Wellington Lux Artist Interviews: Max Hattler on ‘X’
As Chris Bennewith, the creator of Wellington LUX points out in his illumni interview, neither he nor the festival would be where they are today with a fabulous supporting team. Of course the artists are pretty important part of that team. Here is what Max Hattler had to say on everything from where the big ideas come from to what blows them away. Read on!
What is the big idea behind your installation? What inspired you?
Water screen projection work X was first presented in London at the King’s Cross Filling Station, a bar and restaurant housed in a former petrol station on Regent’s Canal. My initial conceptual starting point for the piece was oil and water, referencing Regent’s Canal and the history of the venue as a petrol station: Oil and water as essentially opposing elements struggling for balance. When creating the animation, this quickly developed into more abstractly representing dynamic exchanges and the balancing of different elements. The end result is completely abstracted into the kinetic relationships of shapes, the movement and energy balances within a self-contained universe, a self-referential geometric system with its own logic and rules. Within this choreography of shapes and lines, a kind of abstract language emerges. Relationships are constantly created and dissolved between the shapes as they move, spark off one another, overlap or meld together. It can be read as an abstraction of synaptic reactions, or as the solving of an unknown equation, X, through the cross-actions of the components of a universe in which everything is by itself yet can intersect with each other. X continues my abstract exploration into otherworldly aesthetics, developing some of the visual and sonic language of earlier films and video installations, while taking advantage of the unique characteristics of the water screen which creates the illusion of floating holographic images.
What technology have you utilised to bring your ideas to life?
Although it looks somewhat like lasers, X relies on standard video. This is then projected onto a water screen created by high-speed jets which disperse water from the sea into the air.
Did the logistics of delivering your installation for Wellington LUX present any unforeseen challenges or did everything just sail through to completion?
The festival organizers took care of the entire setup. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend LUX in person, so I had to rely on their help. (This also means I can’t answer your other below questions.)