> What is exactly Subaquatica
? A record label, a shop, an artist collective... ?
Subaquatica is the secret submarine hideout for the brilliant mastermind
Karl Stromberg. He plans to develop a submarine city where humans can live
and Subaquatica is the first step in this direction. Subaquatica is definitely
not an artist collective or a record label. However, on the surface, in
Madrid to be precise, there's this place called Subaquatica that pays tribute
to that other real Subaquatica, the underwater one. In the Madrid Subaquatica,
we are strongly encouraged by our mentor, Stromberg, to only feature things
that are either beautiful or disturbing (or even better, both) to look
Of course we try to sell these objects that range from a selection of silkcreen
prints to original work mostly on paper and also on wood and we also have
a nice selection of magazines, books, toy figures, DVDs, badges, stickers,
T-Shirts... Most of these other items have a connection with what I call
contemporary urban culture. I'm still not too sure what that means but it
does include the work of all these artists that, like yourself, display their
work in the streets of our cities. Also, while trying to find out what this "contemporary
urban culture" concept really means, I try to have fun and hopefully
make a living at the same time. Subaquatica is also something like and "art
label" and a first example of this is the "Atlantis
Phase I" DVD+CD
but the next item we produce might be a book, a pen and a paper, a stereo,
a tape of Me and Eric B, and a nice big plate of Fish...
> Can you present yourself Atlantis phase 1 ? What was your original
goal in making this DVD ? Was it something you had been planning for a long
Well, the filming of these artists started about 1 and a half years ago without
a very clear idea of what I wanted to do with all that video footage. I
intended to document these different artists at work. All of them, with
very different approaches, share the same medium, the street and that was
the only idea at first. While filming the different artists, I found out
that I was uncovering part of the mistery that all these actions have when
people like myself find them while walking on the streets. This is why
I decided to keep some of the mistery so I didn't interview the artists
because I wanted the "Why" to remain unanswered. I didn't want
to do voice off because I though that the images pretty much spoke for
themselves. I asked some music artists such as Roty
340 to give me new
unreleased material because I think that music is what worked the best
with those images. The goal making "Atlantis Phase I" was in
the first place to enjoy myself sharing these moments with the different
artists and putting the whole thing together but of course it's also to
portray a particular moment in the history of art displayed in the street
of Spanish cities... I guess.
> "Atlantis Phase 1" Does it mean there will be a 2nd phase
? If yes devoted again to the spanish scene ?
The same way building houses and buildings is planned by phases, the development
of Atlantis, the underwater work conceived by Karl Stromberg is also planned
and executed in phases. So of course there's a 2nd and a 3rd phase but
I'm not allowed to tell you yet what it will consist of. It will
certanly have a wider approach both geographically as well as conceptually. I don't
really like the "scene" term very much but I admit I find it
usefull sometimes but if you see the work of the artists that are featured
in "Atlantis Phase I" I don't think they have much more in common
that if you choose a random selection of other "street Artists" from
around the planet. The only reason that "Phase I" has been filmed
in Spain only is purely economic.
> And why such a name "Atlantis" ?
I would recommend you all rented in your nearest DVD-Video rental place "The
Spy Who Loved Me" (UA, 1977) to fully understand what Subaquatica is
really about. I don't like the James Bond character that much but his villains
> What has been the harder on the making of the DVD ?
Not having more money and time to travel around a little bit more and bring
in some real profesionals for the filming and editing of the movie. However
you should all watch out for Pablo Aravena's documentary about Street Art
worldwide "Next"... to be released soon. It's going to be very
nice and very pro. Not really that I would have done the same as he's doing
with his documentary if I had the money and time. My approach is different
and "Atlantis Phase I" is definitely not a proper documentary
because I never wanted it to be one besides the limitations of my budget.
I wanted it to be more of an object that appealed to different senses.
Overall, it's has been very fun doing "Atlantis Phase I" and
not really hard at all.
> Have you watched many graffiti videotapes or movies. Which are your
I would have to say "Style
Wars". This is definitely the best documentary
on Graffiti ever and it's also the reason I started being interested in painting
(or doing whatever else just for the sake of it) in the streets in the first
place, when I watched it on the spanish tv nearly around 15 years ago.
How can we order the DVD in Spain and abroad ?
You can find more info, download a trailer and hopefully
buy a copy to enjoy at home here: http://www.subaquatica.com/atlantisph1
Also, don't forget visiting Subaquatica if you are in Madrid:
c/ Caballero de Gracia 9
Phase 1 consists of a music CD and a DVD.
The DVD present 11 artists in action
on 9 short video clips -no speach,
The artists on the DVD are : Freaklüb, FAQ, JR, Los del Cartel,
Nano 4814, ONG, Sixe, El Tono & la Nuria and Skum.
- Sergio Aguilar -june 2004