Message of Peace – Fotografica Bogota 2019
Message of Peace – Fotografica Bogota 2019
We recently show one of the most impressive massive collaboration images ever.. Its the work of Children of Darklight , Frodo Alvarez, Sfhir and Edu Cajigal at a Colombian photography biennial.
We reached out to Frodo to ask him some questions for this very interesting project.
Hola Frodo, impressive project! You guys really bringing the whole massive collaboration thing to a whole new level! Tell us a bit about it.
When and how did this start?
On February 1st , Ana Galvis and Danna Montenegro , both from FOTOMUSEO- Museo Nacional de la Fotografia de Colombia, contacted Children Of Darklight via email and IG offering to be part of this year’s VIII FOTOGRÁFICA BOGOTÁ, the biggest photography biennial in Latin America. They had seen our past works like Oviedo es Luz or HYDRA (Madrid es luz ) and they wanted us to open the Night of photography.
In previous years photographers such as David Lachapelle, Joel Peter Witkin, Nan Goldin and Eugenio Recuenco had also been there. So right from the start they got my interest and the conversations started. At first they just wanted me (Frodo), but I told them that the minimum team to make a huge monulight like this would be 3 of us: Sfhir, Edu Cajigal, and me. They had to work hard to bring the three of us there, because Fotomuseo is a non profit organisation and they needed more funds. They really did a great job to bring the three of us there
Who got the idea about it?
The idea has literally evolved since the beginning. At first they suggested that we should make a big logo from one of the sponsors. That was something that didn’t motivate us at all. Then we thought of the claim of the biennial “memory and resilience” and they suggested the concept of a dove of peace. It really inspired me. After the work Sfhir and I did in our awarded music video “Run Away”, I knew we could animate a huge dove in the square, collaborating with the public…and that was a big and awesome challenge, and that’s how all the idea came and Sfhir was responsible for making the designs
How long have you been working on it?
As I said, it all started in the beginning of February, but it was not until the end of March when we had our tickets and all the preproduction started. But to be honest, it was not until the week before that we had all the information and possible points of view, when we could start with the final design and planning.
How many people were involved?
The main team was formed by Sfhir, Edu Cajigal, and Frodo Álvarez from Asturias and Madrid in Spain. We had 2 Colombian assistants together with us all the time, Mateo Piraquive and Andrés Salinas, and they worked together with us in all the production process in Bogotá. The day of the event we had 10 volunteers, to whom we had talked previously and given the proper explanations and instructions. They helped us with all the members of the public that would join us that night, painting points of light with a flashlight given to them by the organisation and sponsors. Also Fidel Franco, a well known radio presenter in Colombia, was there with the mic to encourage people and help directing them. There were also people from the organisation with Danna, Ana and even Gilma Suárez helping with everything, and even people from the university helping with all the real time video stuff and facilities.
How long did it take you to prepare it and to execute this?
Well, if you mean in Bogotá, we arrived there on day 1 and we didn’t stop working until our event on the 4th day. On day 2 we had planned to mark the design on the ground and test it out…but we had serious problems and we couldn’t do it in the end. We needed a powerful projector and what they got us was an old one with not enough power. So we lost all the daylight and our attempts at night were not successful enough for us. So we had to radically change our planning and leave it all for the next day.
On day 3 we started very early, without projector, Sfhir was the only hope of saving the original animation idea. He had to mark the dove by himself on the ground, three different doves in three different colors, with all the others following his instructions . It was really hard work , around 6 or 7 hours, but we finally did it . Then at night , we did a general rehearsal under the rain, and it was successful. So we could finally go to sleep, without worries, knowing everything was ready for the next day.
Did you have any challenges onsite? How did you manage them?
The main challenge was not having the projector. Of course we had some other problems, as sealed windows in our POV room (easily solved), or trying to get the real time signal in a video wall in the square. It took some time because of the limitations they had, but as everyone wanted to help, it all finally went well.
What was the feedback of the people who participated, or show that?
Everybody was very happy and enthusiastic about being part of this. As we were working with OLYMPUS live composite , we could stream the making of the photo in real time on a big screen in the square, so they were already delighted with the single images of the dove we had been creating. In less than 5 minutes after we finished the 3rd photo, we had the animation created, and we showed it in the video wall in the square. There was a lot of applaus and we really felt a lot of satisfaction watching the animation on the big screen, feeling the support of the people and seeing them so happy. The organisation thanking us for our work, because it was so beautiful and we exceeded their expectations… it was a very special team moment for us. We were so happy as was everyone attending. Lots of greetings, hugs and photos with us. A great energy. We are light
When will we see more footage of this?
We have some time lapses, video light painting, and making of videos which we are compiling to create an official making of video. I hope it doesn’t take long to create, and I hope we can take our Message of Peace to more cities in the world
Thanks you Frodo for this and we are waiting to see more footage !