Towards the end of the year, Avenida Paulista transforms into a succession of glittering, festive showpieces, as financial institutions and shopping centres usher in the Christmas season with singing Santas, oversized gift boxes, fake pine trees and squalls of artificial snow. But in November 2013, the gawking crowds will also be enchanted by the presence of video mapping – a technologically-driven art form – competing for attention with the hokey, sometimes sickeningly kitsch Yuletide fare of neighbouring displays.
The elongated pyramidal façade of the monolithic FIESP-SESI building will become the illuminated location of the second edition of the SP_Urban Digital Festival, an open-air event aiming to bring these innovative projected works into the public eye. Making use of the landmark building’s distinctive incline, video mappers will fuse design elements with rhythmic, moving visual effects, bathing the otherwise grey edifice in vivid colour and playing with light to alter perceptions of the construction itself.
Fueling the wonder are the LED-projected transmissions of nearly 4.3bn colour combinations, which, according to co-curator Marilia Pasculli of the art and music production company Verve Cultural, will turn FIESP-SESI into the first and largest digital-format art gallery in Latin America, joining other notable occasional video façades around the world, like the UNIQA Tower in Vienna, Shopping ILUMA in Singapore, and Medialab-Prado in Madrid.
The three-week-long programme includes some of the world's best-known multimedia artists, including US artist James George, Julian Opie from Great Britain and the international collective United VJs. A new feature this year is the viewing spot opposite the FIESP building, on the so-called 'Alameda das Flores' – a 45-metre stretch of pavement, with an LED-lit skate area, and the chance for viewers to interact with the projections.