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art, research and play in creative interaction design

Aeolian Light video

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Purity Ring world tour

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We have been working with Canadian synth-pop duo Purity Ring recently on a touring lighting system for their underway world tour. The idea was to take our ‘Ocean of Light’ system – a mixture of hardware and software libraries that we have developed, and used in our own installed works such as Submergence – and place it on stage with the musicians, effectively creating a volumetric stage lighting show. Various 3D lighting effects are triggered and controlled in real time by the band.

Reviews in the press from The Guardian and The Irish Times

Coming soon to a town near you!





Photos: Wunmi Onibudo



Photos: Purity Ring

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and also

Submergence at Adelaide Festival (updated)

The Submergence world tour continues, hot on the tail of Mexico City, with an appearance at Adelaide Festival. The piece has the honour of being housed in the Rotunda, a beautiful (and recently renovated) bandstand, donated by the City of Glasgow some 150 years ago and positioned in Elder Park, central Adelaide. The location proved perfect, showing that Submergence, despite being conceived of as an indoor environment, works equally well as an outdoor object seen from afar.

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People can still wander within the space however, and many did. Several thousand visitor came to the opening evening, and many more expected to come over the next couple of weeks.

Submergence at Blinc, Adelaide Festival, Elder Park, Adelaide from 28 February until 15th March, dusk ’til late.

festival site here

More images here

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Submergence in Mexico City

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Museo Jumex in Mexico City hosts the first showing of Submergence outside Europe. The exhibition is part of Visual Art Week, an excellent new light art festival. Submergence is in good company, with five large-scale outdoor pieces by Visual System (FR), Art Alliance/Peaktime (MEX), Joao Martinho Moura, (POR), Daniel Iregui and others.

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The first full day saw queues extending out the door and some 2,500 visitors. These only got longer, with visitors exceeding 4,000 on the Friday and Saturday, and a total over 16,000 (paying) visitors seeing the piece in its five day exhibition slot.

Thank you Mexico.

Creators Project covered the exhibition here. (or here in Spanish)

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Aeolian Light musings

Aeolian Light @garethhacking

Aeolian Light, our latest outdoor public artwork, comes down tomorrow morning. As we head up the M5 and M6 ready to cut cable ties and load 12,000 wet LEDs into the back of a truck, we are pondering the events surrounding the work. The weather was definitely a challenge (it rained throughout the install, though apparently a bit less since), there were various technical issues, the piece seems to have been used very robustly on occasions (a couple of striking breakages have been reported), but the piece survived throughout, and seems to have been a popular attraction for the many thousands of visitors to the installation, just outside the Lowry Theatre in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Putting work on outdoors makes for a very different experience to the controlled environment of the art gallery, or indeed any indoor space. There is less of the hushed awe of the art gallery (i.e. more like a party atmoshphere, raucous laughter, running around etc). But what was most extraordinary was the length of time people spent in the work – upwards of an hour in many cases, in the wet and freezing northern English winter.

Coverage includes The Guardian (in print today, photo highlight of the day on 5 Jan), the Times (arts critic choice ‘top pick’ in print and online), Wired UKLuxurious MagazineCulture 24, interviews on Granada TV and BBC Radio Manchester, and mentions in the Scottish Sun, After Nyne, ArtsHub and many more.

Also some touching and beautiful social media contributions – in particular on Twitter (also search Aeolian Light or #SquidsoupQuays) – thanks everyone for coming to see the work and telling others about it. It’s been a great experience. Thanks also to Quays Culture and University of Salford for commissioning the work.

Some nuggets from the Twittersphere above and below:

Aeolian Light @garethhacking

Blue is the warmest colour Claire Wroe

Aeolian Light at Salford Quays

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Following on from Submergence, our latest piece to use arrays of light in 3D space is a new commission called Aeolian Light. The piece, commissioned by Quays Culture and University of Salford, is a 10m x 10m piece, 5m high and comprising around 12,000 individually addressable points of light suspended in space.

Inspired by the windy location, the piece visualises the wind as an illuminated chaotic force. Virtual debris and imaginary fields of energy pass through the work, carried on the wind in gusts and blasts. The strings and lights also sway physically in the wind, and people add a layer of illumination and turbulence as they walk through the piece.

Video and more information coming soon. More images here.

Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, until 7 January 2015.

#squidsoupquays. Commissioned by Quays Culture and University of Salford.

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Digital Catapult

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We are delighted to be showing Volume 936, a smaller iteration in the Ocean of Light series, as part of Digital Catapult‘s Showcase Exhibits as part of the launch season at their new headquarters at 101 Euston Road. More information on the showcase here. The piece will be on show until 10th December 2014. If you’re in the area, do please come and see the work. Venue details here.

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Volume 936 uses the same technology as Submergence, but configured as a much smaller array of lights.

[Small is beautiful, but look out also for our next piece, which will be over 12 times larger than Volume 936! Announcement coming soon]

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Room – Submergence as interior design

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Phaidon’s just published book ‘ROOM – Inside Contemporary Interiors’ is a massive and fascinating compendium covering a very broad range of interior spaces. It features 100 interiors selected by 10 ‘widely respected interior design critics, practitioners and curators’. Projects were selected for ‘pushing the boundaries of design and constantly revising our understanding of interior space’.

Miles Kemp, author of Interactive Architecture and founder of interactive design agency Variate and product design company Digital Physical, selected Submergence as one of his ten interior spaces.

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Photography playground, Cologne

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Submergence installed at Cologne’s photography playground. Good to see it up and running again. The event is at Jack-in-the-Box, Vogelsanger Str. 231, 50825 Cologne. It runs from 11th September till 5th October, open noon to 8pm and it’s FREE. More information here.

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Submergence at Kunstfrühling, Bremen

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Submergence is on show at Kunstfrühling, Bremen, Germany, May 15-25 2014

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More images HERE
 
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