Video Arts Festival shakes up UT

by Sydney Rhodes

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the International Video Arts Festival premiered their first Video Arts Festival at UT,  the only one to come to America. The festival took place in the campus’ Reeves Theatre, while the theatre shook from the bass as the screen filled with overlaying motion videos.

The art show displayed videos from around the world from ten different countries: Brazil, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, Italy, England, Sweden, France, Uruguay and the United States. New work was selected to premiere at each of the shows.

The videos that were selected were all related to the field of video arts, based off two different trends. One was titled video arts, which is experimental video explaining narratives or visuals. These are overlaid images that create an artistic video. The other trend was video music, that pushes the boundaries of visual effects and synchronizes with an electronic bass. In this trend, artwork is created using music to form the visuals. Artists are creating these pieces for pure enjoyment and to explore the possible effects in video and the visuals that can be created through music.

The inaugural festival at UT was commenced by Santiago Echeverry, associate professor of film, animation and new media.

“These works of art give shape to something invisible, like music,” said Echeverry. “The whole goal of the production is to see sound. They can be very hard to understand as well. I presume that my audience was very confused, but that’s the goal, there is no story line and no meaning to these works.”

The main organizer of this festival was Angelo Restivo, a musician that Echeverry has collaborated with. Restivo has competed in several of the countries and has had seven different premiers with the festival. He is also an associate professor and area director for Moving Image Studies and communication at Georgia State University.

“We’ve done several pieces together where I have formatted videos and Restivo has done the music to correspond,” said Echeverry. “He’s a very talented and knowledgeable musician and we’ve done all of our work together virtually, we’ve never met.”

At first, the festival was only supposed to be Tampa, U.S, Vina del Mar, Chile, and Brazilia, Brazil, but Restivo reached out to the other venues around the world and made the festival bigger than it’s ever been before, with ten countries participating, according to Echeverry. The artists hopes to expand these events even further and displaying this work of art to as many people as possible.

In addition, The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) joined the International Video Arts Festival this year in support of International Day of Light, which is the celebration of light in culture, art and science. The institutions involved in the Festival contributed exclusively to UNESCO by providing works that supported the International Day of Light, according to

The organizers of the International Video Arts Festival were able to link the various events together virtually. Throughout the day, each venue shared their outcomes and photos through a Facebook group. Tampa’s showing was the last of the countries to premier.

“I was extremely happy to have the first International Video Arts Festival at UT and host the only one in America this year,” said Echeverry. “It was a lot of fun and I hope I opened the students eyes to Video Art.”

Sydney Rhodes can be reached at

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