VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Burgos, Hugo

Hugo Burgos
videomaker from Ecuador


Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
I am an electronic engineer turned media artist turned visual culture professor. I´ve been lucky enough to meet people across different venues of life which opened doors to access these worlds.

2. When, how and why started you filming?
Some time in 1996 I was invited to collaborate with other artists in creating intermedia art projects. These were shows that combined live dance, music, video and art installations. and were staged at non-traditional places For Ecuador this was a first. Previously I had worked as a technical director and stage designer for theater and rock concerts and thought that video could not only create enviroments, but also could provoke emotions. Since then I´ve worked closely with contemporary dancers, as well as looked for alternative venues to projcet my work.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?
I work along three lines. One of them has to do with the painterly quaility of day-to-day activities. I enjoy working with both, found footage, and with observational videos I shoot in public and private places. I also shoot in a documentary style footage that deals with social issues. I actually don´t produce a final documentary, but use the material for academic writing, or video installations. Finally, I work with contemporary dancers and shoot dance sequences in studios, or performance pieces in public spaces.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
If I´m working with dancers we create a loose script in order to capture specific sequences, we also pay much attention to the setup of the location. If I´m doing more of an observational type of work I keep in mind how this will be shown -video presentation, video projection, choice of sound or no sound, etc.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
I used for some time a Canon GL2 and edited in Final Cut Pro. Now I´m working with a Canon 60D DSLR. Most of the time I don´t use tripod -unless I´m working with dancers in a studio or stage. A continue to edit in Final Cut Pro.

6. What are the chances of the digital video technologies for creating art using “moving images” generally, and for you personally?

For long they have opened doors to produce and distribute in a faster and cheaper way this type of art. However, because it is the same technology used by the media outlets that produce what society consumes, it becomes a challenge to keep an artistic edge without falling into what the media outlets produce. I don´t believe that art and current commercial media outlets should be kept apart, but it is too easy to slip into the esthetics and content promoted by commercial media outlets who respond to audiences and advertisers -that is not a starting place for the art I create.

7. How do you finance your films?
Almost all of the work is self-financed. In occasions I´ve been commissioned to create work. At other times I´ve been invited to contribute my work, where all productions costs are covered.

  • 8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
  • I work individually. However, my intermedia works are collaborations.

  • if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
  • I prefer collaborations, So far I´ve had great experiences working with other artists -basically they are the same people for the last 15 years. In particular I enjoy how many times you don´t have a sense of the potential, impact, or how the final work is going to look like. There is always a surprise and tension in the making.

    9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
    I´m always inspired by the work of Stan Brakhage. His painterly work is important, but I really value his observational style short films, I see them as cut-up mini-docs, for example, “Cat’s Cradle”. In a more popular stream of works I think that Tomato (also known as the electronic music band Underworld) has a keen sense of combining text and abstract images as part of their shows.

    10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

    I am a university professor and hope to have time to combine my teaching and research work, along with creating art through moving images.

    Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF platform? Where?
    List some links & resources. I have very few works on the web.
    Sensohm –

    Zeitgeist –