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Artist Spotlight: Daniel Long

Daniel is a master of cognitive illusions and high-tech wizardry. While in some works he combines technology with the art of deception, in others, he unveils the material apparatus of the medium and its ideological constructs. Using the technique of projection mapping, a skill he has refined over the course of eight years, his current project focuses on providing a critique of man’s dependence on machine learning and artificial intelligence .

What exactly is projection mapping? Projection mapping is the process of transforming regular facades, such as industrial landscapes, into surfaces for the projection of imagery. Using light as his paintbrush, brick walls, glass and other surfaces become his canvas. Daniel uses live animation and programming software in order to create complex visual forms, altering various parameters in order to portray the illusion of movement in space.

Daniel was born in New York City to a family of second generation refugees of Vietnamese and Cambodian descent. Decisively, it was when he began to travel that his creative pursuits really took off. He lived in Spain, Denmark and traveled around Southeast Asia before settling in Vietnam in 2011. It was there that he became involved with a close knit artistic community which gave him the momentum to start creating.

He began experimenting with convergences of art and technology and various inter-media practices. While projection mapping usually involves the projection of pre-digitally rendered imagery, Daniel became interested in the ‘live’ aspect of real-time animation. This places the work on another ontological plane. It exists only in that moment, thus introducing an element of performativity to his practice. An example of such work involved painting with dyes onto the surface of an overhead projector; this would then be transposed into live visuals on a screen.

He was also interested in exploring the interplay of audio-visual narratives via the creation of immersive experiences which combined multi-sensory elements. In 2013, he co-founded the company Live Audio Visual (LAV). LAV collaborated with local events and electronic musicians through creating live visual effects. In the electronic dance music community, it has become increasingly common for DJ’s to accompany their music with synced visuals, paving the way for more compelling live performances. However, when Daniel began collaborating on these projects, the idea was relatively new.

But it was the ability of illusion augmented technology to play on his surrealist fascination with magic which intrigued Daniel the most. Perhaps the most apt example of this was his Infinity Box. It was an immersive sculptural installation involving moving LED lights and multiple mirrors, creating the optical illusion of cosmic space. In past events, he has also mapped a series of moving images onto a glass window, as well as constructed 3D geometry such as cylinders and cubes. This involved the technical precision of aligning the parameters of the projector with the object. Laughingly, he says the resulting effect, “really freaked people out.”

Daniel also experimented with the art of anti-illusion. He began manipulating video tapes through bending and breaking the film while it was playing, creating static and rollover effects. This filmic reflexivity, similar to structuralist and avant-garde cinema practices of the 1920s and 1930s, worked to demystify the viewing process, exposing the material apparatus which underpins its production.

In 2016 Daniel moved back to New York, where a talented painter named Cruz was to become his mentor. This was to have a significant impact on the conceptual trajectory of his art. He began to focus more closely on ideas and what lies beyond the aesthetic.

So what now? His on-going projects with Pilotenkueche will take a decisive step away from animation through the creation of a short film. This film intends to explore modern ramifications of technology, while continuing to experiment with the art of illusion through projection mapping techniques. 

Written by: Ellisha Walkden


You can see Daniel’s work in the following Pilotenkueche International Art Program shows:

Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone 

Vernissage: Sat 18 May 2019, 7PM
Open: Sun 19 – Sun 2 June 2019, 10AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig

Wrestling with Impermanence 

Vernissage: Fri 21 June 2019, 7PM
Open: Sat 22 – Wed 26 June 2019 1PM-5PM
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany
Performance: To be announced

Artist spotlight: Amanda Struver

Each day Amanda sits facing her studio window, legs crossed, listening intently to her big black headphones as she researches and gathers her materials.  Her studio has two shovels, a pink sparkly pig mask, sardine tins painted white, a tripod and other objects that don’t seem connected. It is her effervescence that fills the room.  Amanda Struver considers any given space she occupies as a part of her practice. She continually thinks of ways to contextualize ideas and objects within the given situation, as she uses boundaries of place and the body, concepts of disarray and dysfunction, as tools for her work.

Amanda understands her practice as manic. She is continually working through multiple projects at once. However, each idea is linked by questions of various dualities, such as; personal vs universal; animal vs. human; nothing vs everything; dirty vs sterile.  These questions began with the exploration of her body and the ways in which one is to behave or not behave, based on the cultural/social beliefs and norms.

She does not prefer being identified in one form or to belong to any one category, but rather she frees herself by revealing different performances of alternative selves. Examples of these performances are Pool Boi– where she had the chance to care for a pool, she performed and logged entries on Instagram of her life poolside, and Scum– another performance in which she walked around the crowds of the gallery either noticed or neglected by them and created an atmosphere that tested their tolerance through smell and behaviour.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program or supplied by the artist

Order vs chaos is another duality she heavily worked through. Over the course of seven months she built up a space composed of three walls in her given studio, called a “set”, and filled it with various objects, creating different scenarios.  It evolved to her entering the space and recording her actions, which ranged from sitting on a block of lard, crushing eggs between her armpits, and pouring milk on the carpet only to absorb it back onto a rag until full and repeat. Through the repetition of a simple task or motion she lost sense of time and was transported out of the situation of the “set”.  By bringing focus to repetition, she provokes comfortability in regularity.

“It is easy to exist within a routine, and I wonder how does this influence an experience of a reality?”

While at Pilotenkueche, Amanda will be continuing to process through a few different projects, and one that is specific to the context of this residency- in which she will be digging a hole under a bridge for Sad Baby. The hole will be dug for a set number of hours, each day. In conjunction, she will be doing a series of writings for the situation of Sad Baby, who is all of us and none of us. Through this work she will suggest a notion of routine, while emulating desperation felt from doing it all for nothing.

written by mihyun maria kim


Come and see what Amanda creates in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

Fast Kotzen 

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Open:  24 – 27.03.19 17h-20h
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany