Eric Dalbin

The Creators Project: You mentioned that you’re currently working inside the Pompidou Centre because Dalbin has no official office space. Do you prefer to work this way, without being tethered to a single location?

Eric Dalbin: As a matter of fact, we are looking for a new workspace/showroom. In the meantime, we’re experiencing the “nomadic office,” meaning a computer and a cell phone—you work wherever you are. It’s quite effective and a good temporary cost reduction!

Can you give us a brief overview of Dalbin’s back-story and the work the label creates? It has so many facets, and hearing it from the horse’s mouth might help our readers understand the scope of what you do.

Dalbin is an independent label for contemporary creation founded in 2003 in Paris. We produce and distribute works of art, events, and audiovisual content. This work is part of the art movement called “visual music.” We started with the launch of a DVD album collection distributed through the international markets of traditional records and art books. These original creations then became live shows and installations exhibited at cultural institutions. Our clients are luxury brands and cultural institutions.

OK that helps, but can you tell us a bit more about “visual music”?

In the music industry musicians generally record their albums in the studio, and then the label selects a graphic designer for the cover and a director for a music video. So the music happens first, and then comes the visual side of things. On the other end of the spectrum is the movie industry: The director shoots his film and then adds a existing soundtrack or commissions an original score. In this case, pictures come before the music. 
At Dalbin and Dalbin-Event we like to develop co-creation projects where we get all of the creative partners to gather around the table to discuss and write the project together. This is very a constructive process. It demands a very subtle approach to guide the creators through this collaboration. The result is always beyond everyone’s expectations.


What are your latest projects? 

We’re launching an iPhone application to sell art films to collectors, starting in February 2010 with the film Kill the Ego by Soundwalk and Rostarr. We’re also launching an audiovisual magazine for luxury houses, which will have a unique distribution network and feature encounters between visual artists, musicians, and scientists. And, as always, we’re focused on event creation and creative content for luxury houses.

And which of Dalbin’s projects are you most proud of to date? 

There are many. If I had to choose two of them, I would say Labland by [Berlin-based design house] Pfadfinderei and Modeselektor because this is was our first creation. Two years before it was released, I had a vision of an original visual music album and live show, which they realized through this collaboration. It was a real achievement. The other is Super #1 by Xavier Veilhan and Sebastien Tellier, which was released in 2005. With Xavier we have travelled beyond graphic design and video projection to explore other art forms—things like sculpture and using a real horse onstage. And with Sebastien Tellier we have explored other music genres beyond electronic music that have led us to rock, pop, classical, contemporary music, and more.

 Are there any technologies on the horizon that particularly interest you in terms of your work?

I would say holograms. This will definitely be a technology that will change our visual landscape. It’s still very expensive and under development, but they are getting there. Besides that, the real-time visualization of music is obviously a direction I am looking toward. But there is still a ways to go before we step out of algorithmic-generative design. The technologies are out there; we just need to make the good use of them.
 Also, in my dreams, all of my content and information would be in one big, synchronized database.