Fringe Uncut Ep.6: cloud.torrent

Get to know the artists of Buffer Fringe 2023 up close!

Fringe Uncut blog series aims at peaking into the backstage of the 10th edition of the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival, taking place from the 4th until the 8th of October, including parallel activities and workshops.

This edition hosts Shameru Collective answering questions about their performance “cloud.torrent” at Buffer Fringe 2023, their inspiration and more. Read on and get yourself ready to immerse into the world of Buffer Fringe!

Q. Please introduce yourself/your group.

We are Shameru Collective (CY)! A multi-disciplinary collective of friends (Costas Philippou, Lefteris Ioannou, Achilleas Georgiou, Kostantinos Apostolou, and friends) including artists, scientists, and researchers, looking to use technology to synthesize art to address some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Q. Can you describe your performance? (the topic you focus on, the main message of the performance, etc)

“Cloud.torrent” is a multimedia and interactive installation consisting of a three-dimensional cloud installed on the roof. It is an invitation for interplay where viewers’ interaction produces sound and movement. Real-time interactive visuals processed using state-of-the-art computer vision models are projected on the cloud. It is a multi-sensory installation that invites the viewers to participate in the discovery or the invention of the “Turning Point”.

Q. What was the inspiration behind this piece?

We are deeply inspired by the processes of nature and the physical laws governing not only our natural systems, but also our social interactions and daily activities. The multifaceted interpretations that are enclosed in the term “Turning Point” has led us to an unavoided connection between technology and art, movement and sound, sensation and perception. Our installation aims to spread the message that similarly to nature, “turning point” is not an event of the future, but a happening of the present. All stored in our collective memory that is represented by the most powerful contemporary storage device.

Q.  Can you tell us a bit about your creative process developing the piece?

Driven by curiosity, we explored different media, materials and means to come up with the final idea of the installation. As our main goal was to create a multi-sensory, immersive experience, we experimented with an array of software and hardware combinations. Our final work is an evolved piece that combines different forms of mediums and similarly to the technological progress, this too, is a work in progress that facilitates our learning, embraces our evolution and stimulates our curiosity.

Q. How would you describe your performance in relation to the festival theme “Turning Point”?

The installation points to a collective cloud. A monument implanted in the buffer zone’s sky, storing all our vulnerable memories. The formed cloud is phenomenically still, yet unbounded and infinitely present. It’s us, the compressed water vapour, projected onto our common sky. It is a repository of our anamneses. Despite floating in the sky, it can cement a change, a “Turning Point”. The projected real-time visuals on the cloud provides a means to imagine the physical and intangible space between us as it is possible to exist. It attempts to construct the statement that Art itself entwined with technology, is the “Turning Point”. The utilisation of new technologies, as a meta-level approach, can be catalytic for the discovery (or the invention) of the “Turning Point”. The “Turning Point” is not an event or a handshake. It’s fused into people and it’s imaginable by the convergence of art and technology.

Q. Buffer Fringe Festival celebrates its 10th edition this year, yet considering Fringe tradition, it’s quite young. It’s also defined as a festival with an aim to contribute to peacebuilding, in a divided country. What are your thoughts on this, were you aware of the situation in Cyprus before applying, and what are your expectations as a participating artist?

Born in the Greek-speaking community of Cyprus, the Buffer Fringe Festival has provided us with the opportunity to participate in the attempt to establishing peace in our so vainly divided country. Experiencing the situation in Cyprus from first-hand, we aim to contribute our thoughts and interpretation of the current status quo, with the intention to offer the audience an illustration of how our collective memory and our present doings can shape a more promising future.

Q.  What should the audience expect?

We hope that the audience will have the opportunity to be immersed in a multi-sensory experience. By engaging with new media, we hope to provide the audience with a real-time interactive experience where one’s senses are challenged and imagination is stimulated. The audience can expect to interact with sound, visuals and movement of the installed cloud that symbolizes our collective memory and encloses an avenue for imagining or inventing the Turning Point.

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