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In Conversation: Yuvia Maini (Blobb.TV)

Yuvia Maini (Blobb.TV) is a Swedish artist working on the borders between humans and pixels. Her work usually involves an exploration of animation, interaction, and Augmented Reality. Among others, they have created commissions for Swedish Parliament, Amnesty, the Swedish Women's Lobby, etc. Educated in, programming and animation at Konstfack and Hyper Island, her work often aims to investigate the relationship between the viewer and artist through immersive technology and abstraction.

Image of Yuvia Maini (Blobb.TV) by Pauline Ågren

In our previous article, Aralia pt.2: Navigating through the dreamscape of Swedish woods in a 360° musical experience, Yuvia works with Cassius Lambert, an award-winning composer and bass player based in Malmö. Cassius recently gain recognition from the municipal of Malmö and the Swedish Arts Council for his deconstruction of minimalism through maximalism.

Video still, Aralia pt.2

Q: What are your inspirations for the music video, Aralia pt.2?

Yuvia (Blobb.TV): The making of the video was inspired by how the composer, Cassius Lamberts constructed the soundscapes in Aralia pt.2. When composing the music, he used a very labour-intensive process he calls sonic voicing. This meant that Cassius Lambert recorded sounds from the Swedish woods, which he then translated into handwritten notes, which he then rearranged into a composition that was performed by a 10-piece orchestra. This “deconstruction” of the forest led me to want to reinterpret his “view on” the forest into an immersive 360- journey to this magical place where the viewer can decide how they want to experience the forest by moving around with a cursor or mouse. The visual style of the video was inspired by conversations we had in the beginning which landed in a direction that can be called Uncanny Cotten Candy. We wanted to be magical and sweet but at the same time a bit scary and uneasy at the same time.

Video still, Aralia pt.2

Q: What do you think are the biggest challenges for you when creating this project? And what do you like most about the process?

Yuvia (Blobb.TV): Creating this video was a huge learning curve as I had never worked in the 360 format before. It definitely poses a big challenge in terms of storytelling as the viewer can choose how they move around and experiences the story. Figuring out the technicalities in terms of rendering, optimization, and compositing was also a real challenge. However, I really came to realize that there is endless help out there if you just ask or google ;) I would like to say a special thanks to amazing visual artists Nick Bauer, Victoria Albrecht, Marien Singbo, and Colin Toupe as well as Reddit and all the many other forums that made this project possible. Furthermore, my favorite part of this project was definitely solving the technical challenges it posed and the satisfaction of pitching a crazy idea to actually seeing it come together with the music.

Promotion Video, Aralia pt.2

Q: As an Indian/Cuban/Norwegian/Swedish visual artist, how does this identity influence your artistic practice?

Yuvia (Blobb.TV): Being a mixed-heritage woman in an industry that is definitely male-dominated and white in Scandinavia, has made me search for references and role models I can identify with. I believe this has diversified my practice and enabled me to bring something different to an industry that can sometimes have very homogenous visual expressions (at least in the 3d field where we see a lot of gaming esthetic and traditional gender roles). Being raised with different cultures in my home I was also fortunate to be exposed to different visual traditions which I definitely think have influenced my design choices.

Q: What are the goals you hope to achieve in the future?

Yuvia (Blobb.TV): I hope to always continue learning and challenging the boundaries of animation and how we interact with it. I am especially excited about my current exploration of augmented reality and animation in public spaces when I paint interactive murals that animate on your phone. I would love to continue investigating how technology can become more accessible without posing ethical challenges such as data gathering etc and diversify the industry by sharing my knowledge and experience of being a woman of color in the industry.


Experience the 360° music video created by Yuvia Maini and Cassius Lambert here.


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