Live Performers Meeting 2014 Eindhoven – Review

We have been at the Live Performers Meeting in Eindhoven, Netherlands from 26. to 28. of June and this are some impressions. Running around with a small Zoom recorder, I tried to get some sound from the performances recorded. Not the best quality, but it sounds very underground at least.

In the mix are four performances from the following groups or artists:

Yellows music – Great sound and visual duo from Turin, doping finest beats in this live set.
Eyes on the Wall – Another amazing duo from Germany, fantastic visuals from microscope footage of cells.
Fake Samoa Very intense Sound combined with visuals from metal work form a very strong audio-visual experience.
+ the last one I don’t know, hopefully someone give me a hint soon, it was recorded saturday night (comment here or soundcloud please)!

This was only a short collection of the performances that were played in these three nights on three stages. It was the fifteenth edition of the LPM and this time, it has to be mentioned, it was organized without the EU funding, that normally drives the event. However the community is totally behind it and it also draws enough people from all around the world, so that this edition was amazing as always.

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Besides a lot of audio-visual performances, workshops, talks and installation, there is the very famous VJ Torna going on all the time, were VJ’s battle each other in quick rounds. This is a event organized together with the LPM team by Candaş Tuncer and others from the Digital Experience Collective from Istanbul. Can totally recommend checking out the pages.

Also very refreshing was to meet the people from Eindhoven. specifically I can recommend checking out the Widt Project with the totally beautiful web page and amazing video’s to watch. And what surprised me the most was to see the performance of Kirsten Swensen & Sarco. Why? Because Kirstenb Swensen, curator from Lab1 (where the event took place) was doing the visual with DELPHI LIVE CODING!

LPM LIVE PERFORMERS MEETING // SPHERES // BY KIRSTEN SWENSEN & SARCO PART 2 from Kirsten Swensen on Vimeo.

Installation wise we saw a very beautiful piece from Martin Boverhof from Borndigital.nu and Anne Gentenaar aka VJ Illuminator from Amsterdam. Martin Boverhof was basically 3d mapping a sculpture made from paper and bamboo by the designer Peter Gentenaar. Martin Boverhof used VVVV for the mapping and also made it interactive using the leap motion. So people could enter the room and change the lighting of the triangulated mesh on the sculpture.

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And let there also be said something about our performance – Leaving the Planet – we enjoyed it. There was not a lot of preparation before because as you may have seen, in the week before LPM we were extremely bussy redesigning the page. Anyway, we always jam. Tzeshi was running PD and was live processing her voice AND playing synth at the same time. I was doing beats with monome and VVVV, running visuals at the same time and doing sends and the overall mix. What a luck that we live in the age of multicore processors and patching MAYHAM.

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You can also check out the Flxer.net Galery for more images and video.

MIMODEK – Fungi Lifecycle, Coral Growth and Social Interaction

MIMODEK from marura on Vimeo.

A very interesting project for all those interested in the bridging of technology and life took place during the Media Facades Festival in Madrid. Marie Polakova and Jonathan Cremieux used the Media Facade of the Medialab-Prado as a platform for integrating an artificial life form in the social interaction space of the festival. Interestingly they used algorithms modelling fungi life cycle and choral growth.

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Mimodek is a dynamic and interactive installation, based on on the the principles of the living
world .
As all living systems in nature, MIMODEK reflects its own environment. It is site specific, formed
by unique, location-related data sources, and by behaviour of the visitors. Every installation
evolves into a unique virtual “ecosystem” reflecting its location.
MIMODEK highlights the delicate relation between human beings and their environment, and their
connection to other living beings with whom they share this environment.

Mimodek is build in Processing and available as open source on GitHub

1MIMODEK

We got an in-depth description from marie, and who could describe it better then the makers itself:

Conceptual project description

Cities around the world seem to share the same pattern – their inhabitants highly
value nature. City dwellers seem to search natural habitats whenever they need to relax,
unwind,comfort or re-centre themselves. Nature in the urban environment is cherished, protected
and cultivated.
In nature, everything we lay our eyes on is either alive or it serves as a basis for life. Trees aren’t
just logs of wood stuck in the ground – they are complex living systems which themselves are part
of yet another complex living system, the forest.
When looking at the social structures of a city, these function as living systems too (and show
attributes similar to those of the living systems found in nature).

