If BODYLINE BORDERLINE takes your breath away, perhaps you can thank the fact that it takes the dancers’ breath away.
Computer vision in dance is now an accepted trope, to the point of being nearly cliché. The challenge is in part that the human eye’s capacity to follow nuances in movement contrasts to the crude capabilities of even the most sophisticated digital systems.
But there are also opportunities for new angles on the material.
Whereas so much dance with vision has focused on sparkly wonderlands of particle effects and the like, blissful mirror amusement parks, BODYLINE BORDERLAND has a different message. Angry, impatient digital overlays both watch and exhaust the dancers, spotlights and instructions in sharp contrast.
To me, these are dancers in a surveillance state, chased by the vision tracking and completing robotic actions. It’s the perfect modern foil to the clock machine in Metropolis, remade for the NSA age.
BODYLINE BORDERLINE Performance – Schmiede 13 from michaelias on Vimeo.
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One reason to use code, and the constellation of open source creative coding libraries, is the ability to express ideas across media. HoloDecks is a beautiful experiment in doing just that. The work translates invisible sound to three-dimensional form, and combines visualization in the physical and virtual domains.
HoloDecks goes through multiple phases of expression, built entirely in the multi-platform, free and open source OpenFrameworks.
Analysis of the song. First, there is a spectral analysis of the selected tune – in this example, it’s “Zebra,” by Oneohtrix Point Never.
Virtual three-dimensional visualization. Next, the spectral data is plotted in a disc – the creators say they were inspired by CDs.
Physical object. The 3D visualization is then 3D printed, using yet another library for OpenFrameworks. The result: a tiny sculpture of the song.
Augmented object with app. Finally, virtual and physical, momentary and real-time, are merged into one. Point the custom OF-developed app at the 3D object, and it is un-frozen, colored images dancing along its skyline of imagined sonic towers.
Watch: Continue reading »
GRID – teaser from TETRO on Vimeo.
Christopher Bauder (White Void) has built a rich body of work developing the medium of kinetic lighting, sending aloft lit orbs and balloons, in dazzling arrays of moving objects. And some of the best collaborations have been with master electronic composer Robert Henke, not only synchronizing sound but aligning process and pattern in each.
GRID, the latest Bauder/Henke work, takes the scale of these investigation to a new peak.
Some 150 light bars, each of them a custom-built LED fixture, are hung in a triangular grid and are suspended by motorized winches. Using original software built with TouchDesigner, they can choreograph elaborate patterns and dances, forming the lights into sets of triangles and undulating waves. The entire setup is controlled graphically, allowing fluid assembly of presets and cues.
I got the chance to visit Christopher in his studio as he prepped for GRID’s debut this week in Lyon. It’s worth noting the intimacy with which music and image are arranged: Henke’s score in Ableton Live is replete with details in timing and parameters that make explicit connections between sound and light.
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Photos: Andrea Aubert, for Tetro.
It looks like an arcade cabinet. But inside, 16th-century illusion meets 21st-century projection and fabrication techniques to produce a booth that can let users imagine new products. It’s the power to transform special effect into real creation.
Chicago-based creative studio Leviathan, teaming up with music foundry Waveplant, produced the project. Moving from an early art experiment to a commercial application, they combined a number of ingredients into a box for dreaming up custom designs. The elements:
- Projection mapping with a moving object (a technique we’ve seen with growing frequency)
- The “Pepper’s Ghost” effect – sometimes dubbed a “hologram” by folks today, it actually makes clever use of mirrors and human perception, in a technique first documented centuries ago. (Pepper was the guy who made it a hit in theaters in the 19th Century.)
- A portable enclosure (suitable for retail, events, and the like)
- 3D printing
- Interactive projection controls on a tablet
How do those fit together? The concept video explains: Continue reading »
PSFK – Adaptive storefront prototype from + rehabstudio on Vimeo.
After years of failing to demonstrate compelling applications, Bluetooth is back with a vengeance. If you haven’t yet used a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) device, it’s a completely different experience. Pairing and range and latency work better (the result of years of learning how to make these better). Battery drain is barely noticeable. You can expect BLE to power lots of clever new applications – and it’s nice to see it showing up on DIY electronics.
Oh, yeah, and it can creep the hell out of you, privacy-wise, by making that scene in Minority Report a literal reality, as seen at top. Details of that below.
But these low-power features should also open up cool possibilities for interactive designers, connecting recent devices like the (excellent, by the way) Google Nexus line, iPhone, and iPad.
So, you could be, for instance, writing Arduino sketches on your iPad, which is a whole lot more appealing than the windows at Urban Outfitters suddenly talking to you. See below for the Arduino environment, running without any wires at all with the LightBlue Cortado, a new board for the purpose:
First, the sci-fi future (realized today). The Adaptive Storefront Prototype is a working proof-of-concept produced by Rehab Studio together with online magazine PSFK: Continue reading »
Those silver machines with the fruit on them sure are great. And for now, PCs (whether Apple or Windows or Linux) are unparalleled in performance. But cheaper, dedicated hardware with the same flexibility of computers could grow in appeal. The Steambox promises to the gaming community that a dedicated box running Linux can best desktops and consoles alike. And in visuals, we could see something similar.
Why wait? With a $25, tiny pocket-sized computer and a free VJ app, you can start now. Sure, it won’t exactly match that mini-tower you’re lugging around running TouchDesigner. But if you need to mix some videos in a tight spot and don’t want to risk valuable computers – or want a quick installation – this looks incredible.
The Raspberry Pi, for its part, is tiny, light, and powered by a micro-USB phone power. It still gives you HDMI or composite video out with both PAL and NTSC, and you can drop media onto an SD card.
Add Super Pikix Pi, and you get a very reasonable standard-def mixing video system, for the cost of what some “pro” hardware makers with similar features charge for their power adapters. (Cough.)
Supports two video layers to be blended together
Uses a dedicated video file format: kouky k19
Save and load playlists
Special effects and filters
Video resolution: 640×360 pixels
Support USB gamepads
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