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Cultures of Beauty

November 16, 2015
A life lesson here in Japan is that beauty is, without a doubt, in the eye of the beholder. Learning about the Japanese perception of beauty in contrast to our own has been a fascinating study in aesthetic. The chrysanthemum has provided us with the perfect subject matter to view these differences and has given us a whole new perspective on our own Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens.
The final installment of the Nightscape Artist & Friends Speaker Series took place last Friday with a new set of panelists. Navid Khonsari and Torfi Frans Olafsson shared stories about their professional backgrounds with Ricardo Rivera, the director of Nightscape and founding partner of Klip Collective. Khonsari is the Executive Producer of iNK Stories, an independent media studio that pushes the boundaries of storytelling through documentaries, film, and video games. Olafsson serves as the Creative Director of EVE Universe IP Development for CCP Games. Friday’s conversation continued the series’ analysis of human agency—or an individual’s power to act—and technology’s ability to enhance the immersive experience of an artwork.

The Story is Yours at Nightscape

September 21, 2015
Last Friday saw the third installment of Longwood’s Artist & Friends Speaker Series for Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective. Two new panelists joined Ricardo Rivera, founding member of Klip Collective and mastermind of Nightscape, but the group’s conversation about experience and storytelling picked up right where it left off in August. Yelena Rachitsky, Creative Producer of the Future of StoryTelling Summit, and Lance Weiler, Founding Member and Director of the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab, joined Rivera to discuss the intersection of human experience, technology, and narrative as it relates to Nightscape. The abstract nature of Nightscape is the common thread weaving through the Artist & Friends Speaker Series. If Rivera and his team are sure about one thing, it is that Nightscape challenges the certainty, absolutes, and rules that tend to govern our waking lives. Instead, imagination, wonder, and curiosity serve as the viewer’s best guides throughout the installations.

Nightscape: Designing an Experience

August 16, 2015
Last Friday, Longwood Gardens hosted the second installment of the Artist & Friends Speaker Series for Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective. Ricardo Rivera, creator of Nightscape and founding partner of Klip Collective, returned to participate with Josh Goldblum (Founder and CEO of Bluecadet) and Nick Fortugno (Co-Founder and COO of Playmatics). The discussion centered on the role of technology in Nightscape, especially regarding its power to add depth to the viewer’s experience. The panelists debated the concept of “experience” and its relevance to cultural institutions. How do we draw the line between engaging with something personally—such as physically walking through and taking in the Nightscape installations—and viewing images of it on a screen or hearing about it second-hand? Both are experiences … but how does one create something that’s deeply affective rather than passive or even derivative?

Envisioning Nightscape

August 4, 2015
There is a scene in Akira Kurosawa's Dreams that has tugged at me for years, where a little boy escapes into the woods and sees a parade of foxes. He chances upon it and is not supposed to see it. It is a magical moment of uncertainty and amazement. I wanted to create that kind of feeling with Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective. For Klip Collective, the future of art is creating experience as art. We want to create a body of work where the audience has to move through it physically. Years ago, Klip Collective created a one-hundred-foot wide veil of smoke in a meadow where we projected fireflies that danced in frantic flight. It was designed to be viewed from a distance and seen in a larger context. To our surprise, people walked right into it. The audience wanted to be surrounded and lost in the chaos of the moment. Seeing how people were drawn to the lights and how they reacted to the experience inspired me to explore the idea of experience as art … and that began the process for Nightscape.