We’ve been given a Catalyst Award to produce an installation piece for the Max-themed Code Control event at Phoenix in Leicester later this month. I’m keeping the details under wraps until the event launch on Friday the 22nd, but the screen-grab above shows some simple OpenGL graphics with which we’re testing the codebase. We’ll post more teasers over the next week or two.
We’ve revisited our 2012 revisitation of the work of John Whitney for Kinetica Art Fair 2013. This is a 30-minute rendering for the small(er) screen, and I’ve added a soundtrack derived from the work for Virtual Physical Bodies in Paris. Thanks to the Computer Arts Society for hosting this work.
Kinetica runs from February 27th to March 3rd.
Gerry Anderson‘s work was made and shown at a time of technological optimism: the Jet Age was making way for the Space Age, NASA’s Apollo moon shot programme was under way, Concorde was about to fly, and Harold Wilson was telling us how the “white heat of technology” would propel us all towards a wonderful future. Gerry Anderson’s television programmes were part and parcel of this: bold and daring exploration, adventures and rescues, powered by amazing futuristic vehicles and spacecraft, each delivering moments of wonder. While the likes of Stingray and Fireball XL5 look naive and dated, the production values in later efforts like Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet were incredible for their time, and portrayed worlds to inspire a generation of children into science and engineering.
It’s easy to poke fun at the Anderson productions with their shaky marionettes, but Anderson himself detested the puppets, forced upon him by financial pressures and, later, by Lew Grade‘s insistence on sticking to a popular formula. By the time Anderson progressed to the live-actor series UFO, television science fiction was falling out of favour with public and media alike, while ironically the US market rejected the darker, human-interest story lines in the series.
Anderson’s last major work is probably my favourite: Space: 1999, in its first series (the second series was wrecked by Fred Freiburger) combined incredible model-work and visuals with metaphysical imagination-filled stories (with, admittedly, some sacrifice of scientific accuracy). A couple of years later, a movie called Star Wars premiered, and the rest is history.
Calling Anderson’s work iconic is a massive understatement. For my generation, it created our world and defined our future.
Today’s iconic date marks performances of Senses Places in Second Life. We were responsible for transforming the feed from from the (physical) dancers’ wearable sensors into an interactive granular soundtrack, with network code written in Clojure driving a sound engine in MaxMSP.
Second Life location: Koru.
We’re just back from a week in Kathmandu, working with Gaynor O’Flynn as part of beinghuman on a pair of performances for the Kathmandu International Art Festival: a collaboration with local artists for a piece at the Patan Museum, and the multimedia installation work Kora at Boudhanath, featuring nuns from Nagi Gompa.
Technology alphabet soup: audio from the nuns was routed into Ableton Live and Max for Live, tracked and converted into a stream of Open Sound Control messages, and routed into Field with custom Clojure code for projection.
(The backup plan was to project with an off-the-shelf laser display, but the only interface of any use at short notice was DMX, which really only provided recall and simple transformations of built-in clip art.)
This is the second time in two weeks that we’ve had the opportunity to project onto world-famous iconic man-made structures.