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However, although similarities can be observed between these two environments, the differences
are significant.
What is the essence of this difference between the natural world and man-made (urban)
environments? What is “it” we miss in our cities and find in nature?
The above question inspired the creation of MIMODEK – dynamic and interactive artificial living
system which is based on the principles of the natural world yet “grows” from the fabric of the city.
MIMODEK is, similarly to living systems find in nature,interconnected with its environment. When
we step into MIMODEK’s proximity, we are immediately interacting with it. We cannot remain
detached observers, our mere presence is modifying it and it is affecting us in return.
Mimodek thus highlights the delicate relation between human, their environment and their relation
to other living beings with whom they coexist.

temperatura 1900

Physical Project Description

MIMODEK was originally created for the Digital Facade of the Medialab-Prado,Madrid, Spain. It
existed in three different versions. Please find further information in the “Credits” section.
At its essence MIMODEK is formed by the participants activity as well as the environmental
condition at the location of the installation.
Information about participants is obtained using a camera overlooking the area directly in front of
the installation. The camera images are processed using computer vision techniques. The
combination of camera input and computer vision is a common method for passing information
about an audience in a public space into a digital installation such as this.
Continuously updated information about participants and their locations is passed
over to the main MIMODEK software. This information is used to create an immediate response to
the participant’s behaviour which in turn forms the MIMODEK system.
The MIMODEK simulation and rendering software functions on three levels:

− I. Obtaining information about its environment:
Motion tracking the audience.
Obtaining site specific data from online sources.

− II. Life system:
Responding to environmental influences.
“Life” simulation.

− III. Display – Visual output:
Creating the image to be displayed.
Displaying the images.
Sending the images to the server for display on the MIMODEK website.

2MIMODEK

I. ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES

As described above, the motion tracking software provides MIMODEK with information about the
position of the participants. MIMODEK also monitors the
temperature and the humidity in the location where it is running.
In most cases, this is achieved by querying a free Internet weather service, the
Weather Underground (http://www.wunderground.com).
Optionally, if the information is available for the particular location, an external
application on MIMODEK’s server obtains data about the air quality.

II. LIFE SIMULATION

MIMODEK is formed by two artificial living systems which are interlinked together into one
complex system.

SystemDiagram

MIMODEK system is partially based on “ant fungus mutualism”. This pattern of symbiosis, which
involves cultivation of fungi and, in some cases, symbiotic relationships between insect and fungi,
was chosen for MIMODEK because it is an elegant yet simple representation of the complex
dependencies we all share with our environment.
MIMODEK relies on participants who come to the installation area. Information about their presence
is translated into flakes of “food” which appear on the display as white dots.
Little light creatures (“ants”) carry the “food flakes” to the root cells of the ”fungus” organism.
This food then nurtures the whole system and enables it to grow.
A light creature (“ant”) which discovers a food source, leaves a virtual pheromone trail behind it so
as to inform its fellow creatures of the presence of food.
The creatures, however, don’t eat this food by themselves, they deliver it to the fungus. The
creatures rather feed on a particular type of cell within the fungus organism. When the creatures
are sufficiently nourished, they can reproduce and more creatures mean more carriers of nutrition
for the main fungus. When the nutrition is insufficient, the creatures begin to die out and the growth
of the whole system is slowed.

The growth process of the fungus organism is based on diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) and is
constrained by the amount of free space. DLA is an algorithm that generates highly branched and
fractal structures. Among others, it has been used for modelling the growth and form of natural
structures such as coral.
MIMODEK’s growth is only possible when a sufficient amount of nutrition has been absorbed. When
food is delivered by the creatures, the organism decides how to use the new energy. It can either
grow a main body cell (cell A) or a leaf cell (cell B). The decision process follows a set of rules
known as an L-system (Fig.3). The A cells remain in the structure, whereas the B cells, when
mature, can be carried away by two of the creatures and be eaten by them.
MIMODEK also continuously responds to changing environmental data.
The colour of the A cells responds to air temperature at the installation site while the relative air
humidity defines how much the organism expands or retracts.
When pollution data is available, it influences the colour of the B cells. When this information is not
available, the colour of the B cells is determined by the temperature, similarly to A cells, but a
unique colour scheme is used.

foodconsummimodek

III. DISPLAY

It was originally created for the Digital Facade of the Medialab-Prado,
Madrid. This facade is 14.5 m (48′) x 9.4 m (30′) yet has a resolution of only 192 x
157 pixels. MIMODEK can however be easily adapted to higher resolution displays such as
projection, which then reveals further levels of detail invisible on the Medialab-
Prado digital facade. MIMODEK can be exhibited at indoor or outdoor locations.

