Subtempo Guest Mix 022
Syntaxerika is a Mexican New Media Artist between Barcelona and Mexico. The main focus of her work moves between synthesist of ideas, graphisme, language, syntax, sound, A.I, technology, new media art, the internet and intelligent education. In search for new ways of thinking in her projects uses digital techniques to respond the viewer in an immersive technological landscape. She is also about exploring the strata of sound. She is incorporating elements of dark ambient, field recordings, industrial-strength drone, art-techno, noise and synths experimentation in her work.
Hi Erika, first of all, thank you for taking the time to craft this awesome mix for us and doing this interview.
Hi Rocco, thanks to you too.
I wanted to start by asking you about the mix. How, where and when did you record it?
I started recording the mix in Barcelona weeks ago, then I had to travel to Monterrey, Mexico, so I finished the mix here. The way I made this mix is a hybrid between vinyl and digital. I find interesting results when mixing different techniques.
Is there a theme for this mix?
Yes, there is a theme that inspired me to create this mix for Subtempo. It is the dark scene of industrial techno, ambient, and futurism.
As a multimedia artist, has music always been part of your practice?
Yes, since I started creating projects, music has always been there. First, keeping me inspired while doing visual art projects, and then for me it was always challenging to find good tracks that were not commercial to listen to them and also to share with my friends.
The people I live with and my close friends have always worked with music, they have studios where I first started playing with synthesizers.Syntax Erika's current studio set-up.
What was your first medium?
My first medium was the computer. Then at friends studios, I started playing/experimenting with synthesizers and diving deeper into the electronic world, which I love and enjoy very much.
On the computer, I started making music on a free online server and when things got really serious, I installed Ableton Live.
You started with Design, correct? Where did you study? Or are you self-taught?
Yes, I studied graphic design and digital arts at IDEP Barcelona (Escola Superior d'Imatge i Disseny) for 4 years. Then I interned was for a year in Barcelona at important graphic design studios such as Summa Branding. All this while I was working on my own projects. That’s when Future Visual Syntax was born – I’ve been working on this for over a year now.
Do you feel like that gave you a solid foundation for your practice or did you feel the need to study further?
Undoubtedly, the university gave me a solid base to go from, into doing what I like with what I know; basically, it is knowledge to, later on, find ways to apply. I consider myself a very creative and curious person, so I am always looking for new music or information about topics that interest me such as art, science, technology, internet, philosophy... I am always experimenting, which leads me to also be a self-taught person, but of course, in the near future, I would like to do a master’s.A moment in time from one of Syntax Erika's multimedia pieces.
And now that your studies have been completed, where do you see your practice going next?
Definitely I see myself in new media art projects and composing and performing ambient music.
Do you prefer working on your own or collaborating with others?
I like both of them. It depends on the project. I think collaboration can bring out very good work and lead to interesting results... But, of course, I enjoy working by myself developing concepts that later become material for good new media art and electronic projects.
Is there a particular direction you are currently exploring in your practice?
Yes, it is about internet research and also experimenting with new ways of thinking with new media art projects.MIDI and analog, vinyl and digital. Syntax Erika finds interesting results where opposites meet.
What’s inspiring you at the moment, what keeps you going? Are you currently researching any topic in particular?
What keeps me going are my projects in design, conceptual art or sound. Having a purpose through a project makes me happy and of course, it is also rewarding to see the results of my work, people who capture the projects, the sounds, who are very sensitive.
Recently I have been doing extensive research in AI (Artificial Intelligence) into how it can replicate human cognitive skills, technology and the internet effect in our society; but also I am learning about some programming languages and neuroscience. These are themes that inspire me for future new media art projects. In music, I really want to immerse myself in sounds and experiment with textures and patterns to make some atmospheres... I like atmospheres a lot.
Tell me about Future Visual Syntax and Ambient Flux.
Future Visual Syntax is about coding messages that replicate human cognitive skills (emotions) in the Artifice of intelligence using a playful syntax (monospaced font, design, lots of color, augmented reality, visuals, and sound). The interactive installation will come with 2 sections, the first one is about coding messages using an augmented reality app, then the second section of the project is an audiovisual piece that I made in collaboration with Snezhana Reizen and her project: @Rzeng.
Future Visual Syntax made us ask this question: Do you think we’ll ever achieve truly conscious AI? It’s a conceptual work that shifts into an impressive visual language. I’m very happy to have received a proposal to do the project soon in Berlin, and also possibly in Mexico City so for me and for FVS this is good news.
Ambient flux is an experimental electronic label that I founded, focused in the essence of the atmospheric experience through dark ambient scapes, field recordings, hypnotic textures and industrial tech alongside the curated visual aspect, in order to create an immersive experience in the viewer.
I’m very happy about the first VA release I got to curate that will come out soon because in the beginning I started listening to lots of music in those genres and choosing not so famous but high-quality artists. The VA ended in 6 beautiful, suspenseful and stunning tracks from 6 women… so I really love the idea of the first VA release by Ambient flux coming with 6 tracks produced by women; a beautiful work you must have. I’m getting good feedback about the project, so I think that gives me confidence that I am going in the right way.
And you have been making your own sounds, correct?
Yesss, definitely I've been experimenting with sounds!
Any plans on releasing any music or performing your work live?
Yes, there are plans to start an EP release, then I can start performing my work live. In fact I have two proposals that I would like to start soon.
Well, thanks for taking the time, it’s been a pleasure and we wish you the best.
I enjoyed this mix and interview very much. Thanks to you!
- Powlos – Inscape [F A I N T]
- Eathern Sea – The Time Past [Silent Season]
- Mind over midi – Visual [The Level Of Vulnerability]
- Variant – Adrift [Ecospace]
- nthng – Turn To Gaia [Delsin]
- Skee Mask – Junt [Ilian Tape]
- Andrea – Outlines [Ilian Tape]
- Stenny – Sublimation [Ilian Tape]
- W.I.R.E. – Serpents [Mord]
- Acronym – Vertigo [Stillaton]
- Paula Temple – Raging Earth [Noise Manifesto]
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