilian national distilled liquor).


Thus the imprinted forms resulting from a dialogue of organic and technical processes are activated on various planes of perception. The motion of the projected film flanked by a visual seemingly abstract from a distance, and the mound of earth in the middle of the room from where noise (sound art) emanates, guides the viewer in a possible route within the room.


In the deeper wall of the room, the film Metamorfose:Brasília is projected in an infinite loop referencing the origin of the large scale photo-prints (framed with perforations of film frames) on the adjacent walls. A small red marker is be pinned on the location where the film was buried and dug up in the city of Brasília.


The sound art completes the sense of immersion. The sound is composed of organic soft audio - noises of the film projection (the reaction of the film with the soil and substances also create audio) - as well as noise from the city’s construction. The sound resonates from the compact mound of earth at the center of the room, serving to attract the person to this key module of the installation and offer him/her the correlation of the piece of film on top of the earthy mound to the various other elements in the space.


  1. *The film Metamorfose:Brasília is also featured in a related Installation/Multimedia Performance titled Efemeros.

ZEN    Interactive Monument / Installation for Reflection

(2001) ZEN is a space for meditation through one’s interaction with the yin-yang of the hot and cold sensorial installation. A restive moment to submerge one’s hands in the altar of relaxation.


This work was born from my own personal reflection as a New York resident during the events of September 11, 2001. ZEN seeks to provide a moment of quietness via the sensorial experience of both yin and yang which are not separate, but in fact form a unifying cyclical experience. Opposite forces and sensory elements alternate to form a whole experience. The perspective of balance and continual change are not split into a “separateness”, but rather depend on each other for their own existence.


The hot and cool imagery playing on each screen inform the temperature of the pebbles inside their respective bowls. The visitor places his/her hands in each bowl experiencing a multisensorial (visual/aural/tactile) interaction with the installation.

Vanessa Ramos Velasquez

(2014) 360 DEGREES

360o is a work at the conjunction of art, design, science and DIY technology. The natural entity as cultural object in this work is a 127-year old Ash tree slice, whose tree was planted in 1886 and cut in 2013 due to a new road construction near the Rote Kaserne in Potsdam, Germany.


The intention for 360o is two-fold; first, to create cultural narratives corresponding to the most significant tree ring occurrences of this tree. By using the scientific method of dendrochronology, I have measured and analyzed the 127 tree rings at the Deutsches Archaeologisches Institut in order to create a narrative interface with 10 audio tracks describing correlating significant events in German society, particularly of the Potsdam-Berlin area. Secondly, is the sonification of the data stemming from the 1/100mm scientific measurement of the 127 seasonal/yearly growth rings of the tree slice.

© 2014 Vanessa Ramos Velasquez, 360 Degrees Installation

(2015) BODENLOS_H0M0 LUDENS Bodenlos_Homo Ludens is a generative, interactive and participatory installation that captures and displays the occupants of the structure in their various perspectives, catching them seeing themselves. This sort

of flirting and hide-and-seek game is further altered in the space-time continuum of the slitscanning process. The “creature” Bodenlos_Homo Ludens becomes one with the participants as an assemblage, absorbing the guests in their moment of interaction. The creature scans its surroundings as an act of image-hunting of its landscape. The image captured by each of the three cameras is analogical in their digital color space (Red, Green, Blue) to the color scheme of the hammocks. The resulting tryptich image is continuously rewritten from left to right erasing the previous scan, while new impressions and traces are formed.


Bodenlos_Homo Ludens premiered at KunstKraftWerk Leipzig on 30/4/2015 at the Exhibition DEVOUR! Social Cannibalism, Political Redefinition and Architecture curated by Marta Jecu.

http://www.kunstkraftwerk-leipzig.com/de/art-design/2015-devour-sozialer-kannibalismus-politische-neudefinierung-und-architektur.html


The conclusion of production of BODENLOS_H0M0 LUDENS for DEVOUR! III has been made possible by a grant from the Karl Hofer Gesellschaft e.V.

VIDEO POETRY
Vanessa Ramos Velasquez, Bodenlos_HomoLudens installation
Vanessa Ramos Velasquez, Bodenlos_HomoLudens installation
Vanessa Ramos Velasquez, Bodenlos_HomoLudens installation

(2015) SÍSIFO / SISYPHUS

Videoart installation in collaboration with Brazilian artist >>Néle Azevedo<<


Sisyphus is a video in loop inspired by Albert Camus' Myth of Sisyphus - a philosophical essay on the Absurd. Anthropomorphic ice sculptures melt and pulsate in a continuous process of reconstruction - appearing and disappearing - set to the sound of a heartbeat and breathing. The visual source is the urban intervention work by Néle Azevedo, "Monumento Mínimo/Minimum Monument", recorded at the Municipal Theatre in São Paulo.


Sísifo is conceptualized to be video-projected onto a curtain of steam whose support gives it a singularity in the interpretation of the Sisyphus myth – divested of the materiality of stone and earth, Sisyphus gains ephemeral dematerialization. He goes through the three stages of the water element – solid: ice, liquid: melting, and gaseous state: vapor. This effect can also be attained by projecting the video onto layered voile sheets, aided by the effects of a timed fog-machine.

Videodocumentation of videoinstallation at Espaço Vitrine, São Paulo. 2016.

VIDEO DANCE

Video source for installation: a 3-min. videoart piece.

(2018) WEB OF RELATIONS

A participatory installation containing the book The Falling Sky by Davi Kopanawa Yanomami and Bruce Albers set next to a companion object: a booklike box as a recording device inviting the tent visitor to contribute her/his own narrative about their relationship to nature.

© 2018 Vanessa Ramos Velasquez, Web of Relations installation
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