When I was a teenager I heard stories about an old craft that involved overhead projectors and liquid dyes.
I couldn't find any relevant information at the time, but being a psychedelic youngster I kept those stories well stored in my head as I experimented with theatre, music and performative arts.
Years later I started including visual performances in my shows, but more technologically oriented.
At some point I started wondering if now there would be more material available for research and voilá! I found the Psychedelic Light Show Preservation Society and loads artists to start learning from.
My first approach was through a tutorial by Steve Pavlovsky.
Im really inspired by lots of artists in many different ways. Really hard question since I constantly change aesthetic and therefore main referents. To include a few, I learned a lot through the work of Curtis Godino, Lance Gordon, Joshua White, Steve Pavlovsky and Roman de Giuli.
I mostly work with experimental electronic artist Julian Gaustein who is based in Buenos Aires with me.
I did visual sets for local underground bands but since I started recently, COVID situation made it impossible to do anything but studio recording.
Im part of a local OHP collective called CAOS (Chaos) among many friends and artists here in Buenos Aires.
I've worked with them in several ocations mostly in non conventional venues such as factories, streets and public spaces.
It all started while I was brewing beer at Strange Brewing and realized the shapes that appeared on the boiling kettle were quite psychedelic.
I started bringing my camera to work and recorded everything cool that happened inside the vessels. Then I started editing the footage and brewing my own visuals.
My Light Show was formed last year, mid 2019 and I'm very active, although not doing performances currently due to COVID situation. I work a lot on my studio so I'm preparing to jump back on the scene as soon as it's possible,
An interesting story...
Over the course of last summer (just before Lockdown started), I spent two months traveling through mountains and rivers, carrying a portable liquid light set.
I made it all so that it would work on batteries for around 3 hours, super light weight, with an action cam, a laser projector and a portable light.
I made nearly 15 shows over the course of the trip, getting to project over giant rocks in the middle of waterfalls, inside an ancient cave where local indigenous used to go for shelter and many other natural venues.
Sometimes I'd spend 2 or 3 days projecting and sleeping in a distant zone before going back to the villages. I charged my set with the battery from my motorbike, so I could recharge it even while into the wild.
I started with a 450W OHP I was lucky enough to find in my local ebay. These sorts of devices are not abundant in my country, the same goes for everything light show related. Not too much of a local scene yet sadly.
I started filming my overhead since I was already filming brews and realized I could do alternative light sources for the backlight and start a recording dynamic rather than a performance one.
I continued to use my OHP for collective actions with CAOS collective or while going as a duo with Tony, but mainly specialized in digital set ups using a camera and backlights instead of the OHP.
My current rig consists of a Lumix G7 mirrorless cam and a Christie LX1000 digital projector.
In my travelling experience I used pretty much everything the landscape offered. Dead ants that commited suicide in a detergent recipient, flowers, leaves.
Since I'm usually using a camera, this allowed me the possibility to explore using light from above to reveal the shapes beyond the silhouettes.
I also spend a lot of time in hardware stores seeking for interesting ingredients, so far "Screw Loseners" have been interesting to play with, as well as "Sewing Machine Oils' '. Its a never ending theme.
At the start I used one projector, now I am up to 4, but more are coming !!
Claudio S. Armengol - October 30th 2020