Maximalist Counter and #unseentravels to Hamburg

by Unseen June 27 2018

It’s been an eventful month for international outings. Just weeks after our return from PHOTOBOOKFEST in Moscow, we were back on the road again. On this occasion we traveled to Hamburg, teaming up with Red Light Radio to throw an official afterparty at the Triennial of Photography. Joining us for the event were members of artist collective Maximalist Counter, who blended images and videos in a live visual performance, and Amsterdam-based DJ Sekan, who responded with soulful music, together offering up an explosive night of image and sound.

In the wake of the afterparty, we caught up with Maximalist Counter to discuss collective attitudes, new collaborations and the making of their hyper-dynamic visual experience.

Evening at Triennial of Photography Hamburg 6, 2018 (c) Maximalist Counter._2.jpg

As an artist collective, collaboration is very much at the core of your creative process. How did you find working with DJ Sekan—someone who is not part of your usual circle?

DJ Sekan was really nice and easy to work with. As a ‘maximalist’ collective, we have this implied rule that anyone can do (almost) anything. We are open to any kinds of disruption, accumulation and collage. It was really fun to have our content running along with other music, and the combination was really efficient. We tried to adapt to the dynamism of the music, playing faster or slower images when necessary. There were plenty of unexpected matches between our displays, the music and the audience, which we liked the most!

Can you tell us how you met each other and how you began working together as a collective?

The Maximalist Counter was an attempt to create a meta-collective with Maya Rochat & U5 from Zürich. (Musicfor)Eggplant [which comprises members of Maximalist Counter] was born with the intention to transfer the comfort of our living room to public space, and eventually to build a family of collaborators worldwide. The collective has had different forms and members over time. Most of our current members met during our studies in Visual Communications & Arts at Ecole Cantonale d'Art de Lausanne (ECAL). The collective grew when some of our members moved to Paris, and again when we came across new creative energies whilst touring through Europe.

You were invited to do a performance at the Unseen afterparty at the Triennial of Photography Hamburg, how did you pull this together? What tools and materials did you work with?

It was thanks to Maya Rochat that we had this opportunity. She introduced Maximalist Counter to Unseen for CO-OP 2018 and was invited by Unseen to present the collective in Hamburg. We installed a few photographic-printed fabrics, which we were able to project visuals on when the sun went down. It was a great way to revisit our archives of videos; we presented visuals from different collectives—mostly video clips, web series or more weird collages.

Three members of (Musicfor)Eggplant were present (Barret, Faure, Savoy). In order to be less focused on the stage projection we brought two extra beamers to project on the structure and the fabrics, creating a more immersive and interactive experience. People were dancing between the fabrics and the light from the beamer, which resulted in amazing improvised shadow theatres.

Thank you, Maximalist Counter! 

Header Image: Fabric Installation at the Triennial of Photography, 2018 © Maximalist Counter 
Second Image: The Unseen afterparty, Triennial of Photography Hamburg, 2018 © Maximalist Counter