Tape Art & Projection Mapping with Artist Fabio de Saldanha

This year, Pro Tapes® helped sponsor the Tape Over artist collective for their participation at UpFest 2022 in Bristol, UK. We noticed a new artist working with them, as well as the amazing artwork he produced, which combined tape art with projection mapping and video. That artist is Fabio de Saldanha – let’s get to know more about his work!

First, check out Fabio’s artwork for UpFest 2022, “BIG FISH:”

Do you have a website or any social media sites you’d like to share with our audience?

Website: www.fabio-saldanha.com (see the tape art section)

Instagram: @fabio.de.saldanha

Fabio moved to Berlin to study film & motion design

Tell us a little about yourself; how long have you been working in film and art?

I started filming my friends skateboarding when I was 11 years old. When I finished high school, I moved to Berlin to study film & motion design.

Berlin broadened my horizon, showing me that film is just one subcategory of audiovisual art. I began visiting many “new media” art installations and was confronted with new vocabulary such as: immersive, generative, procedural, real-time, kinetic, and interactive.

Choosing tape as your artistic medium comes with many benefits

During the covid lockdown, I assembled a PC with my brother and got myself into 3D animation. I loved it, and I still do, but I felt like I was spending too much time sitting at my computer.

Then, I discovered tape art through a YouTube recommended video. Who would have thought? On the same day, I went to the local shop, bought some tape, and started taping my apartment.

Fabio de Saldanha working on an animation for projection mapping

So, you got involved with the Tape Over artist collective for UpFest 2022. We’ve known Tape Over for awhile; they’ve even visited our headquarters in New Jersey! How did you end up working with them?

After doing a couple of projects on my own, I reached out to all of the main tape art collectives and artists based in Berlin to find a group to collaborate with. Tape Over was the group that wrote back. Since then, I have been working with them on many different projects.

Fabio reached out to Tape Over and began collaborating with them
Fabio collaborating with Berlin-based artist collective Tape Over.

Tell us about the artwork you created for UpFest 2022. What inspired you to try combining tape art with projection?

Choosing tape as your medium comes with many unique features: you can draw perfectly straight lines, fill surfaces with uniform color, remove it, and put it back on. In addition to that, you are directly in contact with your canvas/wall.

On the other side, projection mapping is just purely magical for me. You work with light, space, and movement. It’s intangible; you can’t touch it, while the tape really sticks to you. Combining these two very different workflows and mediums is just extremely rewarding to me. I found the perfect balance: Part of the time I work with my computer, and part of the time I work with my body!

Artist Fabio de Saldanha reached out to Tape Over to join their artist collective

Which Pro Tapes® products do you use now? What are your favorite qualities about them?

I really like the paper tapes, like Pro® Artist Tape. The fact that you can easily tear it by hand makes you loosen up your body and your mind. You free yourself from perfectionism. You think less and work more intuitively.

Fabio working on his artwork BIG FISH for UpFest2022
Fabio using Pro® Artist Tape to create his artwork, “BIG FISH.”

If someone is interested in combining tape, digital art, and projections to create art pieces like yours, what advice would you have for them?

Just buy a cheap projector or borrow one from a friend. Get the trial license of MadMapper and start mapping objects in your apartment (chair, washing machine, kitchen cabinets, etc..) 

Or, go straight to walls and tape some lines up with Pro® Artist Tape or Pro Gaff® and try projection mapping on those! Abstract polygon shapes work great for this. If you are still feeling intimidated, use your projector to project a photo on the wall, and tape the outlines and shapes you see. There’s no shame in doing that!

Fabio recommends first experimenting at home with tape and projection mapping

It’s much less complicated than you think and much more rewarding than you would expect!

Start simple and move on to more complex tape mapping ideas. The sky is the limit. You can project simple 2D keyframe animations or heavy particle simulations. You can project on the tape (line), between the tape (surface), or continue the taped lines with projected lines. There are many things I still want to explore, personally…

Do you have any upcoming projects our audience should keep an eye out for?

In a few days, rehearsals will start for a dance theater show that I will be involved with. It’s quite a technical challenge, because alongside the dancer there will be 3 high-power drones, each carrying one projector! I’m super excited as it’s the first time I’m creating visuals for flying projectors, hahaha. 

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