The Space Between

Artist Sonny Sanjay Vadgama talks to Dazed about his new exhibition and exploring the relationship between order and chaos

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Named by Glass Magazine as one of the most exciting new artists, Sonny Sanjay Vadgama explores the fascinating relationship between order and chaos in his new exhibition ‘That Space Between’. Discovering his passion for digital tools whilst working in Post Production, Vadgama became particularly fond of 3D due to the way it transfers video into a tangible substance. The show reflects Vadgama’s interest in the halfway point of both extremes and the way it can be applied to a variety of settings ranging from government stability to the mind. By using different media and scales, Vadgama reveals the balancing act that surrounds us in all walks of life.

Dazed Digital: Who is your favourite historical figure?
Sonny Sanjay Vadgama:
One of those questions when a million faces spring to mind. Does Syd Barrett count considering he left us so recently? I say yes... there's something about his lyrics I find captivating. I think 'The Madcap Laughs' has to be one of my favourite albums. 

DD: What was the last song you listened to over and over?
Sonny Sanjay Vadgama: It's a toss up between Sterling Void & Paris Brightledge - 'It's Alright' original mix ....it's my pick me up song... and Circlesquare - 'Fight sounds pt 2A' 

DD: Did you have a dream job as a child?
Sonny Sanjay Vadgama: I wanted to build aeroplanes. Really big ones that flew astronomically fast.

DD: What fascinates you about manipulating existing material to create 2D and 3D virtual environment?
Sonny Sanjay Vadgama: For me it's about using 3D as a mechanism to articulate certain aspects of otherwise 2D footage. With that in mind I find it exciting working on the cusp between 2D and 3D - it's the idea of functioning in a realm that neither seeks to be standard video or hyper-real.

DD: Is the experience of an immersive atmosphere important to understanding your ideas?
Sonny Sanjay Vadgama: Not entirely for all my work, but in some contexts absolutely. Some of my videos utilise scale and audience distance from the screen as tools to experience the work in different ways emotionally. As such, being immersed within those works that require it is part of their language and I think it would communicate very differently otherwise. There's also the aspect of sound, and again sound as an immersive component is very important for those pieces.

DD: When did you first become amazed at the power of cinema to enable escapism?
Sonny Sanjay Vadgama: When I was 9 years old and saw Katsuhiro Otomo's 'Akira'. As a child with an unhealthy appetite for cable cartoons it felt like a visual revolution. I think it was that contrast of the cartoons I knew and the anime world Akira that had such an effect on me. I essentially realised you can get very different results with the same ingredients. I also blame it for my subsequent fascination with dystopian societies. The second moment came whilst watching Dreyer's ' La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc'. I completely forgot I was watching a film and left feeling as if I had truly experienced the suffering of the protagonist.

DD: In what way is ‘That Space Between’ different from your previous exhibitions?
Sonny Sanjay Vadgama: Previously I mostly worked with one medium due to the scale of my work. This show contains photography and installation - additionally each video utilises very different production techniques including holography.

DD: What are your plans for the future?
Sonny Sanjay Vadgama: Continuing research with new media and hopefully some collaborative projects in different fields such as fashion. 

‘That Space Between’ takes place at Arts Gallery, University of the Arts London, between 10 November - 22 December, 2011

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