Opening the inner Gates

Imagine a world full of abstract figures, moving and dancing to ambient, electronic music. The sounds, figures and images are merging softly into each other, then being broken apart by sharp, dynamic forms and experimental type. Watching the project “Opening the inner Gates” by Fabio Furlani and Shady Tawfik, is not only very visually and aurally pleasing, it also feels like traveling through time and space. Inspired by the early works of media artists like John Whitney, Walther Ruttmann and Toshio Matsumo, the project is created as a sonic and visual narrative, telling a story with no connection to the “real world”. 

Soon after contacting each other on Instagram, the idea for “Opening the inner Gates” was born. “It is also an homage for the Lumerie Brothers who invented the first film ever, and John Berger, who thinks that the invention of modern filmmaking will change the way we look at art and design”, Shady says, “And he was right. He also mentions that with this invention, people no longer need to travel to experience mind-blowing things.” Teaming up with dj and producer @vector_trancer, who created the soundtrack for the project, the trio created an energetic fusion of sound and image, promoting the inherent relationship between motionpicture, graphic design and music. 

Based in Lucerne, Switzerland, Fabio Furlani is currently graduating this summer. The graphic designer works on personal projects and freelance commissions, while most of his works have roots in the fields of fashion and music. Combining sharp, almost symbolical forms, bold colors and abstract textures, his work is shaped by an ambient, futuristic look. His projects reach from animated posters and motiondesign to experimental typography and abstract posters. “I take whatever challenges me, but currently I’m kinda focused on display typography”, he says. “I would also love to design a full typeface together with another designer, but I couldn’t say who I would choose! There are so many great designers!”

Originally coming from graphic design, Shady Tawfik is focusing more and more on Motionpicture and CGI. Based in Bielefeld, Germany, the visual artist is currently studying graphic and communication design. Projects like the cover artwork for “Empire of Emotions” by Orange Milk Records and “Celestial Science” show his interest in data visualization and 3D-landscape design and especially his talent to create abstract, atmospheric worlds with an eye for details. For the future, Shady is always interested in new collaborations with other designers. ‘There are so many! Ciaran Birch is killing it right now. Just like Colin Doerffler, Laura Csocsán and Kristýna Kulíková. And someone who I think creates the most unique designs is Gergő Kovács.’

While naming collaborative projects like Dazed Beauty or Tunica Magazine as a source for their inspiration, both see collaborations as a way to learn new skills and build bonds and relationships between other artists and designers. “It’s nothing necessary for me, but I’m grateful for every collaboration. It might be easier to create new, unique stuff together than alone, but at the same time there is no guarantee”, Fabio says, “What I gain most is probably technical knowledge in design softwares. During collaborations you often show your workflow to your partner, so you can learn these things from each other.” 

While thinking about the importance of design collaborations, Shady mentions the group called “the blue rider” from 1914: “Artists like Kandinsky and Franz Marc teamed up because they all had the same aesthetic while working in completely different styles. As a result they created what is now called expressionism. At first their work was rejected by the people. They didn’t like it because they didn’t understand. But they kept doing it. And I think that’s the spirit about collaboration. Creating something only for your self with highly talented designers and to have no client in between.”

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