Kuzu Creative was born out of an artistic collaboration between Sera Boeno and Fredric Freeman. After completing their first project together back in 2017, Sera and Fredric knew that if they combined forces, they could unlock so much more creative potential. Thus, the creative services agency was born.
Drawing inspiration from their environment, Sera and Fredric took their skills to our Artist Fellowship program at Getaway’s DC outpost. Our Getaway cabin and surrounding foliage became their canvas for elaborate projection mappings. We were totally in awe of what they were able to create using such simple surfaces as inspiration.
We sat down with Sera and Fredric to talk through their creative process and how they get away.
Hi Fredric and Sera. Please introduce yourselves.
Fredric: Hey it’s Fredric. Pleasure to meet you. I have a pretty varied background. I’ve been everything from a reputable underground music artist, to award winning agency animator, professor of virtual reality, and pizza delivery professional. My current professional endeavors have focused on exploring more augmented, extended, and virtual realities.
I grew up in Maryland. Born in Baltimore, only a few hours aways from our Getaway stay near the Blue Ridge Mountains. I can remember visiting this area a few times as a kid. Flying along Skyline Drive losing my mind from how beautiful it looked.
I’m currently based in Philadelphia, working as an adjunct professor of animation at Jefferson University. I also do non-profit work serving as the President of the Philadelphia Area New Media Association, a tech agnostic organization that promotes diversity through education.
Sera: Sera Boeno here. Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey and currently residing in Baltimore, MD, by way of Hanover, NH. I am a sculptor, installation artist who also dabbles with digital design and curatorial work. I just earned my M.F.A degree in Sculpture from Maryland Institute College of Art’s Rinehart School of Sculpture. Currently, I am an artist-fellow at the Hamiltonian, DC, and I work as the Asst. Creative Director of KUZU Creative. The KUZU title is a broad-spanning type of hat, having a broad spectrum of expertise helps with that.
How did Kuzu Creative come to be?
Fredric: At the end of 2017, a fashion school in Philly approached me to do a projection installation. I was in need of a person who can wear many hats from research and conceptualization of creative projects to organization and production to help out with the project. At that point Sera and I had been acquainted, and knew of each others work; I approached her to see if she would be interested in co-creating this installation. The work was a huge success and was followed by inquiries of more work, which was a sign to institutionalize our working relationship. We wanted a flexible structure through which we can leverage, and provide for our individual creative networks. This mindset turned out to be a great way to work, as we now have the opportunity to curate a specific team of contracted creatives that we trust according to the specific needs of any project from projection installations for children to animated music videos to product design.
Where do you go or what do you to to feel inspired?
Sera: I either do something completely unrelated for inspiration, like going swimming. Or I go to art spaces and museums, visit other artists’ studios or peruse a good book/documentary around a subject I am thinking about.
Fredric: I agree with Sera. Positive distractions.
How do you recharge?
Fredric: Nature. It’s the easiest way to recharge. One of the things I love about the Getaway is its ethos- the idea of unplugging and enjoying the space you are currently residing in. I’m a strong believer of taking walks in the woods. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that nature provides all the stimulation we need.
Sera: Agreed with Freddie, nature is a good way to come back to ground zero. I also find it really important to make space and time for self-care routines; mine are, in no particular order, exercising, reading fiction, making and eating good food, baths, meditation, and Skype dates with friends on the other side of the Atlantic.
Can you take us through how you created these incredible projection mappings? Step by step if possible.
Fredric: We started with a concept: Lost Digital Civilizations.
Sera: This is how we usually start, we muse about the possible response to a space/prompt we are given. After the concept is loosely set, we start collecting “assets”; in this case, zoom-in photographs of micro-chips, stock photos of archaeological artifacts, etc.
Fredric: We then created digital imagery and animations infused with these photos of ruins, microchips, cultural icons, etc. to create images of, say, Digital Gods Descending or something like that…
From there we did some test projections in Sera’s studio. We also took some time to build concrete objects to project on. Then we packed everything up and hit the woods. From there we scoped out a few areas we thought might create a nice composition and mapped our images on to these spaces. A huge reason things came together was the fact that we just went with it. We projected onto everything from tree trunks, to branches, to rocks, to even the front of our cabin.
Sera: I agree. I think most of the time our concepts are starting points but chance happenings have a big part in how the end-result is shaped. We welcome such opportunities to end up with things that we did not necessarily foresee. I personally believe it’s best when the work is one step ahead of you.
Where do you go to get away?
Sera: It’s tough to get away when you are in the creative hustle, because most of the time that means you are juggling multiple jobs/contracts while also trying to maintain an active studio practice. The two strain each other quite a bit. My solution is finding art residencies away from the city. For example, I spent some weeks in Steuben, WI, at ACRE residency where there was barely any cell phone reception. The surrounding area was so isolated that the moon shone bright enough to create shadows. I committed to making work here away from urban life, and while practicing to focus on doing so without thinking about to what end. That was my get away. Though, when I am able to travel, spending time in Istanbul, at home with family, usually serves as the ultimate getaway.
What is your dream creative project?
Sera: I would love a client to come to us with endless budget, space and time to commission an art project.
Fredric: Currently I think it would be to direct a music video for the Turkish rapper, Ezhel.
What are you most proud of?
Fredric:The journey Kuzu Creative is on.
Finish the sentence. At Getaway…
Kuzu Creative House made some pretty cool projection installations in nature.