Interview: Vasco Diogo
Interview done by Helen Wheels
[dropcap]V[/dropcap]asco Diogo describes his 3:47 minutes multi-media video, as a performance dance work based on the digital manipulation of non-choreographic movements. He works on the fragmentation of the body in its relation to screen and performance space, creating an audio-tactile and cine-aesthetic experience for the viewer. Diogo blurs a video art installation with experimental cinematic techniques.
1. What inspired you to create this video?
Diogo: What inspired me to create this video was mainly some previous works such as Série Y and anexperimentalviralvlog – the movie remix # !, as I often transport, in a trial and error intuitive experimental logic, processes and insights from one work to another. As I am both the performer and the director of this video (assuming also all technical roles), it interested me to work mainly on improvisation both in the filming sessions and in the long editing process, expanding my creative and technical limits in absolute freedom, what for me is always a highly spiritual achievement. So, my influences often come from the inside but I’m quite open to contemporary art, dance, performance, experimental cinema and video art, besides infinite forces and energies.
2.What was your intention in its creation?
Diogo: My main intention in its creation was to create an impossible performance where my body is completed fragmented and provokes the perception of the viewer in strange ways. I assume that my formal concerns regarding rhythm, composition, color, sound and so on are the main theme of the work. Moreover, I think I’ve achieved to create a rather abstract experience that is also highly emotional, even if that is not so quite easy to understand by mass formatted viewers.
3. What makes you feel that this work crosses the line from multi-media to short film?
Diogo: I’m used now to work on audiovisual hybrids that are in a middle ground between video installation and experimental cinema. If this video was intended only for installation, it would probably have a different length, more contemplative, I would say, and without such a predetermined formal transformation, mainly in what regards image processing and collage techniques. It is that formal transformation, which makes the surface of the image visible as a pictorial space that, by a kind of paradox, approaches multi-media to short film. So, I think I made an abstract micro-narrative.
4. If there were a narrative, or story line, what would it be?
Diogo: An impossible co-existence of multiple bodies in the same space, apparently dancing, provokes a process of transformation, where the opposing forces of figure and background strive to be together. At the end, the human body wins but achieves an expanded consciousness regarding the connection of all things.
5. How did you accomplish the producing and performing this piece?
Diogo: I hired for about two years a small warehouse and made there a small chroma studio. The project was totally financed by my own income as I’m also a cinema professor at the University of Beira Interior. The performances for the camera were made during about twenty shooting sessions (I was always completely alone) and edited during a two -month period.
6. What inspired the music and beat track?
Diogo: Noise, sound art, hip-hop, punk, pop and a melodramatic approach regarding the sound/image relations, as you were able to ear the image and see the sound.
7. How would you envision its best presentation for viewing? For instance, on the big screen, in a room on the walls, etc and why?
Diogo: I don’t know. As I’ve said the video is a hybrid, so I hope It works both well on the big screen, an art gallery or a museum. Anyway, the sound of the video is its secret, so the best presentation for viewing must be a place with good sound conditions and where it doesn’t contaminate/damage other works.
8. Do you have anything else in the works?
Diogo: I’m preparing a dance piece/performance for a Festival in Lisbon; I will then edit an experimental documentary dealing with the theme of music-therapy among old people with mental disorders; I will also make two more experimental films this year, but I’m still working on its concept (they won’t be filmed in studio!).
Helen Wheels is an independent filmmaker, freelance writer, and visual artist. She has produced, directed, worked as a set designer and scenic painter, and has been an assistant director on dozens of films. Wheels graduated from Shoreline College with an AAAS in Digital Film Production and is continuing toward her MFA in New Media Communications. Known for her eye to detail and advanced research skills, Wheels is currently researching historical events for her latest script and is in the process of developing her online writing business.