s q u i d s o u p . o r g


art, research, play and immersive experience

Scapes at Tenderpixel

We’re very pleased to announce an upcoming solo exhibition for a new project running on the Ocean of Light 3d LED grid called Scapes.

From the press release:
Scapes conjures into being three-dimensional cities, landscapes and abstract architectures purely from sound, software and light. Chimaera-like visions of ephemeral spaces are created and destroyed in real time. They occupy physical space, but only fleetingly. They leave nothing behind when they, and the sounds that spawned them, vanish.

Scapes is a new project part commissioned by Tenderpixel Gallery (London). Tuned software and specifically designed sounds are used to generate a series of abstract landscapes visualised on a bespoke room-sized 3D grid of lights controlled in real time. As the sounds are played through speakers and picked up with microphones, the visual process can be interacted with – intercepted, corrupted and altered by visitors making their own sounds to interfere with the original audiovisual designs.

Scapes is will be show at Tenderpixel Gallery, 10 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4HE, (nearest tube Leicester Square) 10 February – 5 March 2011.

Oslo LUX

OSLO LUX is a one day seminar with associated artworks taking place next January 21st in Oslo, Norway. It aims to explore the intersections between light, space and interaction, bringing together an interesting and dynamic mix of practitioners. We’re involved (Anthony Rowe is one of the organisers): Ocean of Light will be there, and we’re doing a talk. Also present will be UVA, AntiVJ and a host of other great people – it promises to be an interesting day!

From the site:
OSLO LUX is bringing together leading practitioners and researchers using technology and light in new and dynamic ways. It aims to map out the leading edge in visualisation and immersive techniques using light in physical space.

The event consists of two parts. A public exhibition showing several light-based pieces by local and internationally renowned artists, designers and architects. These will be shown indoors and out, in and around the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

The second part is a seminar, also held at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Talks will be held again by an international roster of acclaimed practitioners, including United Visual Artists (UVA) AntiVJ, Timo Arnall, Squidsoup, HC Gilje, Marius Watz and Adam Pruden (a researcher at MIT Senseable Lab, involved with the extraordinary Flyfire project).


Images from Ars Electronica

This year’s Ars Electronica festival took place in a massive old tobacco factory, much of it with an art deco feel, and all of it with the strong smells of tobacco still lingering in the air. It made for an interesting event. The enormous available floor area meant that each project and event on show could live and breathe in its own space; projects were generally unencumbered by anything else nearby. This, combined with the labyrinthine structure of the layout and warehouses meant that the overall experience was more like a treasure hunt – you wander around, usually hopelessly lost, down long corridors and empty spaces and then suddenly come across an unexpected gleaming treasure of media art. And then, of course, the challenge of trying to understand what it is you are looking at…

Images of some of the projects on show HERE
More images of Ocean of Light HERE

Ocean of Light moves to the main gallery at the Ars Electronica Centre itself in the next week, where it will be on show until 9th January 2010.

ARS ELECTRONICA and other upcoming events

We will be heading out to Linz, Austria, soon to set up Ocean of Light for this year’s Ars Electronica Festival. After the festival, the project will be moved to the Ars Electronica Centre, where it will be shown in the main gallery until the new year. More info here.

Ars Electronica Festival (2-7 September)
Ars Electronica Centre (16 September to January 9th 2011)

Additionally, we are showing Glowing Pathfinder Bugs in Paris at Le Cube (22 September – 3 October), and in New Zealand at New Dowse Gallery, Wellington (6 Nov 2010 – 30 Jan 2011) – more details here.

Honorary Mention at Prix File Lux

Ocean of Light received an Honorary Mention at this year’s PRIX FILE LUX, held in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Many many thanks to them, we are delighted by the recognition, especially as so many highly respected and better known projects were in the short list.

Thanks also to all of you who voted for us in the popular vote (though we didn’t quite get that one).

FILE PRIX LUX nomination!

We’re very excited that Ocean of Light has been nominated for Brazil’s FILE PRIX LUX for Interactive Art. It’s an impressive list, with many high profile and excellent projects from across the globe. We would love your support! If you can, please vote for us.

Go here, select PAGE 4, then choose Ocean of Light and follow the instructions.

Kinetica video and more…

Kinetica has been good to us.  In addition to the coverage on the BBC and Telegraph mentioned below, we were featured in numerous publications including DigiMag, UK Features, and this from BigShinyThing.

Thanks to James Lane for putting the video together.

ALSO, Glowing Pathfinder Bugs is still finding its way through customs to us, having spent a joyous week or so in Montreal, as part of Technofolies at the Montreal Science Museum. And Bugs is also being shown at Grizedale Forest (Cumbria) as part of Abandon Normal Devices. And we think that yet more outings for the Bugs will be announced soon.

Ocean of Light – Surface – Kinetica 2010

We have just emerged from six days in a black box at the Kinetica Art Fair, nurturing Surface, the first project on the Ocean of Light 3D LED grid. It was an intense period, with apparently some 10,000 people passing through in three days.

Surface is a responsive virtual eco-system that occupies physical space.  It uses a room-sized 3D grid of individually addressable points of light to simulate movement in physical space. The space is dominated by a surface – the boundary between two fluid virtual materials.  The materials are affected by sound – nearby noises create waves that ripple across the surface.  The surface is, however, unstable: the turbulence caused by noise also triggers luminous blasts. Abstract insect-like autonomous agents, aware of their surroundings, also navigate and negotiate the environment and the surface.  The result is a series of interconnected spaces and environments, overlapping physical and virtual spaces that coexist and are aware of each other.

For us, it was also an intense learning experience.  The first outing for the Ocean of Light, a hardware project supported by the Technology Strategy Board, was a litmus test for whether this kind of 3D visuals work on the uninitiated – whether people “get it”. It seems that they do – responses were very positive. We’ve also had a lot of ideas – our own and suggested by others – about future directions and options.

Press coverage included this on BBC News and this on the Daily Telegraph.

The images here are taken from a forthcoming documentary on the project by James Lane – details to follow.

Ocean of Light

We have been working on a new project, Ocean of Light, that seeks out the immersive and affective possibilities of light-based visualisations in three physical dimensions – a recurring theme in our work. The aim this time is that the piece is large enough to be considered an environment rather than an object – a room filled with countless points of light, each one contributing to a dynamic space that surrounds and envelops you.

The hardware uses re-configured video-wall technology to create a walk-through 3D grid of LEDs. The first piece to be shown on the grid (to be premiered at KINETICA Art Fair, February 5-7 2010), combines abstract volumetric visuals with spatialised sound, to suggest an ecosystem of audiovisual entities that inhabit physical space. Visible and audible as they encircle and fly around the room, they dance with each other and together create what is both a fully three dimensional audiovisual environment and a musical composition.


The work continues several themes in our work. We started exploring spatialised musical composition in 1999 with Altzero. The compositions became dynamic and agent-based in Driftnet/Fly like a bird. Visualisation in 3D has been used in several projects, using a range of techniques from classic red/cyan glasses to view real time anaglyphic projections (Come Closer, Driftnet, and a version of Ghosts), experiments with autostereoscopy, projection onto 3D objects, and most recently moving our work into physical 3D space. See also The Stealth Project and Discontinuum (projects using visualisation techniques in three physical dimensions using NOVA, a 3D LED grid built by ETHZ).

More images here