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


art, research, play and immersive experience

Fools, lovers and malcontents for Shakespeare’s birthday

Living Walls – fools, lovers and malcontents, is a new trio of works by Squidsoup. The works were commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the World Shakespeare Festival, and are on exhibition at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (Stratford-upon-Avon, UK) from today – apparently the day of the bard’s birth, and death.

From the RSC press release:

Artists Squidsoup bring the walls of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to life with a set of three dynamic digital projections made of animated texts and quotes from Shakespearean characters in what promises to be an exciting, interactive encounter for visitors.

Commissioned specially for the World Shakespeare Festival, Living Walls places Shakespeare in the digital world. Using text-based projection mapping and self-animating visuals, Squidsoup’s display reacts and changes to the actions of passersby, with often playful results. Words wriggle across the walls and patterns morph into insect like-creatures, scuttling around and leaving curses, messages and questions in their wake.

Living Walls blurs the barrier between the virtual and the real world, conveying as the title suggests, the sense that the walls of the theatre really have come alive.

Squidsoup have created interactive digital experiences incorporating three classic Shakespearean character types – the malcontent, the lover and the fool.

More images HERE. Video coming soon.



Living Timeline

We have been commissioned by At-Bristol to produce an interactive evolutionary timeline, based on the ideas behind our Glowing Pathfinder Bugs project. This is an exciting opportunity to use some of the techniques we’ve developed in a new setting.

The project brings the last 460 million years of evolutionary development to life, with creatures ranging from spiders, beetles and snails, through ammonites and trilobites to sharks and dinosaurs inhabiting a Mixed Reality ecosystem. It is part of an upcoming permanent exhibition, “Our world – no more waste”.

The creatures are projected onto a physical 3D landscape measuring 4.6m. Like Glowing Pathfinder Bugs, creatures sense the presence of visitors through the use of Kinect stereo camera sensors, and they respond accordingly by disappearing, running away, or crawling up your arm.

The exhibition is to open in late May 2012.

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We’re delighted to announce that two Squidsoup projects will be shown at Scopitone this year, in Nantes (Brittany, France) from 12-16 October 2011: Scapes and Glowing Pathfinder Bugs. We are also doing a talk. Scapes was last shown in February in London in our solo show at Tenderpixel gallery. The piece uses the Ocean of Light 3D LED grid to create evanescent landscapes that occupy physical space and are generated using real-time sound analysis as source material. Dynamic volumetric sculptures and environments made from light.

We are planning to show a new version of Glowing Pathfinder Bugs that uses the Microsoft Kinect controller to analyse the surface of the sandpit, allowing the bugs to be acutely aware of the topography of the sand around them. This new version of Bugs has been developed using openFrameworks and their open source ofxKinect library. Respect to all involved at oF for such a great initiative, and also to Chris O’Shea for his help in the early stages of development.

Scapes – video from Tenderpixel gallery

Scapes – images from Tenderpixel gallery

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Scapes is on show at TENDERPIXEL GALLERY, 10 CECIL COURT, LEICESTER SQUARE, LONDON until 5 MARCH 2011 – please do go and see it. Details and opening times HERE

Scapes is a dynamic and responsive light sculpture in five movements by digital arts group Squidsoup. Each movement is a different take on the combination of realtime sound analysis with volumetric visualisations – creating visuals that occupy physical 3D space purely out of sound. Slow moving dynamic light sculptures evolve from Alexander Rishaug‘s mesmerising ambient soundscapes to evoke an abstract world where time has no meaning.

Promo video here: vimeo.com/15400810 Documentary video coming soon.

More information here: www.tenderpixel.com/squidsoup.html

Selected coverage:
Design Week ::  GlobalNewsBox ::  WhatWhereWhen ::  Aesthetica

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.

Two new exhibitions at Royal Shakespeare Theatre and New Dowse

The Royal Shakespeare Company has a thoroughly reinvigorated version of Squidsoup’s Ghosts project to celebrate the opening of the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon (UK). The piece, entitled “Why?”, asks audiences to consider the ongoing influence and presence that Shakespeare has in the world today and submit their thoughts via phone or an iPad app. Messages then instantly become part of a 3D virtual sculpture made entirely of text based submissions, resulting in a running commentary, a series of instant snapshots of what people feel about the place, the event, their experience. As the sculpture moves of its own volition, the text can be re-read by audiences in any order.

The work is running in high definition, which makes a big difference to the quality of the visuals – the dynamic structure almost inhabits real space. Ipads turn out to be a highly effective and flexible tool for data entry, when combined with specially designed plinths. We worked with Dominic Ash, who produced two beautiful handmade wooden plinths for the show. More images here.

At the other end of the world, the New Dowse Gallery – in Wellington, New Zealand – is featuring Glowing Pathfinder Bugs as the centrepiece of their new exhibition Bugs, Beetles and Butterflies.

– Why? is at the Paccar Room, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon  (UK), until 3rd April 2011.

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs is at the New Dowse gallery, Wellington (New Zealand), until 30th January 2011.

Ocean of Light can also still be seen at the Ars Electronica Museum in Linz, Austria, until January 9th 2011. It will then travel to Oslo to be shown as part of Oslo Lux.

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.