3MIMODEK

All credits go to the mentioned Developers. Make sure to contact them if you are interested about anything.
Now let’s keep up the discussion about artificial life and media.

NUMA Circuit Festival & Open Street Map based Installation

NumaCircuit
Last week (15. of March 2014) was the pre opening press conference of the festival Numa Circuit 014. The festival takes place in Tenerife and is distributed over a couple of Venues in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz and other places on the island between the 15. of march 2014 to 3. of may 2014.

It is exactly the right place to get a good mixture of beach, sea and sun and geeky / arty things like live performances, installations, workshops and what ever brings together hardware hackers, VVVV, Max/Msp, Pure Data or Touch Designer patcher’s. Add a portion of traditional Spanish music, singer-song writers and performance art on top and you are at Numa Circuit.

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The festival is organized by Simone Marine ( http://io-lab.org/ ) and friends of him.
Simone aka io is a very active user on vvvv.org/, which is the reason why I got to know him ( Reminds me again to start a series of blob posts about interesting VVVV users).

So it happened that we ( the blog poster – David Gann and Tzeshi Lei ) got invited to join the festival with an AV installation and a performance. The performance is Leaving the Planet – which interested readers probably know already from this page – with me doing Beats and live sound design on the Monome and Tzeshi playing a Korg R3 Synthesizer and is singing, so she basically gained control over the melodic part of the Performance. Basically we play to the multi screen installation that we prepare there. The performance will be streamed live on Friday, 21. of march 2014 at around 22:00, London Time (so +00 h time zone ). This is the channel for the stream http://www.ustream.tv/channel/vivo-en-una-ciudad-tropical-pub-pelukas, in case anyone is bored on Friday evening.

What is new is the installation we are working on right now and that one is technically and conceptually very interesting for a lot of people probably. The following is the official description of the installation:

Mapping The Atlas Of Uncertain Territories

The human species leaves their footprint on the ground. Those footprints gradually accumulate into traces of civilization. By looking at the planet from above, we realize that there is a new layer among the geographic landscape. By iterating urban geometrical patterns over and over again, humans have caused significant abstraction of the natural habitat as a reflection of their own behaviour.

In this installation, we mediate between the conversation of the actual visible landscape and the mindscape of perspective and interpretation. The language of this conversation is the raw data which represents the human capability of measuring the world through abstraction. Using this as a source, we create endless generative and evolving geometry by triangulating the fading data points. In contrast to the macro aspect of the visual, the sound brings back the invisibility of human into a more intimate way by using field recordings. The audio-visual composition aims towards catalysing the user’s perception of time, speed and scale. The installation is using two projectors and multi-channel sound.

(Project Description in English and Spanish on the Numa Circuit page)

As we are working on it during our stay in Tenerife, here are some images from the progress. I am working on the Visuals and the Software Development and Tzeshi Lei is working on the Sound Design for the 4 channel sound. She is using Ableton Live with Max for Live, Granular Synthesis from field recordings that you get from aporee.org and the Max for Live – VVVV Bridge, developed by me during other installations in the past.

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For the visuals we use Data from openstreetmap.org. We prepare a couple of data set’s of different cities and men made structures that we find on the map. We can also use the Open Street Map API to retrieve the data, but we decided to use prepared data as files on the disc to not rely on the internet connection.

As you can imagine, it is not so straight forward to load and visualize this map data. In fact behind Google maps or Open Street Maps there exist big rendering server farms, that provide us quickly with our requested visualization. This is something completely else then using this big amount of data in a a real-time environment like VVVV.

However, after some magic with multiple VVVV instances, it is running fine anyway here in real-time and we can use the data as a source for generative, sound-reactive graphics.

I decided to make this project Open Source as an advanced VVVV Tutorial. The tutorial will be split up in a couple of blog posts over the coming weeks. Can imagine that is helpful for a couple of people who want to do the full program from parsing data to visualizing it, working with particle systems and other graphical elements, to adding interactive sound to the project and doing the projector multi-screen setup for the final installation.

