Annual data analysis video mapping contests 2019-2022
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2022 VIDEO MAPPING DATA ANALYSIS
In 2018, I created the facebook page LIST OF INTERNATIONAL VIDEO MAPPING OPEN CALL & CONTEST 2023 for digital artists from all around the world to share information about International projection mapping #contest and #lightfestival. I actively participate on this this kind of competitions since 2015, I try to analyse what happens every year in this community.
We share information about 43 festivals this year almost twice more than last year (This analysis is limited by posts shared on the facebook page)
2022 announced the return of the major festivals following the diminution of Covid epidemic. However, despite the high number of lights festivals, it appears that the "competition mapping" is no longer popular from the organizers. They have favored a more classical form to reach artists with #opencall or #callforprojects .
The war in Ukraine also penalizes locals festivals like the kyivlightfestival and Odessa Light festival www.facebook.com/lightfest.com.ua . The Art Vision Сontest in Russia is also impacted and cancelled with geopolitical issue and artist boycotts.
The major competition iMapp Bucharest, which had initiated the principle of #winnersleaguebringing together the winners of the main mapping festivals into a big competition on the parliament of Bucharest, unfortunately did not take place in 2022. However, the organizer Maxin10sity Ltd was visible everywhere, including Noor Riyadh Festival currated by Dorothy Di Stefano which has gathered a lot of video mappings from worldwide artists and friends in the same place.
The oldest and most famous competition 1minute Projection Mapping has been held twice this year due to weather conditions. This festival remains one of the best for discovering new styles. They have valued the abstract colored and dynamic work of the Hungarian EPER DIGITAL and the German RESORB who integrate in a smart way the style coming from the generation of images by AI. DECIDE KIT from Thailand also won a prize as well as the public prize - a sign of the strong capacity of Asian artists. Indeed, we also follow the worldwide adventures of the 2021 winners of the 1minPM festival THE FOX, THE FOLKS from Indonesia.
Spanish artists are very popular at the moment with the victory of our friends Hotaru visual guerrilla at the Video mapping contest organized by Video Mapping Festival & Rencontres Audiovisuelles (Antoine MANIER) in Lille. During this Lille competition, Filip Roca - from Montenegro and based in Barcelona - who also signed the mapping of the cathedral Saint Jean at the last Fête des lumières in Lyon - being the second favorite of the jury. And during the Zsolnay Fényfesztivál contest, Los Romeras has put the jury and the public in agreement for the first time. These two festivals (Video mapping contest and Zsolnay light art) are the fairest since they remunerate all the finalists assured to have financial fallouts. This system seems to work and should continue. A great example to follow for others festivals.
Smaller festivals continue their adventure like CosmoLights projection mapping (Nikola Drizi) in Greece, and others follow their example like the new Mapsion (Tiainen Niko) in Finland. There are interesting projects as a first step for new artists before moving to other competitions even though they propose limited prize money and no remuneration or travel invitation for the participants. We hope to see this type of update for the next edition !
Brazil still has his own vibrant microcosm of VJ artists. Several competitions took place there this year like We light Floripa and the FIV in Curitiba. Nevertheless, the multitude of participants and the very limited prize packages put the question of the interest to participate for international artists. Mexico continues the student festival with the Leon Light fest although limited to Mexican students, but it is a great opportunity where the winners will surely become great artists to follow!
Finally, a new kind of competition is taking place in our artistic agendas with the competitions proposed by the Chinese platform MANA - relayed in Europe by Petra Věchtová with prizes and screenings in China at the end. These are new artistic opportunities. And 2023 starts with a mapping competiton during the International Chongqing Light Art Festival.
France is also present this year with the first prize for ATELIER V3at SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE and two public prize by Cindy Lo (Video mapping contest - Lille) and myself Jérémy Oury :-) (Illuminarium art festival - Switzerland).
The BRIGHT FESTIVAL (stefano fake & Claudio Caciolli) also continues its adventure and promotes at each edition a dozen selected artists from a country. They started with Italy, then Germany and France this year. I had the pleasure to be part of the selection to realize an immersive indoor 360° mapping among 9 others french artists. Each edition has strangely corresponded with the domination on several international festivals of artists coming from Italy in 2019 then from Germany in 2021 as we have seen on these annual analysis. Surely the next edition will concern Spanish artists ? Italy also invades the world with big mapping projects involving several Italian artists via their embassies and cultural network. These project have taken place in Mexico or recently in Scotland. It is a great initiative.
