The perception of digital media and electronic arts has changed. These media once caused riots; they once earned angry cries of artificiality (even the very term “synthesizer” was derogatory). They alarmed and shocked even recently.
And then, more recently, use of raw digital sounds, of glitches and hard edges, were seen even by digital art critics as commentary on the digital life.
Something has happened. It’s not just young people for whom this stuff is “native.” It’s all of us. And it should come as no surprise that people carrying powerful computers with an array of sensors in their pockets would start to react differently.
I think Ryoji Ikeda’s work is especially powerful in this regard. “Test Patterns” uses barcodes – images that once had nasty associations with dystopian futures and dehumanization. But people are bathed in the sensory qualities of light and sound, sprawled on the ground as if they’re spending a Sunday afternoon in the park. It’s as though everyday people have risen to the aesthetic desires of early futurists and avant-garde, ready to immerse their eyes and ears in media in its purist form.
At least, that’s how I respond to this virtual tour of the vernissage in Duisburg, Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Have a look at this beautifully-shot footage and see what your take may be.
Test Pattern began in 2008 as a live set, and has since seen multiple installations. In this latest iteration, the specs:
materials 10 DLP video projectors, computers, loudspeakers
dimensions W13.3 x H16.7 (projection throw distance) xD100m
(Also, I’m curious – anyone know how the visuals were programmed?)
Photos: Continue reading »
Eye of the tiger: a look at the sensor on the current Kinect hardware reveals the scattered points that form the image of a depth map. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Ben Frantzdale.
It’s not overstatement: the Kinect has changed vision on computers. It’s made a range of techniques more accessible and affordable, it’s spread what were once laboratory ideas into millions of homes, and it has gathered a swath of artists and inventors to using vision who never had before.
But in the process, that open source world has changed Kinect – and Microsoft. No more do we need a bounty to hack Kinect. Now, Microsoft and the open source community can work together.
Microsoft Open Tech is now embracing openFrameworks and Cinder, two fully open-source frameworks for creative coders and artists: Continue reading »
Emptyset: Fragment from The Wire Magazine on Vimeo.
Through a thick layer of electronic grunge, “Fragment,” a track from the forthcoming Emptyset album on Raster-Noton, is transformed into hard-edged analog geometries. This is analog generation from some post-apocalyptic civilization, it seems: aggressive, percussive glyphs. The machines seem … angry.
But it’s also the latest example in a long tradition at Raster-Noton of perfectly fusing visual and sonic aesthetic, so that one is the mirror of the other. And that makes it consistently more satisfying than a lot of what’s out there.
It helps that one act (the Bristol-based duo) is busily doing both.
The Wire Magazine features the video and explains some of the approach:
Watch a video for “Fragment”, a track from Emptyset’s forthcoming album on Raster-Noton.
Emptyset says: “The video mirrors Recur’s production approach, applying greater layers of detail and complexity into a signal chain, and continues from our previous moving image work exploring aspects of analogue video, broadcasting and electromagnetic induction. “Fragment” follows on from this line of research, integrating more physical processes by using reflective surfaces as a means of reshaping the transmitted image.”
Recur is released on 28 October by Raster-Noton.
Who is Emptyset?
Emptyset is a Bristol based production project formed in 2005 by James Ginzburg, director of the Multiverse studios and network of labels and the curator and electronic artist Paul Purgas. The project explores the legacy of analogue media, integrating aspects of rhythm, signal processing and spatial recording within the framework of minimalist composition. Their work interrogates the perceptual boundaries between noise and music and the potential for both technology and architecture to embed and codify themselves within sound.
Through collaborations with visual designers they have extended their work to explore the potential interactions between sound and image, reflecting upon structural film and video techniques and addressing the evolving relationship between old and new media.
MIDI Clock Sync Vezér to Ableton Live from luma beamerz on Vimeo.
Vezér is not a tool for making visuals on its own, but instead uses powerful envelope tools to let you shape ideas in time. And being as it is focused on time, more connections to sync and audio were understandably a big feature request. Now, Vezér looks like an elegant bridge between music sources and visual apps, ideal for both live visual shows and tightly-orchestrated music videos.
So even though the software is barely more than two months old, the developer says he has spent sleepless nights making that happen. And the results look great. Vezér 1.1 now incorporates MIDI clock sync (check out the demo with Ableton Live), the ability to add your own audio tracks, recording OSC into tracks as well as MIDI, or output MIDI clock, among other improvements.
First, previously on episodes of “what’s up with Vezér”: Continue reading »
dd:OUTPOST _ Personalized Environment from volvoxlabs on Vimeo.
Light on its own can be a powerful medium for transforming a space. When that light is formed into an image, the customization is as fluid as pixels on a display. So, there’s a reason we hear terms like “responsive architecture” or even “interactive architecture.” We may see environments become as changing as the computer before our eyes. The question is, how, exactly?
VolvoxLabs, a Brooklyn-based design house specializing in visual effects and projection design, showed one vision of how this might work, for Digital Dumbo (in partnership with Bing).
The ingredients, in short, involve the display, data, and human presence and control:
A mapped projection screen and connected lighting
Internet-connected, socially-wired data sources
A touchscreen interface for control
Presence sensing via Kinect
Lots of gadgets connect here – this is projection mapping meets the Internet of Things, potentially. There are 70 LED strips, an Xbox, Windows 8, Kinect cameras, Twitter and Instagram feeds at work. And big screens matter, too – 200″ in this case. Continue reading »
Through political change, people keep making art – whether overtly political or not, finding some home in the landscapes that shift around them. We now find ourselves able to map the work and ideas of artists across space and time, to a greater extent than ever before.
Amidst international obsession on Berlin, for instance, it’s worth seeing a quantifiable picture of change. A project from Severine Marguin maps just how many of those project spaces for performance and art have appeared, vanished, and been replaced over the past decades, before and after reunification. You’ll find a proliferation of spaces that seems to continue to accelerate – and also a number of spaces in East Berlin, particularly by the 80s.
Berliner Projekträume seit 1970
But such plots of space are worth considering well beyond the (delightfully) over-saturated world of the German capital. This graph could easily be a microcosm of a changing artistic globe.
I’ve just landed from one digital media event in Moscow (its international Circle of Lights fest), arriving back in the European Union, in Krakow, for p a t c h: audio_visual_lab. Continue reading »
Projection … visuals … video … VJs … pixels.
What we’re really talking about is light: light, manipulated in three-dimensions as dynamic digital medium.
So, it’s fitting that as the draft form of educational programming for the Moscow International Festival of Light was being passed around, I noticed the following edit on a panel title:
“Shaping the future – Projection mapping as an expressive artistic medium”
“Shaping the future – Light as an expressive artistic medium.”
The new forms of light intersect art and architecture, physical and urban environments and online realms, animation and performance and environment.
And to deepen our understanding of what that means, it’s vital to listen to one another. In Moscow this weekend, artists from around the world will get to better know their Russian counterparts, in a unique educational collaboration. The event is curated by the creative tech community MIGZ.ru – a platform for work in Moscow and beyond, together with Creative Applications Network (I also helped contribute to the programming with MIGZ), and organised by the Government of Moscow.
CAN’s incomparable curator-founding editor Filip Visnjic has an extensive preview:
Moscow International Festival “Circle of Lights” (5/6 October 2013) Continue reading »