1024 Architecture have already made rectangles sexy, in light, mappings, and stage environments. Now, they’ve gone all fourth-dimensional on us – and the results are stunning.
They give us a look behind the scenes at this project, and how they’ve used Ableton Live and Quartz Composer to realize it. You can even use their QC patches in your own projects, if you think you can add more nth dimensions. (For the record, a tesseract is a specific hypercube – a 4-dimensional shape, of the class of n-dimensional hypercubes. It’s also a cool reference to the science fiction of Madeleine L’Engel. )
Francois Wunschel of 1024 describes their latest:
The Tesseract – aka HyperCube – is a 3d scaffolding urban install, loaded with an array of 65 moving lights. It’s fully controlled by our custom software, built in Quartz Composer.
All the movement is derived from graphical data – images – translated in realtime into pan/tilt positions.
The whole show is driven by a massive Ableton Live file – which allows us to make realtime adjustments and transformations
always in sync with the music
I asked Francois to tell us a bit more about the technical ingredients that make this work. As usual, 1024 has crafted some lovely software that helps express their imagination and execute their vision efficiently.
Visuals – custom app:
(using BGHudAppKit for the cool UI buttons and sliders) [That's a library for a heads-up display]
As a sidenote, the project uses a bunch of QCPlugins freely available on our blog, such as _1024_Structure tools (to convert a bitmap/video into re-usable RGB structure, and other structure manipulations.)
The uber-cool thing is that since we’re using pictures to drive the moving lights movment, we’re working in a very low resolution — 25*5 pixels … !
So the content is ultra-fast to develop, as it is not taxing on the computer … HD ? pfff… ultra-low-def !, the way to go !
The project consists of a 12*12*123 meters scaffolding structure, filling with 65 Sharpys (moving lights, the same as we used for the VTLZR show
and 16 ATOMIC 3000 stroboscopes, a 4 smoke machines.
Sound – Ableton set:
(we’re using [Native Instruments'] Massive a lot for the cool dubstep sounds..)
Nothing is bounced, everything is live, so we can still modify both the audio and the visuals on site.
The blue tracks at the bottom are special MIDI tracks running through IAC [Inter-App Communications] bus [standard inter-app MIDI on OS X] to drive the QC application that controls the lights.
And the results look fantastic, of course:
The full, official project description:
In mathematics, the tesseract is the four-dimensional version of the cube. What the square is to the cube, the cube is to the tesseract.
A tri-dimentional array of moving light mounted in an open scaffold construction are able to turn in any direction. Within the cube shape, the spotlights evoke a futuristic world. The installation is in fact no longer sculpture but motion itself: an ever-evolving state of shape and space of which the spectator is a part.
The installation offers a new way of seeing the urban environment and literally invests everyday reality with an extra dimension. Like the cube, all the fixed shapes are translated into a fourth dimension.
- New Forms Festival , CA (first prototype)
- Signal Festival, CZ
- Glow Festival, NL
- more to come…
Contact 1024 Architecture for booking info.