The Bright Outdoors

Third time's the charm for Outdoor Vision Fest

Live motion capture. Smoke machines. Star sculptures. These are a few of the attractions that Terry Borst and Brad Wolfley say might appear at this year's Outdoor Vision Fest, which the two Santa Fe University of Art and Design faculty members produce.

Judging by the ubiquitous talk of the fest, which consists of music and video installations projected across SFUAD buildings, it's kind of a big deal.

"This is a really exciting, relatively new avenue of creativity in terms of combining multimedia in different ways to really ignite the nighttime space—and, of course, the architectural spaces of the Visual Arts Center as well," Borst explains.

For the second year in a row, Wolfley is teaching a special topics class in SFUAD's film school that focuses on creating content specifically for the outdoor bash.

"We have assignments where we're exploring ways of activating spaces," he says. Along with "traditional, boxed" projections, he adds that surprises should be expected during the one-night-only event. "We're doing some video mapping, where you can actually manipulate the image to curve around a corner or a shape so that the image doesn't distort as it curves around, and the image can take on the shape that you're projecting onto."

Borst says everything from live performances of original soundscapes to a poetry slam are possible, but he and his partner can't be sure of what audiences will experience on the actual night.

“That’s what’s magical about the show. There is no best; there is no perfect,” Wolfley says. “What I’ve heard is that’s what people like about it—that there’s an energy to it because it’s in a state of becoming. You can see students trying things and finding things out.”

The event features students like Joshua James, who immersed himself in new technology in order to create his piece.

“This is the first year for me,” the film student says. “I’m learning about After Effects and Flash and all these things that I wouldn’t normally use, because I am a video guy, and I tend to stay away from those things because I don’t feel very artistically inclined.”

James calls the experience eye-opening. “Now, I’m like, ‘Oh, I can do other creative things,’ and that’s nice to know,” he says.

Graphic design major Aldo Vidrio, who was responsible for last year’s memorable Queen tribute, is excited to come back for more. This time, he’s building a large, foamboard face with a partner, film major Ana Cortés.

The face will have animations projected onto it.

“It’s all about experimenting,” Cortés remarks. “We have a triple projector…and we experiment with processes that we’ve never done before.”

The projector system—something that everybody involved with OVF has gushed about—is the main attraction.

“We have three projectors projecting at one time…and we stitch the projectors together so it’s one expanded image,” says Wolfley. “We should be, as artists, expanding media; we should be exploring and pushing the boundaries of what media is, and where it’s shown and how it’s shown.”

His partner agrees and recognizes the need for local events that bring art to the masses.

“Once you have lights of any kind and it’s nighttime, [it] just starts being fun right away,” Borst says. “[Outdoor Vision Fest] reaches out to the community. The art is super-accessible, so we get a lot of families that come—people that would never actually go into a museum to experience art or go into an art gallery.”

Clara Hittel and Sandra Shoenenstein produced this piece as part of a Journalistic Collaborations course at SFUAD—a coordinate project with SFR. The photography and writing course is team-taught by Photography faculty member Anthony O’Brien and Creative Writing contributing faculty member Julia Goldberg, a former editor of SFR.

Outdoor Vision Fest

  8:45-10:45 pm Friday, April 26. Free. SFUAD,

1600  St. Michael’s Drive,


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