Skydog is the alias of experimental director Ryan Uzilevsky
Born and raised in San Francisco, California to a family of musicians,
artists, and nature enthusiasts with roots in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
Exhibition and film festival curator, a designer, a builder,
and also the mind behind the world renowned multimedia collective
Light Harvest Studio.
He now lives and works in New York, South East Asia, and California.
At the age of 14 he began working in video production with his family
and friends who were centered around the live music and independent film
scenes in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As a young adult he studied sculpture and film at San Francisco State
University of California before deciding to relocate to New York City to work
as an independent film director. From there he traveled around the world
participating in a vast multitude of creative projects.
When not traveling, he is a guest lecturer and research collaborator at NYU
Tisch School of the Arts as well as UCLA's Design Media Arts.
He has worked with the creative directors and producers of major artists and
brands such as HBO, Sony, Skrillex, Tycho, Diesel, Prada, Thom Yorke. He has
collaborated with countless DJs, Performers, Festivals, TV Shows, Film Festivals,
and Art Galleries from East Coast, West Coast, Europe, Hong Kong, India
Bali and beyond
To help fund the independent art and film career, the commercial outfit Light Harvest Studio signified Skydog's expansion from traditional cinema, into site specific audio visual performance and large scale public media art.
This background in visual effects for cinema warrants an intimate knowledge of visual storytelling, and a firm grasp on
technology. With all this combined, the art and the films become something bigger. It becomes monumental scale projected experiences that touch on complex themes such as mind/body dualism, lucid dreaming, spirituality, and romance.
Particularly, his current work studies the hybrid relationship between architecture and the moving image. A focus on the dynamic manipulation of perceived space and the unseen movements that are suggested within architectural form. Moving the imovable.
New possibilities to deliver bigger stories.
Skydog / Ryan Uzilevsky speaking on architectural video mapping:
“These larger-than-life scale artistic gestures are projected, amplified by cutting edge technologies which bring viewers into a heighten state of suspended disbelief, witch is not easy to achieve in today’s over saturated environment“
His work often merges Visual Art and Music. With projects featured at international festivals, exhibitions, concerts, theaters, and museums. For example, the Guggenheim Museum, the New York MOMA, Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Burning Man,
New York's Festival of Ideas, Further Future Festival, House of Yes, Robot Heart, and VIVID Festival in Sydney.
By embedding cinematic special effects into the worlds established architectural realms, a new visual language emerges.
This work has the ability to deliver feelings and sensations that challenge not only the intellectual mind and the emotional heart,
but also the biological instinct of alertness which can be triggered if caught off guard by images of this scale. For example seeing the roof of a building falling towards you or four horses running at you down a hallway. There are certain adrenal tendencies built into our human spatial conscience that can be powerfully triggered within our living sense of scale and space.
Human environmental awareness becomes a canvas on which to create.
Unlike many of his New Media Art contemporaries, his digitally based work does not represent a departure from the legacy of the built environment, or a call for a post-internet digital replacement to public space, rather, he creatively integrates the deep seeded human response to classical shape, form, and material.
From there, he presents work from a platform that is familiar while beckoning the unpredictable. It is in this suspended state of possibility that audiences can find themselves vulnerable enough to absorb and contemplate the meaningful narratives that are being delivered in the work.
The results are immersive experiences that allow once familiar structures and spaces to engage in two-way communication with the audience. A communal and dynamic theatrical experience where the audience is free to wander in and around the installation sites. Explorative freedom within the Audio Visual journey.
The future SkyDog's work is undefined yet always infused with the possibilities to create suspension of disbelief and meaningful reflections on our deepest human sensitivities.
"BACK IN RENAISSANCE TIMES, Uzilevsky says,
commissions from individuals and institutions at the
highest strata of society were about creating something
impressive, dramatic, and long-lasting, like a new
cathedral or public square."
“Seems, there’s no longer as much space
in our cities and towns for building cathedrals and monuments,”
he says. “Instead, today we’re able to augment or transform
an existing architectural vision into something more modern,
or more relevant to the current location based human condition.”
It fulfills the desire for a communal and dynamic
“Traditional or classical architecture is a crystallization of a time,
including the feelings and aspirations,” he says.
“It’s a kind of cultural meme from the past. So everything is sitting there,
crystallized from the time it was built, unchanging.
It’s no longer a current conversation"
But with the speed at which our culture is now flowing,
I think there’s been a need for architecture to talk and to communicate.
We’re able to do that now—to transform physical spaces based
on a communication objective, or an artistic statement."
A more primitive aspect, according to Skydog, is
that people respond so viscerally. His intention is to
take this medium “beyond digital fireworks” to insert
stories and mythology into each installation.
Why stories and mythology?
“This type of installation can be so intense and overwhelming for
people, so there needs to be a common and empathetic point
where they can connect to themselves, and to their humanity,
otherwise it quickly deteriorates into overly amplified
abstraction, which to me is far less interesting or useful"