Here you see some more progress of the project. More coming soon.

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“Reverence in Ravine” by Daichi Misawa Audio Visual Installation is Rather Discrete than Loud


Daichi Misawa – Reverece in Ravine (2011)

 

“Reverence in Ravine” informs about the notion of Transparent Sculpture that defines the pluralistic sweet-spots in absent space, for the personal dramatic events in interactive audio-visual performances, systems and interfaces.

 

Daichi Misawa is an interactive artist / designer who is active in the field of audio-visual performance as well as interactive art. Reverence in Ravine (2011) is one of his immersive but discrete audio-visual performances and an interactive / participatory interface that comprehends the pluralistic sweet-spots within the own absent space.
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These sweet-spots are made with parametric sounds and distributed images, which naturally enables audiences the unique aural and visual perspectives along with a sort of personal dramatic events, sharing or not sharing his/her own experiences simultaneously. Those build in the empty space as a part of a transparent sculpture, cause rather discrete and asymmetrical experiences for us depending on the audience positions in the space, when you compare to the existing audio-visual performances with stereo / surround loudspeakers and huge mapped projections. Technically Open Frameworks and Supercollider are the main tools used for the development of the real-time processes.

 

In terms of multi-dimensional media expressions it would be obvious for us that Ravine is plotted under the influence of the forerunners and giants in this field, such as Paik, Stockhausen and Leitner. After Ravine ’till now, Daichi Misawa has been active in this kind of works consisting in discrete, asymmetrical and immaterial interfaces anticipating the alternative field for interactive audio-visual expressions.

 

 

The 3 steps to design the transparent sculpture:

absence design in transparent sculpture

Absence Design

model as grid in transparent sculpture

Model: Grid

embodiment in transparent sculpture

Embodiment

 

 

Some of the installation views and the production documentations:

 

Sound of Threads by Bertrand Lanthiez

Bertrand Lanthiez contacted SC if he could present the audio-visual installation ‘Sound of Threads’ on our page. We said something like ‘of course and we would like to release the sound you made in one of our upcoming label releases’. So everyone is happy and here you go Bertrand from Iceland and Paris:

I presented this exhibition in Reykjavik in June 2013, and it consisted of two different
installations, both engaging with sound’s impact in multiple ways, so that people could both feel and create music, by hearing, touching and seeing the sound.

I tried to demonstrate the power of our senses when they interact in being “triggered” simultaneously. I was interested in questions of how sight can enhance hearing, or also disturb our balance in perceiving a multimedia-based bodily experience.

The main part, and first to be seen, when entering the exhibition, was an installation consisting of four wooden stands and white threads of icelandic wool, where light was projected on in a way to visually translate the music and extend the sound experience of the prepared sound piece.

The second part was a tiny room where people were invited create their own „music piece“ merely by their bodily existence. In touching wires, that were hanging from the ceiling, and by walking and dancing bare foot in this room, my specific material setting accounted for temporarily closed electric circuits that started single samples of the outside presented piece of music. And all based on the random performing of all the visitors and their conductive human bodies. Additionally each sound was connected to multi-colored light impulses, projected on large, flag-like pieces of transparent fabrics, that were also hanging from above.

The two installations were visually and in their structures arranged quite differently.
The main piece was black and white, with really thin ray of light choreographed on a soundtrack, the other was an instrument where the visitors made their own piece of sound, and was really colored on this large pieces of fabrics.
But this two pieces were also tightly connected by using the same voices and sounds, and they both wanted to show this link between our different senses.

Sound of Threads from Bertrand Lanthiez on Vimeo.

Sound of Threads – Experiment from Bertrand Lanthiez on Vimeo.

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Projection Mapping by Patxi Araujo /w LTP – Human

What does a mapping like you in a place like this! SoftWall 1,3 by Patxi Araujo from patxi araujo on Vimeo.

Patxi Araujo from Pamplona, Spain made this beautiful projection mapping. As sound he used our LTP – Human composition, which initially was produced for the Prix Ars Electronica. It is very nice to see, that someone else surprisingly makes such an inspirational use of it. I liked especially the visualization of the whale together with the air-plane! Way over what I had in mind when I made the mix.

posted by David Gann

Interactive Installation “Hunt” @ FMX 2012

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From April to May I was hired as a freelancer by the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg
to work on the interactive installation “Hunt”, conceptualized and produced by the Interactive Media students
Lea Schönfelder and Jonas Kirchner. The installation was about an small comic like creature which
flees from the user until the user shows patients by not moving. Then it moves to the user and the game is won. My task was to develop the animation logic, the behavior of the creature and the user interaction
in VVVV. I also worked together with sound designers from the Musikhochschule Trossingen to interface
vvvv with Max/Msp. It was a great opportunity to incorporate behavioural models of bacteria from my
studies of biology. The virtual creature ended up with having a fairly complex attractor-repulsor based
behavioural system which made it impossible for everyone to catch it. It was a pity that cats couldn’t enter
the FMX 2012 festival in Stuttgart, where the installation was exhibited for one week.

Posted by David Gann

Why taped circuits [and how to louse up an installation with them]

 

Some time ago I stumbled across the page of High-Low Tech, a research group at the MIT Media Lab. Their research is focused on integrating “high and low technological materials, processes, and cultures” into beautiful little artworks. Being thirty percent artist, thirty percent scientist and a hundred percent tinkerer, they work on transforming our physical world through technology and vice versa, transforming technology through everyday materials of our physical world. While it seems obvious to use our technological possibilities to create everyday better augmented or even virtual realities, their research contradicts this linear view of history.

It is no coincidence that High-Low Tech used a term that has attained great popularity in the Anarchist Theory. Low Technology refers to the idea of cutting the umbilical cord between industry and technology and to decentralize technological research and production, while preserving a high standard of development that would not be possible without electrical engineering. It requires the re-appropriation of production knowledge through complete transparency.

Breaking up cases of consumer electronics, hacking and reverse engineering them is one strategy of re-appropriation – cultivating a new use of technology is another strategy to work towards a redefinition of technology. By transcending technology-as-an-instrument one comes to understand it as the centerpiece of the human culture in the 21th century. And only after that – after comprehending the cultural component of technology – it is possible to unfold its full potential as 21th century messiah. Anyone who thinks that the pursuit of happiness is a human right, should strive to make the basic techniques of how to create happiness in the 21th century available for the public. Yes, a circuit is a millions time more then its function, it is condensed culture, it is the most splendid outcome of our century and judging from its durability, it is also going to be our witness to the future mankind.

That is how I came to the conclusion that circuits should be posted on walls so that everyone can see them. So that everyone can understand that human life and our biological functioning depends highly on them. And to understand, that our individual happiness depends on them. People will then recognize themselves in these circuits and realize that they could never be thought without IT. They would simply disappear in the deepness of the centuries if one would try to separate IT from the man.

Its our task to free the technology from the constraints of the 20th century – especially from mass production and imprisonment into plastic cases – so that IT can make us happy. That is the least we can do for the next century.

Conclusion: Not every circuit is a man, but every man is a circuit.

Teufelsberg

So much for the theory. An installation on that topic should be taking place in the upper dome of the Teufelsberg listening station in the course of a site specific performance by Shakespeare im Park Berlin. The station was built by the US National Security Agency (NSA) during the cold war and was left abandoned after the reunification of Germany. Previously, the dome had the task of protecting the highly sensitive technology from enemy eyes. The installation should reverse the domes function and use its inner architecture as a Panopticon for open circuits and hacked technology.

Center-piece of the installationWall Circuits

The main component of the installation were taped and painted circuits, using aluminium or copper tape and DIY conductive paint as transmitters for electronic current. These taped circuits transmitted 1) Signals from a hacked computer keyboard to a hacked electronic piano and other hacked hardware 2) Signals from DIY capacitive touch sensors to a micro controller to hacked electronic devices producing sound- and light-scapes (using an Arduino microcontroller and simple Mosfet transistors) 3) From DIY capacitive touch sensors to a self programmed synthesizer on an Arduino 4) From a motion sensor to an Arduino that triggers the firing of steel wool that is fixed in the whole dome.

The atmosphere should be that of a cave in which stone-age cave paintings (in the form of huge taped circuits) testify of prehistoric civilizations. Everything should point out, that electronics are the centerpiece of our culture AND that electronics are going to remain as the cultural artefacts of our century.

Unfortunately, we encountered innumerable difficulties during the set-up so that the installation had to be cancelled finally. But at least there was Florian who did some guerilla video records and documented our path of failure.

 

 

Post by Valentin Heßler