Necessary Explosion – Interview with Anita Fontaine and Geoffrey Lillemon

Necessary Explosion – Interview with Anita Fontaine and Geoffrey Lillemon
By Ekaterina Larsson

Necessary Explosion – is this what we need in our age of information overload? How do we achieve that? Is disruption good for us sometime

I was invited to go the ME Convention in Stockholm as a journalist, and received the list of speakers. The Convention is an offshoot of  South by South West SXSW in the US, and focuses on Digital, Art, AI, Music, Yoga, i.e. it is a cross-disciplinary festival uniting artists, scientists, tech visionaries and musicians via their shared obsession with the future.

Among the speakers listed for the ME Convention were Anita Fontaine and Geoffrey Lillemon.

I decided I wanted to interview them, especially Anita, as I checked out her website and liked her psychedelic art and videos for names such as MTV, Louis Vuitton, Diesel, VICE and Google.

I also liked the fact that she used to play in a goth pop band in Australia, while studying photography, film and video game design. The duo was included by Creative Reviews magazine in the top 50 most creative people in the UK for 2018,  along with names such as Björk! They have also created an app called Necessary Explosion. What is that all about? Read on to find out!

 

Louis Vuitton x Sprouse

Image for MTV video: Anita Fontaine

So of course I was excited to interview the duo! The Convention was sponsored by Mercedes Benz and at one of the evening parties dj-ed by Annie Clark aka St. Vincent, I saw Anita and Geoffrey and went to introduce myself. They seemed quite reclusive and sort of wanting to be left on their own. Which I did after five minutes of conversation. At some point I finally managed to interview the couple and ask them questions about their inspiration, creative process and what projects they would kill for.

1. How did you find each other?
We have always been fond of combining art and technology together and this was cemented at the Banff New Media Institute where we engaged in the practice of science and human heart beat.

From there we took this understanding and established a company called Champagne Valentine that worked under the philosophy of art for brands and creating experiences that would allow for us to create art in the public commercial space.

A decade later we started The Department of New Realities to help define what the future could be under the medium of the brand platform, thus helping businesses help the public with visionary voices.

2. What inspires you?
We are inspired to define tomorrow.

We look at different industry topics such as Dystopia Fiction (1984, Hunger Games, A Clockwork Orange), Childrens Entertainment, Environment Forecasts, Monument Education, Health Tech, and Culture of Narcissism and use these themes to create work that address our point view.

From here we have discussions with clients and colleagues to define a focused brief to combine these into something that speaks to audiences in a meaningful way.

3. Can you give exact examples from either your work or other artists who work with it? 

For example, in Paraíso Secreto, an event for Corona, we stimulated nature through a hyper sensorial, immersive VR event to inspire people to escape the urban jungle and get outside.

Image: LAVA HERO from Necessary Explosion App

4. How does your creative process work?
We try to experiment in a research and development environment.  Generally we avoid references but instead make things that feel right, feel new, and feel exciting.  Sometimes we hit the mark and other times we make mistakes, but in an industry where Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is still undefined,  there is a need to seek the unexpected.

5. Which work are you most proud of? 
Our latest project Necessary Explosion is close to our hearts because its about art, music and technology that plays on the timeless experience of fantasy and tune.

The app is a new kind of Augmented Reality experience that converts your turntable or surroundings into a psychedelic sculpture garden.

The modern time is stuck in a glimpse culture of swiping through endless streams of content with out absorbing the mediums in any real depth, a hyper speed distraction.  With this app we aim to augment the music world with art that brings people closer to the music and its aesthetic illusion.

 Image: Necessary Explosion app

6. What kind of project would you kill for?

Any project that adds a feeling to cold technology.

We are entertaining a potential crisis of isolating our selves from self reflection and being enslaved by the machine boss.

So our dream projects are focused on new reality technology that begs for people pleasing artistic approach.

7. What is the future of advertising according to you?

Advertising is always going to be there, and brands are beginning to engage in two sided conversations with the world.  Its not a one sided conversation, but a dance between consumer and company where there is a responsibility to make things that people want, and avoid swiped over media inconveniences.

8. Which are your favorite bands/ singers?
Depends on the mood swing and the setting.

Music is often about contrast, where sad music can bring down a jubilee, positive music can uplift and lightning day.  We need the frequency of good and bad vibes to feel real.

Image: Lava Umbrella from Necessary Explosion App

9. Favorite hobbies?

Hobby is nothing more than illogical exploration which leads to passion and love projects, which we strive to do that professionally, so you could say our job is hobby and hobby our job. And we love it!

Needless to say, I downloaded the app, played the SOS album of the band Necessary Explosion on YouTube, and….it felt as if I was tripping in my own living room! Amazing!

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