Sammy Chien was awarded a residency grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and the 5th International Cultural Exchange Grant funded by the National Arts & Cultural Foundation (Taiwan).
Taiwan Digital Arts & Contemporary Dance Co-creation Research Project
化交流, 台灣 – 巴賽隆納 數位藝術Χ當代舞蹈 共創研發計 畫
Political tension was at a peak between the Catalonian and Spanish governments. Taiwanese artistic producer, Huang Wen, Invited Sammy to participate in an exchange because Catalonia and Taiwan share similar experiences of political oppression. Sammy would like to share his research visit and artists residency in Barcelona.
There were three main components of the residency; the studio time at El Graner (a centre for creation of the body and movement); attendance of the MIRA Digital Arts Festival; and a collaboration with choreographer Manuel Rodriguez.
About El Graner
El Graner is framed within the Art Factories program of the Barcelona City Council and is managed by el Mercat de les Flors, with the collaboration of the APDC (Catalonia’s Dance Professionals Association) and the ACPDC (Catalonia’s Professional Dance Companies Association). El Graner aims at having an impact on different contexts of the creative fabric acting through several different work lines. The main areas of work of el Graner are: Creation, internationalization, thought, education and proximity. El Graner hosts dance artist residencies, develops artistic cooperation projects with other cultural agents and promotes the integration of the center within its neighborhood, among other objectives. As a center for creation, it offers the possibility of learning about artistic forms and practices and emphasizes an inclusive organizational structure that keeps a close contact with the audience through local activities.
MIRA Digital Arts Festival
MIRA is a digital arts festival based on three connected areas: exhibition, divulgation and education, and is held annually in Barcelona (since 2011) and Berlin (since 2016). Electronica, virtual reality, 3D sounds, 360º concerts, performances and screenings, robotics, immersive and interactive experiences, and new space, stage and light design are the anchors of a highly visual proposal. MIRA wants to make the audience feel closer to several worlds of tech creation within a digital art event aiming to become a platform for new talents as well as a showcase for world-known artists, and also create unique immersive experiences through tech innovation and live visual plus music interlace. MIRA promotes artistic collaborations and boosts the creation of new projects supporting relations between collectives, organizations and artists from the digital arts and technology fields. The non-profit feature of the festival helped by volunteers, makes the results being re-invested aiming to promote digital culture in the most sustainable way.
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thank you Mira Festival for inviting me to experience their wonderful programming this year, you can really see how much work and thoughtfulness that’s put in, especially the use of the space and the diverse programming! in such a beautiful warehouse space, setting big music & AV acts (big sound, 3 ch. video/beautiful long stripe projection), new media installations (epic lighting sequence and interactive drone!), dome projection (non-permanent setup in an outdoor area!) and there’s a room with 32 ch. sound for live DJ/electronic music acts, that’s pretty nuts, imagine dancing to 32 ch. of electronic/dance music. congrats to the festival team! #barcelona #bcn #mirafestival #digitalarts #newmedia #liveAV @mirafestival
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so amazed that I can bump into my friend @tzusing_ in Barcelona too, of course he’s headlining the Friday night’s program on such a huge stage. It’s just crazy how just a few years ago, I was chilling with him in Taichung when I was mounting the installation work with @chimerikcollective, now he’s probably one of the most up-and-coming name in the European techno scene/ one of the biggest name in Asia, and as an Asian DJ, it’s really so much tougher to be recognized and appreciated on stage, since the techno (and most of the entertainment/cultural sectors) are still so driven by Eurocentric/white presence. I’m so proud of what’s he’s accomplished, it’s not just making music/performances and doing good shows, it’s also decolonizing lots of old BS that we’re still suffering from. was so great to get to hang out with such a big DJ now, but still like a human-being, hearing him out about how he still gets nervous before playing and he’s sensitivity towards the audience, how exhausting being on long tour is, and how he plays street fighter as a warm up before he performs on stage lol. well, i gotta say, he killed the stage, he moved the crowd and made everyone dance hard from the top to the end. the fact that he is constantly creating new set and still innovating/experimenting new ideas, it really translated. so proud of this artist friend. #DJ #techno #electronicmusic #mirafestival #tzusing #decolonize @mirafestival #barcelona
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after Mira Festival from 5 pm – 2:30 am, closed by amazing set by Tzusing, we jumped on the night bus to go to Apolo (i think arca was playing), the club was a dance hall from the 1950s, so the space is really unique! quite a warm/retro vibe, packed with ppl dancing at 6am, very impressed. after I woke up the next day, I found another rally for Catalonia, this time we had 700,000 people showed up, probably filled more than 30 blocks of street, I couldn’t get to the main speaker/event, but it was amazing to see this many people standing up for their rights/to free the political prisoners. Then I attended another really interesting festival—Fenòmens, quite mixed programming from dance/movement/video installation to interdisciplinary queer cabaret. rodrigo ’s performance was really strong, engaging and quite unique with his own musical, movement and performance language. the festival found a way to have smooth transitions between each acts in so many different spaces, clever! so much happening in #Barcelona. such wide latitude of things. super enriching weekend. just wanted quickly to share this with the world. #performance #festival #enriching #weekend #arts #artsandculture #Fenomens #queer #interdisciplinary #cabaret #socialmovement @rodrigocuevasg @moritzbarcelona
Artist Exchange with Manuel Rodriguez
Manuel Rodriguez was born in Ubeda (Jaen), studied Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance at the Conservatory of Dance Luis del Rio de Cordoba and Royal Conservatory of Mariemma Dance in Madrid, also Fine Arts at the Escuela de Arte Nº 10 in Madrid.In 2010 he created his first solo entitled “Limits” with which participates in different festivals and with that obtained several prizes in international competitions.1º Prize in International Choreography Contest “Burgos / NYC”, 1º prize in the Choreographic Contest of Madrid 1º Prize in Gdansk International Dance Contest 2014 in Poland. In 2015 he made a piece for Tanzcompanie of Graz Opera in Austria co-directed with Guido Sarli. Recently he nominated for the Critics Awards in the category of Best Dancer for the piece “Voronia” (La Veronal Company)Manuel Rodriguez throughout his career he has collaborated with many different companies and choreographers. He has also developed his role as a visual artist and graphic designer in charge of the image of all your personal stage projects and other dance companies. Practice mural painting with different techniques specializing in aerosol. Since 1997 conducts numerous events and exhibitions has been in charge of various projects and interior decoration.
Sammy visited numerous festivals, performance venues, symposiums; participated in political rallies and met significant artists, as well as participated in a meaningful show-and-tell sharing session in El Graner. Below are some selected photos to show some of the fruitful time during the residency/research visit.
Sammy also had a deep exchange with local artist Manuel. They shared their artistic vision, ideas and conceptualization of a new project together that aims to co-partner with El Graner, Mira Festival and Fly Global.
Sammy on his trip:
“This trip was very fruitful and inspiring. I got to attend so many festivals, shows and exhibitions, really got to see a lot of new things, absorbed lots of new information. I also made lots of new contacts and great connections from artists, curator, producers and even architects both locally in Barcelona and internationally from around the world.”
Sammy sharing his solo research:
“Working on researches with motion tracking (skeleton tracking) and integrating Qi Gong/energy work. Also working on live text, sound, video & movement integrating with digital technology as new ways of story telling format that revolves issues on migration, racism and other sociopolitical perspectives.”
Artist Sharing Session
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so i got to catch up on social media during long flights to Barcelona. it’s been an amazing past couple months, full of fruitful creations, surprises and new openings/solid steps! I’m so lucky that on my VERY first day, I got to be part of a huge rally, as part of this social movement that has been happening for Catalonia, at this very moment, in Barcelona. I can totally empathize with their situation, since I was part of a social movement in Taiwan a few years ago, we go thru similar types of political oppression. powerful change that can happen anytime. #powerofthepeople #socialmovement #rally #protest #catalonia #independence #spain #barcelona #residency #research
Report Published on National Arts & Cultural Foundation (Taiwan)
5th international cultural exchange grant 國家文化藝術基金會2017年度第五期 國際文化交
台灣 – 巴賽隆納 數位藝術X當代舞蹈 共創研發計畫
關於El Graner 當代舞蹈編創中心
El Graner是巴賽隆納市政府文化部門「藝術工廠計畫」(Art Factories Program)下，針對身體相關的語彙及動態發展的研究中心，
關於Mira數位藝術節(Mira Digital Arts Festival)
下午三點觀賞Guy Nadar & Maria Campos’s company彩排，意見回饋交流討論；參加Naomi Klien’ 以及巴塞隆那市長的公開論壇；巴塞隆納舞蹈劇院（mercat de les flors）觀賞Cos- Arxiu Transmissio Memoria (關於如何把有經驗的藝術家作品，傳承給比較年輕的藝術家，
午後參與政治抗議活動；參與Fenomens festival – 包含各種行為藝術形式的多元藝術節，很好的策展概念，
拜訪聖家堂及高地其他作Park De La Ciutadella；前往Hiroshima觀賞