Artopia 2015: Andrew Brislin Explains His Video "Paintings"

Andrew Brislin creates boundary-breaking video art.
Andrew Brislin creates boundary-breaking video art.
Courtesy of Lambent Visuals

Artopia, Westword's annual celebration of art, culture and fashion, returns to City Hall on February 21. In addition to plenty of visual artists and the Whiteout fashion show, the event will feature some highlights from Colorado's music scene — this year, over a dozen groups and artists will perform on four stages. Tickets are $30 ahead of time or $50 at the door. You can also use the promo code "showandtell" for $10 off.

We're checking in with several of those artists about the state of Denver's scene and what you can expect next Saturday. Today: Andrew Brislin. who will be creating a custom light and video mapping project for the main room at Artopia.

Westword: How did you get into the arts?

Andrew Brislin: I played in bands as a teenager and eventually went to school for recording arts at UCD. While I was there, learning to record and edit audio, I began teaching myself video editing. That was 2001. Since then, I spent time in a recording studio, then a video production house and for the last five years as a freelance editor, VJing events and creating interactive video projects like the combobulator and The Shape of Things.

Perhaps a simpler way to say it... since 2009 I’ve been creating custom videos and using projectors to temporarily paint walls and objects.

How do you describe your art/work?

A video artist is used to showing his or her art in a square or rectangular box. All TVs and projectors are rectangles. For last few years, I’ve been projection mapping — masking out parts of the projectors output to fit shapes or existing structures — which creates a more organic light. My goal is always to fill a space with pleasing light using color, patterns and accents. It should also react to the sound and movement in the room. It’s very important to fit the light to the sound and mood of a space.

Employing motion reactive cameras adds an interactive element that uses motion in the room to manipulate the visuals. For instance, raising your right hand and waving it around would turn up an effect, change the color or even control multiple changes. Imagine the possibilities.

The short answer is that LAMBENT creates temporary light sculptures that react to sound and motion.

What should people know about what you'll be showing at Artopia?

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We — myself and a small team of collaborators — are bringing projectors, as well as some custom built lighting. Working with a couple of electronically inspired people we're designing moving, cylindrical lights that will project intersecting patterns and if all goes well they’ll be motion reactive. The video I’m projecting will be reactive and interactive too, if you can locate the sensor.

What's your favorite thing about the Denver arts scene?

My favorite thing about the art scene in Denver is that everyone is coming together to create. It seems like we have a deluge of makers, programmers and creatives here on the Front Range. I run into people all the time doing really cool things with electricity or combining existing systems to create something new. I believe that the more artists collaborate, the better we all will be for it.

What's the one thing that could most improve the Denver arts scene?

This year, do more of what you love to create...and collaborate. Support your local scene.

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