max hattler's wayuumation art
max hattler's wayuumation art ©

British Council

Max Hattler in Venezuela

Max Hattler in Venezuela

Between 14 and 16 May 2014, audiovisual artist Max Hattler visited Caracas to share his experience of producing abstract moving image artworks for different platforms and exhibition spaces. This included a lecture and screening of his work, and a digital animation workshop named Wayuumation.

Lecture at the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC)

The lecture took place in the auditorium of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas. During his presentation, Max showed some 12 moving image works, and explained how he conceived of them, and how abstract, spiritual, and political elements are represented in them. 

After the lecture, Max remarked that he was pleasantly surprised by the great interest shown by the audience during the lengthy Q&A session. 

Three of the works shown during the lecture provided an idea of the technical and artistic direction of the Wayuumation workshop. Those pieces are Sync, an abstract visualisation of time in the shape of a mandala, and Heaven and Hell, which allude to these two concepts of the spiritual world, also seen from an abstract point of view. 

Wayuumation, the workshop

Besides the lecture, Max delivered an experimental animation workshop titled Wayuumation. It owes its name to the artistic and symbolic work of the Wayúu people from the Guajira region of Venezuela. While researching for his visit to Venezuela, the artist became engrossed in Wayúu patterns and their symbolism. Being in his work oriented towards to the use of patterning and abstraction in moving image and sound, Wayúu provided a technical-aesthetic angle, while grounding the workshop within cultural framework connected to the workshop participants, young Venezuelan animators and sound designers.

The piece resulting from this workshop, titled —O|, is a video art triptych which takes inspiration from Wayúu patterns and transposes them into a contemporary moving image context. —O| stands for the three abstract animation loops that make up the triptych: A forever-expanding, mandelic circular structure (O), symbolising the universe, is flanked on one side by moving vertical patterns (|) which stand for rain, growth and life and, on the other side, by horizontal patterns (), symbolising earth, drought, and death.  

After the workshop

The collective working process had some important results. One was the encounter among participants, who came from different backgrounds and did not know each other beforehand. Attending the workshop and collaborating as a team gave the participants the opportunity to connect to others with shared professional interests, exchange knowledge, and learn from each other.

Another marked outcome is the resulting audiovisual work itself. —O| will be exhibited in Venezuela after the post-production stage is completed.

About the artist

Max Hattler is an audiovisual artist whose work – based on patterns, abstractions and mirroring – plays with elements that are recognizable in order to create abstract works. In this way, he uses animation as a gateway to a virtual and abstract space that aims to take audiences out of their daily lives and, by doing so, makes them reflect on reality.   

The artist studied at Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art in London. He has developed an extensive body of work throughout his ten-year career, including short films, video installations, live audiovisual performances, music videos and concert visuals. Max has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work. He uses techniques including generative graphics, 2D and 3D computer animation, stop motion and digital photographic reanimation. At this moment, he is finishing his Doctorate in Fine Art at the University of East London, culminating in an exhibition of work created over the past five years. 

Max supports his art practice through a combination of university teaching, delivering workshops, film funding, art commissions, festival participations, and audiovisual performances.  You can find out more about his current and future projects by visiting www.maxhattler.com