The International Mapping Festival, Girona (FIMG)


If you are imagining this is a meeting of cartographers, I wouldn't be surprised. That was my first impression when I saw the signs all over Girona announcing the event in late July and early August. What puzzled me was why such an esoteric topic was generating so much publicity. Then I learned that “mapping” in this instance refers to a newly developed experimental art form that uses large buildings as canvases for the display of audiovisual works that are projected onto their façades. The stated goals of the organizers were as follows:

“The FIMG turns the city of Girona into the international mapping capital and fills it with light, thanks to the latest in visual arts. The most iconic façades in the city are used as the canvases for the International Mapping Contest, with large format audiovisual projections inspired by ‘contradictions,’ the theme for the year.”

Elyn and I strolled through the darkened streets, following the festival map to several sites around the city. We experienced sensory overload at the rapidly shifting lights and nearly deafening sound, but within this boisterous intensity was a warping and fragmenting of reality that was mesmerizing. Façades melt, break up, and change appearance before your eyes. Fires break out and are replaced by hollow shells. People appear and disappear and otherworldly creatures emerge and speak. These artists are on to something for sure, and I look forward to what they will achieve in the future.

If you want to experience a sample of what we saw when we were out on the final night of the festival, play my short video of excerpts: (CLICK)

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