Africa is unfortunately once again absent... Well, this is not quite right. There are talented artists, festivals and mapping in several African countries (Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Senegal, ...). Unfortunately, they remain absent from this group, and we don't see so many African artists in international competitions.
Finally, there are many international festivals of light and mapping - I focus mainly in those that have proposed a call for projects in this group. This analysis is therefore limited. There are light festivals in the USA or in the Nordic countries with interesting calls for projects especially in Finland (Lumo Light Festival Oulu - Lumo-valofestivaali, etc) and Norway (Fjord Oslo etc).
France and Germany also hosts many festivals.
Some informations are based on a previous article published in the book Image Beyond the Screen
2021 VIDEO MAPPING DATA ANALYSIS
Artists and festival organizers shared informations about International projection mapping contests and light festivals on this FACEBOOK GROUP since 2018. I am familiar with this contests and every year, I observed what’s happens in the mapping community.
2021 was a strange year where festivals tried to come back for a new edition, with the postponement of the previous programming or with a new edition on different dates compared to the usual ones. Nevertheless, despite their efforts, many festivals have not succeed to have editions in 2021, and we sincerely hope to see them again in 2022 because we miss them Art Vision Сontest, @kyivlightsfestival, LightUp Festival Palas Iasi, Luz y Vanguardias, ... !
Finally, video mapping artists were able to compete on some iconic festivals like the famous 1minute projection mapping which took place this time in Tokyo in December and the Zsolnay Fényfesztivál, this year shifted in October, where I had the opportunity to participate and also admire 2 hours of high quality video mapping from the winners of the previous editions on this magnificent cathedral of Pecs. There was a second edition of CosmoLights Projection Mapping in Greece and a new competition in Asia with BPMC which was opened to international teams. Brazil was full of opportunities for local artists with two festivals reserved for them but also for internationals with a new edition of SSA Mapping (virtual) and a new promising festival I Guará Mapping Festival. Don't forget the León Light Festin Mexico which promote new generation of locals artists. Finally, the first Constellations de Metz competition curated by Jeremie Bellot took place in France with the 2020 selection.
In terms of rules and remuneration systems, we really hope that festivals will continue to reward each work created and distributed. Zsolnay Fényfesztivál and Constellations de Metz competition tried to be fair with a distribution money between each finalists and with an additional cash prize for the winner. The contest organized for the Video Mapping Festival and Rencontres Audiovisuelles also attributes a grant for the finalists on the 2022 competition.
2021, the year was German … by the number of events hosted (5 including Genius Loci Weimar and SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Karlsruhe) and by the number of artists winning prizes : our friends of @ruestungsschmie.de omnipresent in many festivals in 2021 and with jonas.denzel winning the iMapp Bucharest league on the theme “Show must go on”.
But let's not forget that competitions are creative laboratories and not commissioned projects. It is necessary to explore, to experiment, to have fun while looking for new styles and concepts. It is important to question the similarities of style, the classic 3D effects and give a vision of future to this discipline and this art. This is as true for the artists as it is for the jury's choices.
2019 VIDEO MAPPING DATA ANALYSIS
INTERNATIONAL VIDEO MAPPING CONTESTS : opportunity, experimentation and discovery
International projection mapping contests are real platforms for develop art in the mapping sector. Since 2018, we shared informations on facebook page for digital artists from all around the world : FACEBOOK GROUP. I participated in these projection mapping contests as a competing artist since 2015, and I am constantly looking the evolution of projection mapping competition on an international scale.
