OSCILA STUDIO, LIGHTING AS A PRIMARY EMOTION

Today Thursday, we present in our Barcelona store along with the Loom collective the new Nike ZoomX Vista Grind. Oscila Studio also participates in the event, they’re collaborators of Loom and are responsible for creating the immersive experience with a feminist touch that you’ll be able to see in our store. Oscila Studio arrives at Sivasdescalzo cosigned by a crescendo of projects in which they’ve been carefully and successfully exploring lighting design. We talk to them to get to know their work and the people behind the project, Pol Arroyo and Marc Xaxàs.

Lighting design, at first, might not seem like a particularly appealing profession. There aren’t girls and boys who write essays about how they’d like to become adults who design complicated and artistic lighting sets. And, in fact, it isn’t a particularly popular discipline between teenagers with an artistic flair who are in search of degrees which they can put all of their creativity into. That, however, may end up changing thanks to such interesting visions as the one that Oscila Studio has.

And the career of this lighting studio from Barcelona has been truly meteoric: they started doing lighting for events, from there they ended up working for festivals like Loom or Primavera Sound, and they started to collaborate with musicians that asked for their help for music videos as well as their live performances… And they even made their first self-made production: a short and delicate piece titled Dixa in which they merge dance and lighting.

Who knows, in the future, our children might tell us that they want to become lighting designers when they grow up. Because, in fact, we find ourselves in an area that is full of endless creative possibilities… So, why wouldn’t we want to talk to them about all of this? Well, about all of this and their collaboration with Sivasdescalzo, of course.

On Thursday you’re participating in the first Loom event for Sivasdescalzo… What kind of experience have you prepared?

An immersive experience that challenges the audience and their ways of interacting with the space. The intention is to attack the conventions that revolve around how we interact with one another in exhibiting spaces and for the audience themselves to sense how to walk around and take advantage of the situation.

It will be an event that will celebrate women’s empowerment. How have you explored that direction?

We’ve explored it in a very abstract way. We’re looking for a sensation or a feeling rather than a specific concept. During the whole journey, several barriers are presented to the audience that they have to keep overcoming. Some are tangible, others not as much. In the end, just so it happens in patriarchal conventions, however deeply rooted they are, they prove to be not much more than just light and smoke. It’s up to each audience member to follow their own way with determination, sure of themselves. That’s the most important value we’re following, as well as the basis for empowerment.

Prior to this project, you had already worked for Loom in its most recent edition this year… What did you exactly do at the festival and what was your experience like?

For Loom we designed the whole main stage. Both the lighting and the set design. It was a very painstaking job where we wanted to synthesise all of the things that the festival represents in one space. A heart that beats with art and talent and that connects multiple disciplines and creatives. It was a tough experience, but very gratifying. We had never tried to cover so many different aspects of a production and we went into some unknown areas for us. But we like challenges, and we’re satisfied with the final outcome. You have to venture into unknown areas, otherwise, you’ll end up bored.

You’ve also worked for artists like Halley, North State or Danny L Harle… What is the collaborative process with this type of musicians like?

It is a very tight and intense process. Artists are increasingly more aware of their image, and they don’t leave anything to chance. We love to challenge ourselves creatively-speaking with concepts and aesthetics that are characteristic to the artists and, afterwards, together, we evolve it into new places. Collaborating is a way of covering horizons that you couldn’t have even imagined at first. It’s nice to see how both disciplines go with each other so well.

Your first self-produced project was Dixa, where you explored the connection between lighting and dance along with dancers Clara Torres and Esther Rorifika. What are your conclusions about this exploration?

As it was our first project as Oscila, it was more of a self-exploration of our own selves than a thesis about both disciplines. We knew how light worked, but we needed a vehicle to justify using it. It might seem ironic, but it’s difficult for light to shine by itself. Dancing seemed to us like a beautiful discipline that could be choreographed just like light. It was a challenge in terms of synchronisation and teamwork, which is why in the end we were left wanting to keep experimenting more.

Will there be more self-produced projects coming from Oscila?

Absolutely, We’re always thinking about it. We have a great closet full of adventures and silly ideas that come to us and that we’d like to release in due course. Some of them we think are not feasible right now… But let’s give it time.

What is your dream project or artist you’d like to work with?

We don’t idolise anyone. Obviously, we admire tons of artists who would be an honour for us to collaborate with them. But what we dream of doing is to tell stories that deserve to be told. Running away from assignments and to express ourselves freely. For example, we have a fixation with nature, artificial lighting and points of view. Creating experiences in nature that can be seen from a bird’s eye view is our wet dream.

Lighting design, in the end, isn’t one of the most usual artistic areas… When did you feel the need to devote yourselves to it?

We come from the film world. From the areas of production and lighting, respectively. We both felt creatively frustrated in the classic audiovisual work of the two-dimensional screen. We dreamed of making things that were more experimental and, above all, experiential. We saw that through lighting and the fragmentation of screens, stories could be told in a much more abstract yet closer way than from a traditional flat screen. Well treated lighting appeals to very primary emotions. It directly questions the audience and makes them complicit.

What does lighting design have in comparison to other arts that has you so hooked to it?

It is a discipline that covers many others. On top of that narrative power we mentioned, we love its versatility and the infinity of possibilities it offers. It is a universal language that doesn’t need subtitles or dubbing. Each new project allows us to challenge ourselves even further. We believe that it’s an art where experimentation and the vanguard have to be updated all the time because, if not, creating would lack its meaning to us.