Visual Artist Tupac Martir is USITT 2016 Keynote Speaker

Tupac Martir

USITT 2016 Keynote Speaker Tupac Martir has been called a “light magician,” a “creative visionary,” and an artistic genius.

His lighting and visual designs have illuminated Elton John and Sting, London Fashion Week shows, and performances at the Coachella Music Festival. He’s gained recent fame for his own groundbreaking productions, which merge many art forms to create captivating multimedia experiences.

Martir will open USITT 2016 in Salt Lake City next March 16 with a Keynote that’s sure to be more than a speech. He’ll stay on to lend his voice to sessions and discussions at USITT’s 56th Annual Conference & Stage Expo March 16-19 at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

The event draws some 5,000 theatrical and performance designers and technicians for networking, inspiration, education, recognition, and a Stage Expo with over 250 exhibitors displaying the latest in entertainment technology.

“Tupac’s work uses every discipline represented by USITT and then some,” said USITT Executive Director David Grindle. “We look forward to the excitement, innovation, and expertise his appearance at USITT 2016 brings to our show in Salt Lake City.”

A citizen of England and Mexico, Martir considers himself first and foremost a painter. His art training in Mexico and at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, informs everything he does and how he approaches his design and collaborations.

After earning his BFA in fine arts in 2000, he became art director for MTV Latinoamerica while developing his portfolio in lighting, set, video and costume. In 2008 he moved back to London to expand his work, which has resulted in designs for Elton John, Sting, Beyoncé, and Jon Bon Jovi, among others.

In the UK, he founded design firm Satore Studio, which provides design across different areas of live entertainment including London Fashion Week shows Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood. He designed lighting for the late Alexander McQueen’s last show, the edgy Plato’s Atlantis in spring 2010.

Martir has evolved into a multimedia artist whose work spans fields from lighting/projection/video to sound design/music/composition to choreography and
costumes -- and whose tools range from puppetry and stop-motion animation to digital lighting and media servers to Mogees, a new music-making software that’s not yet on the market.

His acclaimed dance opera, Nierka, incorporated video and projection with dance, music, and lighting – including costumes embedded with LEDs controlled wirelessly as part of the performance and the first show ever to use CAST Software’s BlackTrax.

USITT 2016 brings Martir to North America to share his artistic vision with the performing arts and live entertainment design and technology industry. His appearance will kick off more than 200 sessions including design and tech workshops, awards, competitions, and demonstrations of the best in theatre technology.

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