Talking with Daniel Canogar
Daniel Canogar's work Film Trilogy opened last Sunday, July 29th at Montalvo Arts Center. Canogar is a multidisciplinary artist from Madrid. We had the opportunity to get some thoughts about Film Trilogy and the methods behind his work:
-Can you describe your Biennial Project?
DC: I'm presenting three installations that form what I call The Film Trilogy, at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga. These installations repurpose obsolete technologies related to the history of cinema: 35 mm celluloid film, VHS video tape and DVDs. Video projections cast on these different media attempt to reignite life back into them. With The Film Trilogy I pay homage to technologies that held an important role in our recent past, while simultaneously trying to tap into unexplored creative potential held within technologies that we have discarded too hastily.
-How are you "Seeking Silicon Valley?"
DC: The Silicon Valley— and, more broadly, the California Bay Area — has a rich history of technological innovation related to the film industry. Asearly as 1872, Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic experiments under the patronage of railroad tycoon Stanford created short animated sequences that emerged as a milestone in the incipient emergence of film. Many of the earliest movie studios were built around the Bay Area. The largest and most famous was Essanay Studios, located in the town of Niles, which produced several films in Los Gatos in 1910-11. Iconic silent film actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were among the many notable guests who visited Senator James Duval Phelan at Montalvo. Legendary Hollywood actresses Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland’s earliest performances took place at the estate in the 1930s, under the direction of their mother Lilian Fontaine, director of the Los Gatos Theater Workshop and an acclaimed actress in her own right. Today, the Bay Area film industry consists primarily of animation studios. Companies such as Pixar and Lucasfilm have merged art with innovation in computer technology to revolutionize animation, special effects, and sound. This legacy of cinematic invention and Silicon Valley’s broader tradition of fast-paced innovation have served as inspiration for me, and is how I am "Seeking Silicon Valley".
-Why are you excited to be part of the ZERO1 Biennial?
DC: Silicon Valley as a backdrop for the ZERO1 Biennial gives the event an edge over other media-related exhibitions. It is exciting to have my work seen in a location that has given birth to many of the tools that I utilize in my art. I am also excited to be showing with a very distinguished roster of fellow artists with similar interests to mine.
-Like the entrepreneurs and technologists who have helped make the region famous, artists are often innate risk-takers. How do you innovate and infuse risk-taking and experimentation into your work?
I try to mix playfulness with rigorous prototyping: I take risks in the idea-phase of the process, during which "anything-goes", followed by a more analytical phase during the implimentation of these initial ideas. The child begins, the adult completes. I'm also fascinated with how successive prototypes of an installation evolve from an initial seed-idea: it's fascinating to see the materialization of something as abstract as an idea come to life.