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The visual component of the piece Orishas was created with a custom code in Processing using a Kinect sensor and a webcam to transform the spatial, color and brightness information of choreographed dancers into a virtual three dimensional mathematical representation of their movements. More than 25000 images are then imported into a video editing software and treated as a still frame animation. The biggest challenge both in the choreography and the video making process was how to preserve the spirituality of the piece in such a logical setup. The solution was a collective leap of faith, embracing the limitations of the technology and approaching ritual repetitive gestures as the building blocks of a piece that only came to life when I invoked the guidance of the virgins of the Caridad del Cobre and Regla, Ochún and Yemayá, goddesses of all flowing waters. The hours and hours of editing and rendering became a zen-like reflection on my own spirituality and the beauty of layered dance and music.

  • Santiago Echeverry
  • Santiago Echeverry
  • Lindsay Daniele
    Key Cast
  • Kwesi Ampofo
    Key Cast
  • Ashley Caraway
    Key Cast
  • Susannah LeMarquand
  • Felipe Ramirez Rodriguez
    Music and Soundtrack
  • Maylin Zulueta
    Music and Soundtrack
  • Nathan Petitpas
    Music and Soundtrack
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Dance, video dance, kinect, 3D Animation
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 20, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    100 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival 2014
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Trinidad and Tobago
    September 25, 2014
    Caribbean Premiere
  • Toronto Independent Film Festival 2014
    September 9, 2014
    North American Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Santiago Echeverry
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights, Internet
Director Biography - Santiago Echeverry

Santiago Echeverry is a Colombian-American New Media Artist and Professor, with a background in Video Art, Web Design, and Performance Art. He started his artistic career in 1989, participating since then in some of the most important festivals in the world, and he is considered a pioneer in the field of Net Art and Queer Filmmaking in Latin America. In 1992, he graduated top of the inaugural class of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia’s Film and Television School. In 1995, he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Grant to earn his Master's degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. He started his academic career in 1993, and is currently an Associate Professor and co-founder of the recently created Film, Animation and New Media Department at the University of Tampa. His research is focused on volumetric imaging, interactive web development, and creative coding. All his works and projects are available online at www.santi.tv

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Director Statement

I grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, a city where the mafia was blowing up buildings and murdering people with drugs and bombs; AIDS was killing my friends and death squads were threatening my life for being openly gay. Instead of seeking cover, I became a very visible New Media artist promoting change in my surroundings through video art, documentaries, performances and political activism.

With some roots still left in Colombia and now in a more secure environment in the United States, my work has progressively evolved into a study of the nature of how we perceive and recreate ourselves in a digital context. I am particularly interested in the dialog between low and high resolution imaging, studying and exploding the pixel grid to push the possibilities of static and moving images, using basic webcams and kinect sensors to explore three-dimensional self-portraits, animations and interactive installations. At the same time, I am creating high-resolution photos, videos and performances involving video mapping where the story of each participating person affects the visual outcome.

I moved to New York just as the Internet was beginning to expand and I immediately used the Web as a creative tool where all my art practice would come together, with a global component that was previously unavailable to me. The Internet has become the perfect tool to explore my passion for non-linear filmmaking, digital poetry, cyber-activism, creative code, photography, animation and interactive narration. I am using HTML5 / PHP / CSS3, Processing and video tools to produce my works, continuously exploring new open source software and hardware.