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art, research, play and immersive experience

Submergence and Oslo LUX – updated 18 Feb

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Submergence saw its premiere at Oslo’s ROM for Kunst og Arkitektur gallery, and ran from January 17th to Sunday 17th February. The piece received five times the visitors expected at such shows in its four week run. The exhibition received coverage from Norwegian TV station NRK (go in at 3’45”) and Discovery Channel Canada, from Gizmodo, Creators Project, ThisIsColossal, notcot and loads of others – thanks all!

We also have an interview in FastCoDesign – good to get a bit of depth…

The video has been watched some 75,000 times and there have been queues forming outside the gallery.

The gallery was also the venue for the post-symposium event for Oslo LUX. Some 200+ people descended on the gallery which, for the evening only, also showed Semiconductor‘s excellent Heliocentric, and new pieces by Pretty Concrete and One Stunt A Month.

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Submergence – launch at ROM

Submergence transforms the ROM gallery space into a Mixed Reality environment where virtual and physical worlds coincide. The result is an immersive walkthrough experience that uses light to alter our perceptions of space and presence.

Imagine walking through a virtual world, where pixels on a screen are replaced by thousands of points of light floating in space. These points of light create environments, atmospheres and movement in physical space. This is Submergence, a new project by digital arts collective Squidsoup. 8,064 points of light suspended in a physical walkthrough space measuring 8m x 4m and 4m high.

Submergence is the culmination of a five year research project exploring interactive media experiences that occupy physical space. It will be on show at ROM for Kunst og Arkitektur, Oslo, Norway, from 17 January to 17 February 2013.

The Submergence exhibition will also feature in Oslo LUX 2013, a one day conference and event taking place in Oslo on 7th February 2013.

Submergence // A Squidsoup by Anthony Rowe, Gaz Bushell, Chris Bennewith, Liam Birtles and Ollie Bown

ROM for Kunst og Arkitektur Maridalsveien 3 N-0178 Oslo Norway

January 17 – February 17 2012

Supported by Arts Council of Norway / Norsk Kulturråd // www.kulturrad.no ROM for Kunst og Arkitektur // www.r-o-m.no Oslo School of Architecture and Design //  www.aho.no Oslo Lux // www.oslolux.no

Volume 4,096 at Royal Society, New Zealand

 

Volume 4,096, a new permanent exhibit by digital arts group Squidsoup, is now on permanent display at the Royal Society New Zealand. The piece is suspended 6m above visitors in the main foyer of RSNZ’s beautiful new Headquarters, and can be seen from three floors within the building, and also outside. There is no escape!

The piece has two modes – day and night. Daytime mode consists of slow moving spheres, reminiscent of the flows of a lava-lamp, designed to complement but not overpower what is a working environment rather than an art gallery. The place turns into more of a gallery space at night, when exuberant multicolour explosions fill the atrium in volumetric splendour. Seen from outside, it is clear there is a fireworks display going on indoors.

Squidsoup have many years experience at building visual installations using three dimensional grids of lights like this to create truly three dimensional visual experiences that occupy physical space, but Volume 4,096 is the first exhibit to use a new hardware system, Ocean of Light 2.

The system is scalable and can be configured in highly flexible configurations. The system is also weather-proof and tough enough to be used within reach of the public and in permanent architectural installations. More details at OceanOfLight.net

High resolution images here.

Photos courtesy Shaun Waugh.

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)

Bugs and Ghosts at iDesign London and more…

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs and old favourite Ghosts are both to be shown at iDesign, part of London Design Week, on THURSDAY 24th SEPTEMBER – and also a short talk in the afternoon.

Bugs is also being shown in Liverpool on SATURDAY 25th SEPTEMBER, outside FACT, as part of AND (Abandon Normal Devices).  More here.

Onedotzero at the BFI also went well last weekend – the sand made a nice mess of the carpet… images below and more here.

bugs at onedotzero

onedotzero Bugs

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs at onedotzero

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs will be shown at this year’s onedotzero’s adventures in motion festival at London’s BFI, as part of onedotzero_sprites.

Note Bugs is shown on SATURDAY 12th and SUNDAY 13th September only.

Here’s a reminder of what Glowing Pathfinder Bugs is about:

And here‘s a link to some more information

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs is a Portable Pixel Playground commission by Folly

Bains Numeriques and more…

We had an enjoyable and interesting time at Enghien-les-Bains for the Bains Numeriques festival, where we showed three versions of Ghosts, and new piece Discontinuum.  Many thanks to Emmanuel, Celine and all at body>data>space.

Diiscontinuum at Eglise St Joseph

Discontinuum was part re-developed in situ, as the piece was positioned inside the church of St Joseph, and we felt it needed to reflect on and respond to the space more.  Live footage from a hidden webcam was mixed with static imagery taken from the stained glass windows in the church; the brilliant colours of the stained glass becoming reproduced within the NOVA cube.  More documentation soon…

discontinuum

In addition to the usual festival goers, we had a lot of interest from the church-going community – rare access to a completely different audience, whose responses were surprisingly positive (at least once the fact that the piece was a reflection on the place was understood).

Discontinuum has become an evocation of place as well as an exploration of the visual possibilities of extruding live imagery through space and across time.  ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)/horao GmbH (who designed and built the NOVA)  are planning to show a version of Discontinuum in Zurich; evoking another place (or idea) will be an interesting development for the project.

Ghosts worked well inside the Mediatheque George Sand, using a tryptich of plasma screens to good effect, the three screens in various states of legibility, and reacting immediately and simultaneously to text input.

ghosts tryptich at enghien

On other fronts, preparations are underway for ISEA 2009.  The exhibition starts on 7th August at Ormeau Baths Gallery in Belfast, and runs through to the end of the ISEA conference on 30th August.  The Stealth project should be running throughout.

Also looks like we’ll be showing Glowing Pathfinder Bugs at the onedotzero festival (South Bank, London) in September – if you have a design week subscription see this from the mouth of the man himself 🙂

Discontinuum

A 3D visual deconstruction of time and space. Work in progress.

A camera feed is passed through physical space over time, creating imagery that contains fragments from a range of times simultaneously. Unlike a 2D image taken over a long duration – which would essentially be a blur – the time is ordered in the third dimension, as if time was flowing in a particular direction.

Seen from ahead, the image is superimposed on itself, similar to its 2D counterpart, but from other angles, the flow of time through space can clearly be seen. And from behind, time slowly fades away into the distance.

The project builds on ideas first implemented in squidsoup’s Freq2 – www.squidsoup.org/freq2

Discontinuum is a Squidsoup project, in collaboration with ETHZ and horao GmbH.

www.squidsoup.org www.nova.ethz.ch www.horao.biz

Stealth Project – update

The website is live at www.squidsoup.org/stealth – it includes this video documentation: