Situated in the city of Rome, this event has been held since 2015. The Solid Light Festival seeks to investigate the new frontiers of digital art applied to architecture and urban spaces, and also creates a public cultural event open to everyone in the city. Paradoxa and Phasing Rain were presented as projects where the space designs and sceneries merged together with an audio-visual and interactive atmosphere, which allowed viewers to be immersed in a deep visual and sensory journey.
Under the concept of “time travelers” Paradoxa , a 3D video mapping, was projected on the imposing Palazzo Eni building. Located in front of the lake Eur, and considered to be the third tallest building in Rome, Palazzo Eni housed on its facade a show that offered all the spectators the immersion within an ontological paradox, having a temporary journey as its main topic.
The ontological paradoxes are situations that occur when traveling among the present, past and future, generating contradictions. The paradox of predestination occurs when a time traveler gets trapped in a cycle of events that predestines him to continue traveling in that temporality. Human beings travel from the present to the future, to gather information and then make trips to the past modifying the time with the information that was collected. This will change people’s future due to past variations, thus creating a new time phase: Paradoxa.
Moving through time has always been a fascinating topic. This video mapping is presented as a journey that allows us to see and experience different temporary moments, a cycle without beginning or end, where we are transported to the past, present, future and beyond. It shows us an uncertain future. The projection is divided into four different moments that repeats using different variations and enhanced with sound. The sound design is created by Unai Lazcano, who is currently working with the renowned Spanish singer Rosalia on her world tour.
The building was transformed into time leaps that helped people to imagine what the years to come would look like. The objective for the audience was to ask the following questions: Can we modify our future with our current questions? Can we change our present by travelling back in time? Can we stop existing if we changed our past?
This project was premiered at the Luma Festival 2019, in New York. A month later, it was adapted for the Solid Light Festival, shown at the Guido Reni District, a former military barracks that was reinterpreted and refurbished in 2016.
Phasing Rain aims to create an immersive installation using water and global warming as its main theme. The installation consists of 26 LED bars that imitate the movement of the raindrops, each bar synchronized with the rhythm of the original soundtrack. Solid Light visitors were able to walk and perceive light and music at their own pace. For Onionlab, music is a source of inspiration and in many cases the fundamental initial kick to generate the perfect link with the scenographic designs.
In Phasing Rain each column and speaker are joined synesthetically (visually and acoustically) with an individual drop note, which together lead the visitor to an immersive experience. These 26 drops of water evolve in synchronized patterns that change to an arpeggio. With the phase change, extensive spatial experience is explored suggesting perceptual instability as a metaphor of the uncertain future.
The installation is inspired by the minimalist composer Steven Reich. Reich used the speech of the priest Brother Walter, who in turn was talking about the flood in the Bible and Noah’s Ark to warn society about the possible end of the world due to the Cold War in the 60s. Reich used two magnetic tapes to repeat identical speech loops in stereo, and with the accidental differences between speed reproductions, he explored spatial experiences in binaural hearing and phase change.