Interview with artist Albert Figurt

Albert Figurt is an Italian musician and video-maker who constantly tries to understand the way we look at things. Albert has been previously involved in Video Vortex taking part of the conferences in Split and Brussels in which he has always combined theory and performance as a way to creatively approach and express his ideas. Indeed, he creates video pieces in the form of video-essays, mixing theory, practice and creativity in order to reflect on the medium through the medium itself. Albert is interested in the very meaning of the frame in our actual context; a setting in which we find ourselves surrounded by an uncontrollable rise of visual information, continuously and obsessively composing  reality in which everything becomes susceptible to be filmed (and thus controlled) by the digital eye-mirror.

In “No dike can dam the streams of consciousness” (2005), one of his early video pieces,  Albert makes a very poetic video-travelogue around Amsterdam in which we can notice some of the main notions  that will be later employed in a bigger project called “Three studies on the hyper-gaze”.  During the last years Albert has developed this series consisted of three video-essays: Quixotic, Notre-Cam de Paris and Video Bacannalia. “Quixotic” (2009) is the result of a post-futurist marathon where audiovisual material has to be conceived, filmed, edited, scored & finalized in 48 hours (see Cinema_Solubile ). Profiting from the avantgarde approach and setting, Albert came out with some sort of jazz-documentary: the idea behind it is to test an improvisational attitude related to audiovisual practice – as it happened with the jazz revolution in which on-the-spot solos brought music back to its original use as a playful and real-time art form. He considers this piece as a way to reflect on the future of visual communication, when video dialogues will probably become regular and real-time conversational practices, as well as immediate actions, much more subjected to the improvisation and therefore to an instant and spontaneous editing.

In “Notre-Cam de Paris(.pdf) (2010) Albert  shows the panorama of a group of tourists filming the interior rose window of Notre Dam in Paris. The spread of  digital cameras have given rise to a compulsive act of framing reality in which everything is now seen through the lens of the screen, turning the reproduction into something more meaningful than the reality itself. In this video Albert composes the rose window of Notre Dam by filming the camera screen of the tourists and thus creating a “centripetal” perspective of a single object. Besides, he looks into how tourists interact with their cameras in order to compose the perfect image that will transform that moment into an everlasting experience, an unforgettable memory that insinuates us to look at these devices as extension of a worldwide connected brain. Finally, in the project “VideoBacchanalia” (2011) -some sort of unusual theatrical backstage- Albert gathers all the mobile phone videos effortlessly realized by student/actors during a trip to Southern Italy in order to incorporate them lately in the architecture of the places while at a time respecting quality and size of the original footage.

In addition to this,  Albert explains in this interview some of his upcoming projects and current ideas in a sophisticated setting midway between analogical and digital and specifically created for this occasion. During the Skype interview, we experienced some video turbulences due to low quality wifi connection and the result it is a low resolution video which somehow tributes the  odyssey we frequently experience with  Skype video-chatting.

Interview with artist Albert Figurt from network cultures on Vimeo.