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


art, research, play and immersive experience

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).


We had fun at this year’s SIGGRAPH in Downtown LA. We showed Glowing Pathfinder Bugs in the Art Gallery – it was interesting to present a sandpit at a heavily tech-led event, and seemed to go down well. We also presented a conference paper on the project, published in a special issue of Leonardo (vol 43, issue 4). And we did an artists’ talk.

More images here, and the project was also covered here by Core77.

Pest Control

Pest Control got’em going at Glastonbury last week. More images here.  Some of the subtleties were missed in the frenetic nighttime of Shangri-La, people generally opted for splatting the bugs rather than nurturing or controlling them, but revellers were intrigued, and certainly seemed to enjoy what they were doing.

Next outing is the Secret Garden Party, in Cambridgeshire (UK) and there is more in the pipeline.

We have also collected our main project videos into a Vimeo channel – see vimeo.com/channels/squidsoup

Glastonbury setup

Pest Control came into being at dawn today in the Shangri-La area at Glastonbury, on the eve of the festival starting.

Above, graffiti inspired by the project, and below, a piece of found graffiti that we rather liked…

Glastonbury at dawn on the eve of the festival.

More images here.

PEST CONTROL at Glastonbury


We are developing a new iteration of our Glowing Pathfinder Bugs project for this year’s Festival season, called Pest Control. Like the original piece, Pest Control consists of autonomous multi-legged virtual creatures that respond to each other, and any physical objects and real people in their way. But this time, the bugs get nasty…

Pest Control will be on show at the GLASTONBURY Festival, in the Shangri-La area, and also at the SECRET GARDEN PARTY Festival and WALTHAMSTOW Festival – with thanks to Up Projects and Arts Council England.

ALSO, the original Glowing Pathfinder Bugs is being shown in a few venues this Summer, including the SITE Festival (Stroud, late May, see previous post), SIGGRAPH (LA, in late July) and Le Cube (Paris, September). A fun Summer!

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.

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs and Freq2 in Stroud

The SITE Festival, “a festival of artist led projects in stroud gloucestershire”, will be showing two of our pieces as part of a long list of interesting local, national and international artists’ work.

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs will be on show at SVA (Stroud Valley Arts), Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th May.

Freq2 will be on show on the 5th June (11-6) in Union Street. You might also catch it at Bar Nine a bit later in the week.

More details at www.sitefestival.org.uk

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.

About Ocean of Light

We are off to London to set up Ocean Of light for the Kinetica Art fair. We have been developing this project for over a year and playing with this type of media (individually controlled LEDs in space) for over a couple of years.

So where does Ocean of Light come from? Through an experimental and playful approach to creating interactive digital installations, we often found ourselves exploring where real and virtual space coexist. We had explored this through multiuser activity and shared experience of audio and visual virtual space (altzero, ghosts), then entering physical space, perceptually through stereoscopy and physically with wearable proximity sensors (come closer) also using stereoscopic cameras to analyze physical movement to navigate virtual space (driftnet,freq2).

Each project led to their own discoveries but until we started working with LEDs in space it seemed like we were making experiences and environments that a user peers into through some kind of portal, or the screen space. Working with the Nova grid (Stealth, Discontinuum) certainly took a leap out of screen space and into the real world in a more determined way. However the close proximity of the LEDs still created a screen like situation as the viewer would be forced to view the work from an external proximity.

The Ocean of Light Grid is part of the evolution of this development process, Designed on the back of all this investigation and experimentation by squidsoup Ocean of Light should enable audio/visual environments to be experienced from within.
Surface is the first artwork to be exhibited using the Ocean of Light hardware. It uses minimal visuals and sound to evoke the essence of character and movement. Autonomous entities engage in a playful dance, negotiating the material properties of a fluid surface. (Posted by Gareth)