VISUALIA FESTIVAL – RETROSPECT

VISUALIA FESTIVAL 2013

The aim of the first Visualia Festival was to introduce the domestic audience to new contents and presentations on how, with a help of modern technology and quality equipment, city’s cultural and artistic potential can be used by showing its beauty and qualities in the most favourable light. All credit for the idea, logistic support and event realization goes to Jean Sambolec, also responsible for the overall animation and background music, Igor Brenko from ARA Electronic company and Marko Bolković, organizer and director of the festival.

Festival debuted with a projection named 3D Mapping Forum held on March 20, 2013. The domestic audience was introduced for the first time to the concept and meaning of 3D video mapping, but also to the beauty of audiovisual art. Moreover, the event served exclusively as an introduction to the first festival of light in Croatia. The projection 3D Mapping was realized at our own expenses, all thanks to enthusiasm and will of experts and volunteers. The following companies helped us realized the projections: ARA Electronic, AudioLab, LENS Media, Prahin INC., Cine Project and NEC company. The City of Pula and other partners and sponsors supported the project.

Festival was held on August 20 and 21 the same year the main events being the projections of two big 3D video mappings in the city centre i.e. every night one video mapping was presented and the programme continued later on in the festival club in the House of Croatian Defenders. Due to the great public interest, the 3D Mapping that opened the festival in March was repeated the first evening, while a new seven-minute long work of Jean Sambolec was shown the second evening. Moreover, as part of the festival, light shows were held and educative workshops attendees presented their artworks divided into three thematic fields: lighting design, introduction to video mapping and creation and arrangement of music elements.

VISUALIA FESTIVAL 2014

The second festival was meant to be a sort of an upgraded and richer version of the first festival, which was confirmed by partnerships with important institutions such as Tourism Office Pula and Archaeological Museum of Istria. They both recognized the potential of this festival of light and supported its development.

The core of the programme included presentational and educative contents enriched with six big 3D video mappings, ten smaller mappings, exhibitions, two light shows, educative workshops, round tables and other side venues. Ten thousand visitors confirmed the success of this second edition of the Festival.

Festival was held on the evenings of May 2 and May 4, 2014, and was inaugurated with the interactive exhibition named XYZT – Abstract Landscapes in the Sacred Hearts Museum and Gallery. Authors of these lighting installations are French artists Adrien Monot and Claire Bardainne.

Festival was designed as a walk through Pula’s squares, promenades, pedestrian zones and parks. On these locations, the programme was held which included the dynamic performance of Led Drummers from the UK. The programme started at Portarata where visitors were given light rings and continued, accompanied by the drummers, at Forum where the performance Lords of Lighting was held – a duo playing with flashes and electrical current. The next location was Kandler Street where the 3D mapping by Jean Sambolec and Anie Ladavac was shown on the cathedral tower. A stroll through Tito’s Park was an opportunity to present lighting installations by Visualia Group and Igor Vasiljev after which a light show was organized and Lighting Giants switched on.

Illumination of shipyard Uljanik cranes in Pula was one of the most spectacular events that marked the second edition of Visualia Festival. It was the greatest common project of Tourism Office Pula and the world-renowned lighting designer Dean Skira ever and important cooperation with Uljanik shipyard and other partners.

Led by his own experience and with the help of a team of experts, Skira designed the lighting concept consisting of a sophisticated system for the remote control of light and scenery. Eight giant cranes were illuminated with RGB LED reflectors supported, in terms of pixels and rotations, by 46 Philips reflectors. This enables their colour change and the creation of special effects customized for any event. Up to 16,000 different colour combinations are possible.

VISUALIA FESTIVAL 2015

The third edition of Visualia Festival was held between May 7 – 9, 2015, every evening from 9:00 p.m. to 00:00. More than 15,000 visitors visited the festival during its three-day programme.

Festival events were held on twelve locations within Pula’s historical centre i.e.: People’s Square – Main Market, Flanatička street, Portarata, Giardini, Dante’s Square, Tito’s Park, Valeria’s Park, Kandlerova Street, Customs Jetty, Forum and the garden of the House of Croatian Defenders where festival club was situated. Eight installations, three video mappings and two light shows were presented by domestic and international artists from Slovenia, Austria and Finland. Unlike 20014 when the festival programme was characterized by visitors’ strolling around festival locations, in 2015 all installations were lit up during all three evenings. The visitors were thus given the opportunity to see without limitations all exhibited installations.

As part of VisuaLab/EduSplash – the multimedia platform for education and development, the attendees of VJ and mapping and Ableton Lab workshops were given the opportunity to present their works while the attendees of the introduction to photography workshop photographed all festival events.

Final Festival evening was held in Pula’s amphitheatre on May 9, 2015, from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. when a new Guinness World Record was successfully set in the category of the largest torchlit image formed by people. 4,013 visitors participated in the project. After the GWR team collected evidence and made necessary verifications, Pula officially received the Guinness World Record title in the category “Largest torchlit image formed by people”.

VISUALIA FESTIVAL 2016

The programme of Visualia Festival 2016 started with the inauguration of the interactive exhibition “Storywood” by domestic artists Vibor Juhas and Manuel Šumberac in the Sacred Hearts Museum and Gallery. The Festival was held from May 12 – 14, 2016 from 9:00 p.m. to 00.00.  More than 10,000 visitors visited the festival during its three-day programme.

The fourth year also maintained the general festival concept – to exhibit most installations in all three festival days. Apart from bringing them closer to the important European and word festival of lights, the visitors were given the opportunity to visit their favourite installations for all three days. There were 12 festival locations in total, all within Pula’s historical centre.

Special development and work of Visualia Festival is supported by the international cooperation with other festivals of lights as well as the transnational Spectrum programme during which more than twenty installations by domestic and international artists from Portugal, France, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Austria were presented.

As in the previous 2016, a two-hour live transmission was also organized during the first festival evening thanks to company MedVid Produkcija. The transmission was presented by Jonathan Scratchley from UK and Ivana Ujčić from Croatia. The Festival was thus made available to domestic and foreign enthusiasts and the recorded show of more than two-hour length is made available on the YouTube channel.

Moreover, as part of VisuaLab/EduSplash – Multimedia Platform for Education and Development, the attendees of VJ and mapping and Ableton Lab workshops were given the opportunity to present their works while the attendees of the introduction to photography workshop photographed all festival events.

VISUALIA FESTIVAL 2017

VISUALIA FESTIVAL 2018