Video Mapping by Jacques-André Dupont

An Interview with the Motion Designer

Jacques-André Dupont is a Motion Designer, Art Director and an Audio-visual Creative. He is adept at 3D and Video-mapping techniques. Now a resident of Berlin, Jacques divides his time between his commissioned work and more artistic personal projects.

After you completed your studies I believe you worked for a couple of years before moving to Germany and becoming a freelancer. Deciding to become a freelancer itself is a big decision, but it must have also allowed you greater creative freedom, what has been your experience so far?

When you choose to be a freelancer, you know that it is not going to be easy; Freedom has a price! I began freelancing last year, as I arrived in Berlin, so the challenge was double with the language and the whole bureaucratic actions.

When you have no job you’re desperate and stressed, when you have some they come all at the same time and it feels very demanding. It is a roller-coaster, not easy to get to have a regular life, emotionally too.

But for sure, I’m happy with my choice. I’m doing my thing, trying to develop a personal language and style.

Creating your own niche is something that you will be able to do this way. If you are working for somebody else do you think it becomes difficult to develop your own style?

You have to find a balance between the commissioned works and the personal ones. But I find that they are complementary, they nourish each other, and me! Actually, it is an achievement when people come to you because they value your work and they want your personal touch. This was the case for my work with the French Double bass project.

Video–mapping technique was used to emphasise on the fine design of this Double Bass.

I know you have an academic background but what was the first thing that inspired you to take up this art form?

I have always been very inspired by music and my works are very influenced by it. The idea I could be director and VJ came pretty late, when I was 20. I found two DVDs of Music Videos from the British electronic music labels Warp and Ninja Tunes. From Warp, the works of Chris Cunningham for Aphex Twin and the 3D visualizations of Autechre by Alex Rutterford just blew my mind! From Ninja Tunes I discovered VDJing with Coldcut and Hextatic (check out Timber by Hextatic & Coldcut, which consists in mixing audiovisual samples.

Would you like to describe the style you adopt to be more spontaneous or a very well planned process?

It depends on the work, most of them are very well prepared beforehand but I like to have the choice of changing something until the last moment, for the chance to improve always exists.

When you are working on client-based projects, how do you draw a balance between the constraints imposed on you and your creative self?

When I am doing a commercial project I first think of my client’s requirements, what he wants and what can I bring to him in order to fit that expectation. Sometimes it matches my creative desires, when it doesn’t, I take the opportunity to learn or develop a technique.

I hope I will get involved in more projects where the client says, ‘you are the artist, I give you a white card and I trust you’, like it happened for the Double Bass video.

You have documented the creations of a luthier and a painter, both showcases master craftsmanship and both rely heavily on the ability of the individual while lesser thrust is given to technology per se. As with you, visualisation and development of the theme is the humane part but you also incorporate latest technological ammunitions to give shapes to your dreams. While the tools may be different but the creative process remains the same, what is your take on that?

I think that the medium itself plays a huge role in the creative process and the conceptual development of an artist, it is not neutral. But each artist has a different creative process.

When I am creating, even if I am working with ‘cold’ technology, my first point is to convey an emotion. This is something that I keep in mind all the time when creating a video. The audiovisual medium is the way I found to express myself and share my perceptions. The short documentary series ‘EXTRAKTS’ is born from a need to be more in the reality, stop creating or filming fake stuff. What a pleasure to film a unique moment, and trying to transmit it with your own sensibility!

Jonathan is a French painter living in Budapest; during a visit one weekend, Jacques filmed his working process.

The immersive light installation dealt with both the underlying paper structure and light itself. Among your collection it is quite unique, how did you arrive at the concept?

It was my first installation project, in space. The inspirations came from a lot of different sources, and from a lot of things that I wanted to experiment with. The vision came step by step as I was making. I knew I wanted to use the mapping technique, I wanted to use my new skills in paper design and I wanted to experiment with light as a phenomenon. I wanted to keep it geometrical and abstract. It was a scientific experiment and a musical ‘étude’. How light interacts with the structure and the material, how can I play rhythms and sequences on this static geometry?

Do you play along with paper structures as well?

I began manipulating this material on a common work with my girlfriend. I learnt a lot from her and I wanted to do one myself. This material is great! For the STRUKTUR 1, I used Japanese software that allows you to turn a 3D model into a folded paper model.

STRUKTUR.LICHT.KLANG is an immersive light installation that explores ‘light’ as phenomenon.

I think you really involve yourself with each and every step of the production and post-production process. Is there any particular phase that is dearer to you than others?

A raw video has half of the final feel; you give it a taste of the post-production process. Cutting it nice and bringing some colour corrections and fine effects to evoke the emotion that you want to bring forth. I really enjoy the time behind the camera and preparing the structure for my mappings, far from the computer screen, but I also want to do the rest, to bring my personal touch to the imagery.

For how long are you working in Betahaus?

It is relatively new, I have started in May (2012) I think.

It is again a very collaborative environment, you meet people from many different creative fields which in itself should be quite inspiring but I wanted to ask you this is it ever a distraction?

No, because in Betahaus you have a lot of space where you can go, and each space has a specific atmosphere, so if you’re in a social mood you can go to a busy room where there are more interactions and when I really need to focus I go to the ‘quiet room’. I have a choice.

Any artist whose work you really admire or enjoy, both past and present?

Viking Eggeling is probably one of my biggest inspirations, he had done the first motion design animation in the end of the ’20s, you know. He composed this visual music piece called ‘Symphonie Diagonale’.

Is there any particular facet of your work that you want to explore further?

I would like to progress into generative and interactive technologies, to enrich the possibilities of my installations.

Portrait of Jacques Andreé Dupont

Jacques Andreé Dupont prefers…

Jacques loves watching insects. The Guide on the Insects of France is one book that fascinates him for he gets to learn so much about them. Owing to his stay in Berlin, lately, he is also devoting his time learning German.

Jacques is crazy about Colombian food and ajiaco, the Colombian potato soup, happens to be his favourite.

Find more of his work at his website.

Image Courtesy: Jacques Andreé Dupont