Every year artists from all over the world come to u19 CREATE YOUR WORLD Festival to show us their ideas, try them and also get inspired to do new Projects. One of them is Mónica Rikić, our guest from Spain and will be showing her project Buildasound. Here she tells us the tale of this idea and what she experienced along the way.
As a kid I remember I was one of whom who believed, that if I repeated three times the magic words before sleep, I’d wake up in a magical world. And although it never happened, the next night I repeated them again, without being defeated by failure.
I also remember that I really wanted to have a dog, and due to the continuing refusal of my parents, I invented a mechanical one based on sticks, ropes that stretched activating wheels that made it walk and cotton to simulate hair (obviously it came out as a very wierd puppy).
One thing was clear: somehow there was a way to reach the impossible, I just had to keep following the yellow brick road.
So when I went to college, it was clear to me: “Mom, I want to be an artist!” So I enroled in Fine Arts University.
Then, and always hand in hand with my friend Lucia Seguramente, we started inventing worlds with surreal videos with whatever we had around. Nobody taught us a the technique and we did not care, we just created our own.
The University gave me the opportunity to travel. I first went to Greece with my good friend David Proto. There we created a blank person: The Grass Man, who became a character made from pieces of a collective mind through a forum where users made him be someone by telling him how to act. There was where I discovered the possibilities of the Internet as a tool.
Then I went to Australia, where I had the opportunity to develop more alternative worlds through new media, and of course discover another great tool for creating.
Back home it became very clear: “Mom, I want to be a programmer!” So I took a very good decision for me: studying the Master in Digital Arts at UPF, where I continued creating new worlds.
There I learned to code. It was hard, and yet sometimes it is. A combination of incomprehensible words and numbers that frustrated all my attempts to draw the damn ball that had to bounce somehow… But of course, it wasn’t a big enough reason to make me quit. Slowly and persistently those strange codes were deciphering and that’s how Buildasound was born.
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The main idea of this project is to show that new technologies can be as soft and cozy as each of the cubes that compose it. You can jump over them without fear of breaking anything unlike usual technological devices. And even that it uses a webcam, it’s tangible and you can hug it, love it or unleash your rage with it as you please.
Buildasound has allowed me to fulfill dreams that I had not even dreamed of before and has taken me to places I did not even know existed before. It has created its own parallel world and has taken me in.
Now, looking to the future everything looks pretty dark. We are mired in a crisis and in my country the government has decided that culture is an unnecessary privilege for our people and, of course, not a valid profession. But after all, can that be a reason to stop inventing a way out? Obviously not.
Now I have the hands on teaching children how to create their own worlds through new technologies with small workshops with my friend Joana Moll, interactive costumes to teach programming basics to children and systems that combine technology with nature to be used in urban gardens. Slowly and consistently. But of course always with humor, mixing art and smiles.That’s how I create my world!
Mónica Rikić (Barcelona 1986) studied Fine Arts in The University of Barcelona until 2009, where she focused her artworks mostly in video art and animation. While she was studying, she made two international residencies: one in the Technical University of Athens, where started working with net art; and the other one in Southern Cross University in Australia, where she focused her work in digital animation and sound. After that, she did a Masters in Digital Arts in the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona where she learned programming and other interactive techniques such as microcontrolers and image recognition. There is where she discovered code as a very poweful artistic language and the one that suited best her needs. She has participated in many international art and music festivals such as SonarKids in Barcelona, UovoKids in Milan or FILE Sao Paulo 2012, TEI’13 Conference and FILE GAMES Rio 2103.