Interview: David Roth

David Roth is a video artist, scenographer and architect. After his diploma in architecture he founded prjktr. [projektor_berlin] together with Florian Machner and graduated in 2014 with the Master of Arts in Bühnenbild_Szenischer Raum.

Hi David, with what expectation did you start your studies here in 2012 and did you already have your current job in mind at the beginning?
The human being in spatial situations, that’s what interests me most and that was what brought me from architecture to scenography! And from there it evolved to staging things visually with an emphasis on video animations. I think it’s important to understand that studying is not a vocational education, but rather exploring contents, methods and processes. Not everyone who studies architecture necessarily becomes an architect, but maybe a scenographer. And not everyone who studies scenography necessarily becomes a scenographer, but – let’s say – a video artist.

What shaped you during your studies for your practice?
In classical school education it is slowly established that the learning effect is minimal with teaching approaches based on direct instruction or lecturing, they are simply no longer adequate. So when in your studies, it’s essential to design, to research and to develop as much as possible. I was really influenced by the ability to participate in teaching topics and contents. For example, as an extension of the curriculum we’ve already had in the Master’s program, we founded the lecture series ‘Intergraph’. Over a period of several semesters we experimented with different spatial formats, invited new artists and got to know potential lecturers.

You founded the agency “prjktr.” after graduation. What do you guys do exactly?
Let’s say: we are the directors of rooms. The space is our stage. We unleash its scenic performance with light and projection. Our work is an artistic installation in space. We work with expansive video projections, interactive media and exhibits with video. We realize these visual set-ups for exhibitions, theaters and stages, retail spaces and trade fairs or for all kinds of events.

Could you tell me a bit more – how is your working process and with which partners do you work exactly?
A few of our fields of work are for example sketching ideas, doing key visuals, writing concept texts, drafting storyboards, rough animations, editing and postproduction, but also technical planning, programming of media art installations, video mapping, production of mock-ups. Of course, project planning, time and cost management, contracts, etc. are also included. Almost every project is created in collaboration with musicians or sound artists, filmmakers, graphic designers, programmers, interior designers and generally spoken with a lot of great freelancers.

What do you like most about your job?
That we do everything. We develop from the first idea to the final realization of the installation. Each task is different, but always hyper-disciplinary, neo-creative, multi-visual and super-contemporary. It is always exciting.

What tips would you give to someone who wants to start their own studio?
It’s very simple:

1. Do it!
2. Continue!
3. Continue anyway!
4. Enjoy.

What that could look like, you can see at our website:

Thank you, David!


© all images: David Roth

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