These contests in the form of calls for projects are real platforms for meetings and development of the projection mapping sector. Indeed, they confront different styles through original proposals from competitors, who come from all over the world and who impregnate their creation with their respective cultures. They thus provide opportunities for artistic experimentation and risk-taking where everyone stands out for their expressiveness and hopes to win the prizes. With these festivals, each year more and more numerous, artists only have the creative aspect to develop. Indeed, the organizer takes care of the technical installation, distribution and preparation of the files necessary to create the projection mapping on the building, including the 3D model and reference photos. These international festivals feature a network of calls throughout the year. The first one was organized by Visualpower and Bordos Artworks. One of the oldest, which still exist, are the Circle of Light in Russia (est. 2011), the 1-Minute Projection Mapping in Japan and the Genius Loci Weimar in Germany (est. 2012). Their organizers are now claiming to receive more than 150 proposals each from more than 30 nations.
PLATFORMS OF CREATIVE FREEDOM
These festivals offer a real artistic variety because the projects, sometimes submitted to a theme, use various aesthetics and creative techniques. Many festivals dedicated to the digital arts fully play this role as sponsors of works, producers and presenters. Indeed, these structures, true platforms for presenting the work of artists, encourage them and allow some of them to emerge. These festivals offer a real artistic variety because they select several screenings using different creative techniques and cultural influences from several continents. These contests thus become meeting places for international artists from diverse backgrounds.
These projects are also beneficial to the spectators since during the same evening, the public can compare different visual and sound artistic proposals. By inviting spectators to vote and decide between artists, these festivals also educate the public, which is becoming more and more demanding. The public can also, like a museum, confront several styles and narratives on the same facade.
The artistic diversity of the proposals makes each contest a real ephemeral open-air museum. For example, at the Girona International Mapping Festival, FIMG, in 2015, there were about 30 projection mappings projected on four buildings in the city, representing more than two hours of artistic proposals. These festivals exist throughout the world and establish a network of calls for projects that are spread over the year. Unfortunately, some festivals are not sustainable and new ones are created every year. Some of these include the Circle of Light in Russia (since 2011), 1-minute Projection Mapping in Japan (since 2012), Genius Loci Weimar in Germany (since 2012), Video Mapping Contest in France (since 2014), IMAPP in Romania (since 2014), FIMG (2014–2016) and Luz y Vanguardias in Spain (since 2016) or Zsolnay Light Art in Hungary (since 2016).
The remuneration of artists is based on a price scale defined by the functioning of the contest. This can be a ranking of the first three projects, or a jury prize. Often, the public is also invited to vote for their favorite project.
While some festivals pay for artists, most do not have the means to bring them in. However, the presence of the contest participants during the screenings is a sign of real recognition of the work accomplished and provokes artistic and professional encounters. Finally, most festivals broadcast the screenings live and then upload a high-definition recording of the screenings to provide promotional material for each participant.
The best cash prizes that have been seen this year are those of the Luz y Vanguardias festival in Salamanca, Spain, with a first prize of 15 000€, or the major IMAPP contest, where ten projects by artists chosen by the jury have been awarded 10 000€ each. The festival also covered their transportation costs so that they could come and participate in the festival. The 1-Min Projection Mapping offers a first prize of 1 000 000 yen / 8 000€. The other festivals have price lists ranging from 500€ to 5 000€.
WHO ARE WE ?
To provide an overview of the motivations of each participant and their artistic profile, a questionnaire was put online in 2018. 21 of the group members responded, allowing the following analysis. Half of the artists surveyed work alone or in pairs with sound/visual and only 10% in teams of more than six people.
Two thirds responded that they participated in between two to three contests each year. One might think that large teams participate in more contest than artists working alone, teams having more staff to handle different projects. This is not true since four of the six participants in more than five contests per year work alone or in pairs. A large majority of our artists say they have won at least one prize in a contest in the past three years. This is due to the fact that several prizes are awarded at each contest, not to mention the audience prize awarded in addition.
The reasons for participation vary. Several artists emphasize the possibility of increasing their portfolio and obtaining visibility because the videos of the screenings are relayed on an international scale. Many participate out of passion for projection mapping creation because the buildings proposed by festivals are often prestigious and have interesting architectures to work on artistically. These contests also encourage meetings between professionals in the field and create common synergies. The wordschallenge, experience, artistic freedom, and opportunity often appear in the answers. Finally, the need to share this artistic practice with as many people as possible was also highlighted, emphasizing the fact that projection mapping is democratic and accessible to all since the screenings take place in the public space.
