¨I modulate electricity and video signals with electronic signals to get specific shapes, colors, and results that are always very organic. I like this because it feels like I am working with something that is alive, even if it is a machine.¨
Nikita Milano is a Venezuelan visual artist and is the creator of this month´s Funga cover. Below you will discover how Nikita created the cover and all about her journey as an artist.
How did you make the Nikita Milano X Funga cover video?
I created this video through visual synthesis. The moving image is processed through a synthesizer, a video mixer, and video feedback. It sends the video signals through models that work through modulating electricity, which enables different ways of editing the material.
Below you can watch the cover video with sound.
How did you start your creative process as a visual artist?
I have always wanted to be a visual artist, which was inspired by my sister attending art school and my wanting to follow her idea of things. However, I grew up in an environment with figures of authority that didn’t allow me to express myself. Only when I was an adult did I make the decisive decision that I wanted to try to be an artist. Initially, I worked for a book publisher before attending university and studying photography for four years. I also had stints of working at magazines and in the fashion world while doing my projects on the side. Soon I realized that fashion was not my true passion, and I changed to working at a cultural center here in CDMX that used more current technologies. I was a bridge between the design, the content, and the visual communication and narrative of the things happening at Centro de Cultura Digital. After this, I was given the opportunity to travel to Electronic Music Studion in Stockholm, where I was allowed to use a modular synthesizer called Buchla. That was the moment that defined a big part of my life! It was a completely new approach to sound and music in the way it could be related and understood. I decided to experiment with old video mixers and obsolete things after that experience in Sweden. I modulate electricity and video signals with electronic signals to get specific shapes, colors, and results that are always very organic. I like this because it feels like I am working with something that is alive, even if it is a machine.
Can you tell me a little bit about the projects you’ve done in the past?
I worked on audio-visual projects where I did live visuals at festivals and other venues. I learned to improvise and always keep a close relationship with sound. I also have a music project where I play the drums and often collaborate with musicians making videos, shows, and specific installations. It is necessary to unplug ourselves from the matrix and have time to meditate and think without stimulation. That is why I created a space for the composer Kali Malone that allows you to remove yourself visually and sonically, which I am very proud of. (see here and here)
¨Does Spring Hide Its Joy is an immersive piece by composer Kali Malone featuring musicians Stephen O’Malley, Lucy Railton, and video artist Nika Milano. Malone´s nuanced minimalism unfolds an astonishing depth of focus and opens up contemplative spaces in the listener’s attention. In addition, to live concerts, Does Spring Hide Its Joy has also evolved in parallel as a site-specific sound installation featuring recordings made in the renowned Berlin Funkhaus concert hall. For this special occasion at Human Resources, Malone invites video artist Nika Milano to exhibit an analog video work that accompanies and interprets the musical score as a fourth member.¨
In what ways do you collaborate with the print artist Rodrigo Alarcon?
Last year we made a couple tests together and we have a book project that we hope will be ready by early next year.
Are you intentionally creating a psychedelic feel in your art?
Not really, but I think it happens naturally, especially when I do live visuals. It is a natural process, and I never thought of them like that until people started telling me. I thought it was beautiful and funny at the same time. Of course, I have had psychedelic experiences, but I have never approached them in my art. I try to be as natural and organic as possible; maybe that’s why one can find that psychedelic feel. Life itself is psychedelic if you take a look at it. I am having a hard time dealing with death right now, and I realize how psychedelic pain can be in terms of how much information you receive and how capable you are of transforming and seeing things in so many ways. You experience so many dimensions simultaneously; you are just there.
If you could choose to exist as one plant, what would it be?
I would be a Puya Titanca, also known as the queen of the Andes. It is a plant that flowers every hundred years, exists in extreme conditions, and is stoically waiting for its time – doing what it must do. Furthermore, this plant is from Los Andes in Venezuela, where I am from. When people think of flowers and plants, they are superficial in terms of what they see and can touch. When I think of plants, I am always stuck in this place of the internal process and how much time it takes them to grow. I am more interested in the earth, the roots, all the processes, the microorganisms, and the fungi that allow this external thing to flourish. It takes the Puya Titanca a long time to come to life. It is a vast meditative process of understanding life and then being ready to come out, and I think I am pretty much like that. I am a very solitary person and am in a moment where I am contemplating life and death and my surroundings. I need to start a healing process because I feel very stuck. I don’t need 100 years, but I need a lot of time to flourish again and feel at peace with myself because I can recognize that need.
NIKITA MILANO X FUNGA