30-12-2013 | 18.50
With Trouw as their laboratory, Children of the Light’s Arnout and Christopher keep on developing their cross-over creations. Knowing their first show together was for a 2000 people crowd in Paris, with the DARKSIDE project of Nicolas Jaar, we can easily project a bright lighted future for this duo.
You are not really VJ’s, are you?
Arnout: ‘No, we’re not. We came up with this new term: live scenography. It may sound a bit pretentious, but...’
Christopher: ‘...it’s just what it is. The term ‘scenography’ relates to the study and practice of design for performance. Design often has a fixed function. What we do is actually play on stage with light as our instruments.’
Arnout: ‘Normally, when you are a stage designer and the job is done, it’s there and you walk away. And then there’s an operator for the lights during the show. But, especially with the DARKSIDE project, we feel part of the band. What we do live makes a difference.’
But playing at Trouw requires a different approach, right?
Christopher: ‘A concert is about 60+ minutes and then it’s over. You have a completely different attention from the viewer than for instance in a club, even though the people at Trouw expect a visual experience as well. To play at Trouw is such a challenge, because it’s so good what is already there. Meeus van Dis has created something truly unique there. You really have to push the boundaries in a different way.’
Arnout: ‘Somehow we try to think not in terms of video, light, decor or projection but in how to use them all in a hybrid way. We mix everything up.’
Christopher: ‘Those technical things behind it are not that important to show. It’s about creating an atmosphere or emotion. We take people away from where they are. You go to dance, the music takes you somewhere else, and visuals can amplify that moment or compliment it. Trouw is our playground, they give us the freedom to experiment.’
Arnout: 'Trouw also helps us with investments. Like our relatively expensive 'disco-grid' project, consisting of 161 mirror-balls, has been co-produced by Trouw.’
I wrote down the question ‘Is less more?’, but now that I hear you talking about 161 mirror-balls I’m hesitating to ask it...
Arnout: ‘We feel strongly related to the philosophy of form follows function and less is more, but...’
Christopher: ‘...we’re maximal minimalists, we try to understand the object’s functions and possible characters it can have. To use 1 mirror-ball or 161 mirror-balls, it is still the same object and has the same function or characteristics. There’s a lot of power and magic in repetition, and that doesn’t mean that it is ornamental. It serves a purpose. When I say Trouw is our playground, for me that doesn’t mean what we do there is a less finished or a smaller thing. It just means it allows you to do things you can’t do elsewhere.’
Is it too simply said that Christopher is the analogue and Arnout the digital guy of Children of the Light?
Arnout: ‘We have our backgrounds, of course. Christopher in operating dia-projectors and me in operating video projectors, so it makes sense to keep those roles. But Christopher now has the same software I use on his computer, so in the near future we can switch if we want. We’re aiming to be more versatile.’
Christopher: ‘All the elements we’re using, hardware, software, whatever technology, it’s not really important for the bigger picture. We complement each other on an artistic level and share a vision.’
Arnout: ‘I’m quite an analogue guy, actually.’
Christopher: ‘He is a dinosaur.’
Arnout: ‘When I met Christopher I was just going back to the abstract, more graphical, world after having worked a lot with photographic images. The point in time when we met felt really right, as Christopher is actually a graphic designer. Now we’re working together for over a year, and exploring new territories with each other. To be residents at Trouw gives us a rhythm of producing, a monthly challenge. I really look forward to make a résumé of all the things we did, and make a nice showcase on our website.'
Did you know that your domain name used to be a website for buying DVDs to get your kids off drugs?
Both: ‘Really? Good!!’
Text: Tessa Velthuis