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Creatives to Know 2011: Ciel Hunter

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Ciel Hunter (with Ash Nehru of United Visual Artists)
Ciel Hunter (with Ash Nehru of United Visual Artists) Credit: TG Firestone

Intel began to bust out of the chip-shaped confines of its non-image in 2009 with a Venables Bell-created campaign that played up the company's nerdy cool factor. Then, in 2010 the tech titan threw in with youth media empire Vice to expand its presence among the young creative crowd, globally. The unlikely partnership spawned The Creators Project, an ambitious, multifaceted art/culture/music initiative that aims to link (Intel) technology with creativity in a meaningful way.

The Project has spanned a series of global parties and music shows, art installations, panel discussions, a web content channel and more, and has initiated collaborations with and showcased the works of a who's who of established and next-generation artists. So how do you creative direct an unwieldy, ongoing noncampaign like this? If you can track her down, you can ask Ciel Hunter, who, as creative director acts as the Project's curator, producer, wrangler, editor and spiritual adviser.

Hunter started as an intern at Vice Records and moved into content production, working on the company's MTV-distributed show, "The Vice Guide to Everything," and producing brand-backed projects out of Vice's agency arm, Virtue.

As creative director of The Creators Project, she focuses on the big picture, as well as the moving parts. "I provide overall direction on the content, the artworks, and the artists, and specifically work very closely on the curation of both artists and artworks," Hunter says. "It's also very important to us to maintain a strong relationship with each artist in the program, so a lot of the daily work involves working closely with them on each project that is under way."

Animal Collective on Coachella main stage designed by Black Dice and United Visual Artists
Animal Collective on Coachella main stage designed by Black Dice and United Visual Artists

Hunter was most recently on the ground at the Coachella music festival, where the Vice crew and a handful of very creative friends orchestrated what to festival-goers must have seemed a mind-bending array of music-enhancing sights, sounds and experiences. Working with people like director Jonathan Glazer, who teamed on an installation with J. Spaceman from Spiritualized; Chris Milk, who created a stage spectacle for Arcade Fire featuring LED-enhaced balls; and United Visual Artists, who worked on the main stage design, Hunter and the Vice team sought to reimagine the live-music experience and demonstrate the sweep of the Project.

"The opportunity to work with a festival like Coachella has been amazing for this project," says Hunter. "It gave us the chance to work with world-class artists ... and impact tens of thousands of people in one weekend. The six major works we produced at the festival are all amazing pieces to have as a part of the project, and really were meant to not just better the festival experience, but also to showcase the scope of The Creators Project. From the Jonathan Glazer and Spiritualized work that was so technologically advanced and yet such an elegantly simple audience experience to the epic main stage from United Visual Artists that was able to come to life through their lighting design each night, to the video work Black Dice created, and then mixed live, for Animal Collective, it showed the huge variety of works and artists that make up The Creators Project."

In orchestrating the Project, Hunter says she works with a team that encompasses the whole Vice operation, from events to marketing to video. "Everyone at Vice has played a role in this from day one," she says.

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