The Elman Project 2019 will take place for the second time in the cooperation School of Art, Nanyang Technological University Singapore and University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg. Responsible for the projects at the respective locations are Prof. Ina Conradi , project lead Singapore, Associate Professor NTU Singapore and Prof. Verena Kraemer , Head of Program Film + Motion Design / Campus Hamburg. Initiator and overall management of the project is the Hamburg media artist and curator Thorsten Bauer.
The Elbphilharmonie Media Wall is an excellent example of how digital surfaces can be used as an architectural stylistic device. The function of the façade as a communication medium has been integrated in a contemporary version, as a digital mirror of the building. The LED façade installed in the entrance area on an area of 18.5m x 4.5m is not to be confused with any large screen. In the sense of a classical façade, the surface reflects the attitude and content of the building to the outside – digital and moving. Architectural stylistic devices, colours and forms of the building are taken up in graphic compositions as well as current video recordings of the monthly programme. Aesthetics and content provide a mirror of what the building stands for: international, artistically high-quality music culture.
The creation of the content, however, presents the designers with a completely new task. Where previously animations and video contributions were produced for conventional and location-independent screens, all contents of the media wall are now in direct spatial and communicative relation to the building. The content to be created for the media wall creates and defines the spatial feeling of the entrance area of the building. In this sense, animations have to be conceived and designed. Designers no longer build videos, they design a façade, they create spaces.
The international student project ELMAN was explicitly set up in 2017 to address these issues. The students are to learn the architectural handling of moving images on the basis of real examples. The name of the project ELMAN is composed of the two installations that form the practical centre of the project. The Mediawall Elbphilharmonie and the MAN Nexus installation in Singapore. Both LED Walls have a similar format and are similarly positioned in semi-public space. The students of both classes are based at their universities at the Faculty of Art and Design and train mainly in the use of 2D and 3D animation techniques.
Like last year, the classes from Singapore and Hamburg have a common theme to which they develop their graphic animations site-specifically. This year, the festival theme „Silk Road“ is in many ways a fitting theme for this cooperation. The theme connects the two port cities, Singapore and Hamburg, in their key role as world trade centres. Their geographical locations mark poles between which the historic trade route is opening up. As a result, we could look forward to graphic interpretations of the same theme, created from two very different perspectives.
The Silk Road Music Festival naturally focuses on the secondary effect of international trade – the exchange of country-specific culture.
In this sense, the Elman Project 2019 is an exciting cooperation project. The interpretation of the task reflects the different cultures and aesthetic influences. But commonalities also become visible. In both places cultural techniques are cited that mark historical aesthetics. The brushstroke of Far Eastern calligraphy was just as often quoted as paintings of oriental pottery. Again and again, these historical quotations were linked with the form and materials of the Elbe Philharmonic. 3D animated collages of Far Eastern aesthetics and contemporary Western architectural art
Thorsten Bauer: Initiator, artistic director, curator Elbphilharmonie Mediawall
Project website : https://www.elman.online/