More than 50% of artists finance their creative period with money earned on other projects, such as VJing, commercial projects, other activities related or not to projection mapping, or with their own funds on their free time. This explains the high number of artists working alone since they do not need to pay a team to respond to these calls for projects. Only teams with more than five people respond that they can make a living from projection mapping, including commercial projects. Most artists do not live off it or complete it with an additional activity, such as that of multimedia artist, lighting technician, university professor, visual and sound creator for the theater.
A small majority of the artists questioned prefer an artistic freedom without a theme imposed on the contests. The others explain that the theme brings, despite different approaches and styles, a global link between the different projections.
It should be noted that the panel is composed mainly of European artists (Germany, Austria, Spain and France as well as from a large community in Eastern European countries such as Hungary and Romania), a third of Asian artists and finally a few representatives from Latin America, North America and the Middle East. There is a lack of African artists on the international scene, while there is a growth in both artists and newly created festivals in Latin America.
2019 looks pretty similar to 2018. 15 contests and 10 open calls about projection mapping were relayed on the group (against 19 and 15 than 2018). But, we see new kind of call : 3 fulldome open call announced (the new immersive drug) and 2 call to artists (with the LimeLigh Academy concept).
There is less contests proposed in 2019, because some festivals are postponed to 2020 (Boréalis), and others could not have new edition like SSA Mapping in Brazil, M3D festival in Italy or the nice Odessa Light festival in Ukraine. The video mapping sector is still precarious and sometimes festivals have to wait 2 years between each edition. But every year, there are some new festivals like : Skopje light art district in North Macedonia, Brillo contest in Italy or the George Town festival in Malaysia. Unfortunatly, there is no festival in Africa. In Latin America, it’s seem hard for them to perpetuating with the political instability (like in Brazil, Ecuador or Mexico).
Germany is one of the countries which hosts the most festivals (5) with Italy (4), but Japan (2 competitions) and the Eastern countries (Romania, Hungary, Ukraine) also have several annual competitions (and not the smalls ones !)
About winning and awarded artists, Italy had an impressive performance in 2019. Michele Pusceddu won the big contest IMAPP (and, before on the year, also the Zsolnay Light Art). IMAPP competition welcomed two more Italians with Antaless visual design, respectively winner of the 1min projection mapping 2018 and Marco Morgese, winner of the Luz y Vanguardias 2019. This festivals forming part of the International Video Mapping competition Winners League (with Kyiv Lights festival, Boréalis and Genius Loci Weimar) the new concept of the big IMAPP competition. DIES won the KYIV 2020’s contest and will already represent Italy during the 2020’s IMAPP. Chinese artists (with LiCheng, Rampages Production, SKGmedia), German teams (with ruestungsschmie.de, RESORB) et Mexican (with NullPixel, AVA animation) were also very present at the 2019 festivals.
Looking at the results of 15 contests held in 2018, we can see a strong presence of the winning European teams. There are five artists from Spain, four from Germany and four from Italy, three from France, 10 from Eastern Europe, Romania and Hungary mainly, and five from Asia, seven from the Americas including three from Mexico and three from Brazil; four from Russia and one from the Middle East.
It should be noted that festival audiences tend to give priority to nationals of their own country, which is true of other types of contest.
EXPECTATION FOR 2020
Spread over the year, projection mapping contests offer artistic opportunities accessible to all and promote experimentation, the discovery of new artists and the diversity of styles. However, most festivals agree that there is increasing competition with a multiplication of teams from all over the world. This contest is beneficial since it forces artists to innovate by proposing original concepts. Nevertheless, the increased difficulty of the contest points to the limit of this mode of participation. The economic model is still not perfect, but some festivals now offer better financial prize and extend the compensation to the 5 or 10 best works as Zsolnay Light Art (1 000€ for each finalist), VIDEO MAPPING CONTEST (6 000€ for each finalist). Indeed, to stand out, artists must spend time on their proposals and this is done, except for award winners or finalists, without financial return. Projection mapping contests are therefore limited by the contest system, which does not pay fair compensation for the work done by each competitor. Although festivals commission and directly finance artists to make unique works, if we want to move the practice of architectural projection mapping out of the spectacular event, we must urgently develop real platforms for exchange, production, distribution and creation on an international scale to make it evolve as an art in its own right.