After months of wait and longing the day has finally come for Offf festival 2013 to kick of. Everything is on place, the sun was shining, speakers rocking and the crowd promptly queuing outside the amazing DHUB, host of this year’s design convention. After the first couple of introductory talks with partners and sponsors, the festivals could finally start to unfold presenting the demanding audience with juicy selection of artists that you will hardly be able to find anywhere else in the world all at the same time.
First one on the stage to break the ice was Iceberg, an astonishingly young and clever Barcelona based studio. The project is a platform that aims at being the next level research tool, where the user is allowed to save all its links, text, photos and researches with different tags, categories, dates and different projects.
In an interview they gave me they unravelled the secret behind the name:
“Iceberg is a visual metaphor of the intrinsic value of all the immense work going on behind the scenes that allows the final work to happen.”
Special mention have to be made for the fantastic work behind the opening titles by MS.take, the studio that helped make Offf possible- taking care of the titles as well as the whole graphic identity of the festival.
Right after jumped on the stage is this couple of sparkling Mexican artist that enthused the audience with their fulfilling portfolio of works. Cocolab, is a multidisciplinary studio that works in a fine field that sits right between art, theatre, interaction, design and dance.
They explained all the secrets and anecdotes behind their projects, specifically “Beats of hidden cells”, where a massive installation got stopped in the US border control. Apparently, “It looks like a bomb” according to the American police office. Another project that really struck the whole audience is a musical art installation called Disarm where they recycled weapons that the Mexican police would confiscate and reinvented them in this majestic music instrument, controllable and playable from software’s like Ableton.
Now, on the massive “open room” stage is time for the ever fresh and creative SerialCut from Madrid. The gave a fulfilling insight on all their creatives with clients like Adobe, Golf or MTV. A technique full of juicy creativity combined with fine technical experiments and practices. Very inspiring and enlightening all the pictures and explanations related to the backstage and processes behind each single project. Inspiring.
Then, it came the time to satisfy the needs of all the generative artists present at off festival- it was the time for Santiago Ortiz to jump on the stage and amaze us all with a comprehensive collection of works ranging from personal project involving Lost (yes, the series) to his “personal knowledge database” project where you can track all the article he’s been through. Newk is another must-check project involving data and conversations amongst all the twitter employee.
Then, it came the time for her, the unique and incredible Jessica Walsh, the new partner of Stefan Sagmeister. Personally, expectations were very high since she is one of my creative muse since ever. I’m glad to say that she’s smashed all my expectation going well beyond anything expected. An Offf-tailored presentation full of insight, behind the scene, reference, small stop motions and video created specifically for this talk. Truly professional as well as creative. An incredible career started at the age of 13 when she was making something like 40.000 clicks a day on her website carrying on through Pentagram and finally Sagmeister. Sagmeister that, not surprisingly, after only 2 two and a half years working together decided to start a partnership with her giving the studio a new whole new aura and freshness. She went through and incredible array of project with an insight on her latest exciting new project due to be launched next week called “40 Days of dating”. Keep tuned and check it out early next week.