About two weekends ago I had the chance to get out to Chaumont in time to see the hundreds of posters parcticipating in the 23rd Festival International de l’affiche et du graphisme de Chaumont (for the list of winners, scroll to the bottom of this post).
About 2 hours outside of Paris, the tiny town was taken over by graphic artists from around the world for the event. Containers dotted the area, each featuring a different project, while larger installations and the main poster exhibit were featured in churches and warehouses. Rumor has it the locals don’t particularly enjoy the festival. Too bad for them it’s become such an internationally known event!
I don’t quite understand how or why a city as small and sleepy as Chaumont would be opposed to a little life being injected into the area, especially considering the talent that comes out for the occasion, but at least once the festival was underway, the naysayers stayed out of our way.
While I thoroughly enjoyed browsing the posters up for this years contest, I have to say that my favorite project had nothing to do with print, and more to do with film. I can’t express how overjoyed I was to discover the work of Jürg Lehni, which involved lazers, old camera film, a giant film projector, and computer code. I never would have thought my main passions (film and coding) could be combined in such a way! The lazers were an added bonus…
Titled Moving Picture Show, Lehni’s project “re-appropriates a process normally used by the film industry to etch subtitles into the emulsion layer of 35mm film using a high-powered precision laser. By etching away the emulsion, only the clear base of the film remains. Projected onto the screen, the lines appear bright and clear.”
How does computer code factor in, you might ask? Well, something has to control the lazer and tell it what kind of typography to etch into the old film. I was lucky enough to catch Lehni as he was putting the finishing touches on said code. I always get a kick out of watching coders at work. I’m nowhere near Lehni’s level so it’s pretty crazy to see him tap away on his computer and have it yield such wonderful results.
I can honestly say that I truly enjoyed my first time at the festival. However, overall, I heard a ton of negative feedback with regards to festival’s organization. It is true that things weren’t that easy to find. The city is small, sure. But it’s also French. That means winding streets up the wazoo. Had I not been attending with a festival veteran I would have no doubt spent more time looking for the makeshift container-galleries than I would have actually looking at the works on display. That’s the only itty bitty bone I have to pick with event organizers. Otherwise, it was truly a feast for the eyes and intellect!
The Festival Winners
The winners for the 2012 International competition were Frédéric Teschner, Martin Woodtli, Christophe Gaudard and Dima Kavko (The judging panel: Armand Mevis and Linda Van Deursen (chairmen), Thomas Castro, David Bennewith, Karl Nawrot, Julie Peeters and Kasper Andreasen.)
The winners for the 2012 Student competition were 1st prize Duygu Ölcek, Ferdinand Dervieux with Maïa d’Aboville and finally Sebastian Navarro.