Azul Television: Audiovisual Textures
In 1991 Alejandro Vila returned to the Universidad de Concepción, to study the first year of Journalism since his studies in Anthropology were interrupted by the breakdown of democracy in 1973. In this environment, Vila began to take interest in the audiovisual area and produced video clips and short films.

This is how he began to create videos that permitted the explanation of the theoretical framework and the codes of the work of different artists through visual sequences. This group of artists included Fernando Melo, Luis Cuello, Mario Sánchez, Óscar Barra and Edgardo Neira.

He created two films for the painter Eduardo Meisser: “Los caminos que se bifurcan” (The roads that fork) and “La invasion de termitas” (The invasion of the termites). The films recount the distinct stages of painting for the artist, but in such a way that it allows for the understanding of the metalanguage of his works.

In 1995 he won a Fondart, to create videos about ten local artists to be used in regional schools, through the Ministry of Education.

A year later he won a competition to create an audiovisual presentation of the “Segunda Bienal de Escultura de la Universidad de Bío-Bío (UBB)” (Second biennial exhibition of sculpture at the University of Bío-Bío. In this he uses rock support that he had already put into practice with Grupo Grisalla, as much for the music as the innovative effects.

Years later, in 2000, he won another contest to document the sculptures of the recently inaugurated Puente Llacolén (Llacolén Bridge).

Vila stands out with “primitive elements that create effects that are thought to be electronic and people are left questioning how we had done it.”

This same creativity he applied later in the cable TV channel, Energy on channel 50, where he was the director and producer of the program “La Micro” which was conducted by his daughter, Fernanda, who was a journalism student at the time.  The concept was completely unprecedented.  He rented a minibus and took out all of the seats to arrange the space for interviews to be carried out while it travels through the city. The people being interviewed came from all intellectual environments, like journalists, doctors, environmentalist, sculptors and recording artists.

With this audiovisual proposal, in 1996 he formed a society with Fernando Barra and Ema González in order to create the TV channel, Azul Television. In this initiative, Vila helped in the capacity of imagination and managing the audiovisual codes.

While he created the scope of the program, he had to find editors, producers, and videographers that had the stamp of Vila’s audiovisual proposal.  Therefore, he invited the four journalism schools and the three audiovisual departments of Concepción. Many students answered the call, of which about 50 journalism students and 50 audiovisual communication students were chosen. In this way, the teams were formed and they began this innovative approach to television. It was somewhat of an experiment, with a sense of magic and desire on the behalf of all of the participants to do something different. Sylvia Slier, Alfredo García, Fernando Fuente-alba, y Alejando de la Maza are a few of the aforementioned students who were obligated to work with the project.

Among the first programs was, “Semanario Estudiantil” (Student Seminar), which was created with the assistance of high school junior and seniors.  They developed civic and values themes under the guidance of the journalism students.

Another milestone was “U’Llola”, a giant puppet that did political satire of the mayor of Concepción at that time. The simple people, like the transient or the fish seller, were the protagonist on the television because they interacted with the puppet in the street. The original idea was to use more puppets, one for each of the heads of the municipal government.

“La Micro” continued and other cultural programs appeared such as “Cinema” which was a film critic show filmed in different areas of the city. The format was that the manager, Claudia Costaglioa, went along commenting in a historical manner, while she went around the locations, ad-hoc, of the film.

They also carried out a talk show, “Gente como Usted” (People like You) where people told the drama in their lives. They recorded “Sin fronteras” (Without borders), a program with interviews done by young people that had been exchange students abroad.  They also worked with a biology student to record “Borde Costero” (Coastal Edge) with submarine cameras and the student dressed as a diver and showing the various ecosystems of the coasts in the region.

Simultaneously, they made co productions with different social stratum in Concepción. In this way the Catholic Church was represented by religious programs, the uniformed had programs of throwing championships, and the dance troop Calaucán had a program showing choreography about the bridge highway that connects San Pedro de la Paz and Concepción.  For this filming, they used a 28 mt. high lift truck from the General Electric Company and a helicopter from the army.

After eight years on the air, at the arrival of the digital stage, they had to abandon Concepción because the technological leap proved to be too much of an investment.

Therefore they were offered a little station that transmitted to 14 cities on the coast. It had to do with a new proposal, but in a social environment. This is how Azul Lota began and transmitted to Arauco, Carampangue, and Colcura among others.

In this phase the citizens had a large participation. The people of Lota created their programs of a social nature in addition to giving them cameras and educating them in production.

Moreover, they presented short films and worked as actors, in such a way that the communication was converted into a communicative vessel between social networks and brought to discussion topics that were interesting to the public.

Vila ended his participation with the channel in 2004 when he was attracted to a new passion: sculptures.