unrender 2: Visuals as Live Medium, in Installations and Performances, in Berlin [CDM presents]

Electronic and digital visuals are expanding in their expressive potential, as live and real-time instruments, performances, and interactive installations. But the venues and contexts for that work remain understood in terms of narrow, older categories: the gallery and video art, the club and “VJing” – and now, increasingly, via commercial patrons (search engines, trade shows). What happens when clubland and art-land, the design world and the music scene can encounter one another in open spaces? unrender is one humble way we get to try to answer that. Hosted and co-curated as a collaboration of CDM with Lehrter Siebzehn, we work …

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Plaid’s Tether is an Interactive Web Song You Can Remix – Music, or Code

Now that your Web browser can do what music creation software can do, presenting a song can be more than just giving people a play button. And allowing people to “remix” your music might mean sounds and software alike. First, there was Jono Brandel’s terrific Patatap with Lullatone. Press keys on your keyboard, and a warm, Lullatone-inspired sample machine delights with brightly-colored abstract objects and sounds, a sort of custom browser beat box. Patatap went viral, perhaps because it brought musical wonder to the carousel of distracting tabs on the Web. Now, Jono Brandel (of the Google Creative Lab, with …

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A Building-Sized Net as Canvas, Overlaid with Light Paintings from Mobile Phones

“Interactive architecture” has long been a phrase, a future echo – something coming – but it’s been tough to say what it would look like when it arrived. In the collaboration of Janet Echelman and Aaron Koblin this month, we see one form it might take. Koblin and Echelman joined forces to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the TED Conference in Vancouver, in a massive 300-foot literal web (and Web) hung high above the water. Koblin is the well-known digital artist, now at Google, but the material of the work is rooted partly in old-world technique. Echelman – here sponsored …

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The Dazzling, Futuristic Lighting of Licht.Pfad, Transforming Clubs and Beyond

Light Installations Show Reel 2013-2014 from Licht.Pfad Studio on Vimeo. Seeing the future of light in performance, installation, and clubs doesn’t necessarily mean waiting around for some fantastic, new kind of lighting instrument. That requires big manufacturers making mass-market products, and their priorities don’t always align with artists. Instead, what we’re seeing is often traditional lighting technologies, choreographed in spectacular new ways. With elaborate computer control, the lights themselves form architectural patterns, dance, and come alive. Licht.Pfad have actually been behind a number of projects covered on this site. Using the visual development tool TouchDesigner, they’ve built their own tool …

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The Visualized Opera: Vitruvian Melds Dance, Digital with Operetta [unrender]

Get ready for the high Renaissance of the digital. The individual ingredients remain the same. But the threads of transmedia work, spanning everything from traditional costume design and choreography to the latest generative projections, draw ever closer. A new generation of artists treats projection in the theater as something elemental, something that demands exploration. Vitruvian, premiering its latest iteration in Berlin Friday as part of our event unrender with LEHRTER SIEBZEHN, has gradually evolved in the ways it interweaves dance with opera, projected visualization and interactive sound with dance theater. An “interactive opera” in one act, it unapologetically adds digital …

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unrender: Celebrating Visual Expression as Something Live; Online and in Berlin Friday

There’s not a word yet for visuals as event. We know it when we see it. And we know it in other media. With music, there’s no question when something becomes performative, when the human element is something you can’t subtract. But in electronic visuals, in light and image, the awareness of what is emerging in the medium seems latent. The narrow view of VJing and club visuals is dated. And disconnecting those media from generative and interactive work misses an explosive and dynamic new craft. Whether it’s clever work with optical analog and overhead projectors, or a delicately-constructed piece …

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FRACT, a Game Played Inside A Synthesizer World, Explains Itself [New Video, Mogi Grumbles]

FRACT, a 3D world-puzzle game based on synthesis, is after a long development beginning to become clear. And the voiceover from the latest trailer sounds a little like what happens when you get a teaching post in a university somewhere or a friend’s studio and discover the state of the analog gear in their dusty equipment storeroom: You arrive in a strange, forgotten world. A world that was once built on sound. You’re not really sure what happened here, or why, and you’re not even sure why you’re here. Part of the journey is figuring out where to go and …

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“Ghost Box”: Imagine Anything, Realized with 3D Printing, Projection, Interaction, Illusion [Interview]

It looks like an arcade cabinet. But inside, 16th-century illusion meets 21st-century projection and fabrication techniques to produce a booth that can let users imagine new products. It’s the power to transform special effect into real creation. Chicago-based creative studio Leviathan, teaming up with music foundry Waveplant, produced the project. Moving from an early art experiment to a commercial application, they combined a number of ingredients into a box for dreaming up custom designs. The elements: Projection mapping with a moving object (a technique we’ve seen with growing frequency) The “Pepper’s Ghost” effect – sometimes dubbed a “hologram” by folks …

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"Ghost Box": Imagine Anything, Realized with 3D Printing, Projection, Interaction, Illusion [Interview]

It looks like an arcade cabinet. But inside, 16th-century illusion meets 21st-century projection and fabrication techniques to produce a booth that can let users imagine new products. It’s the power to transform special effect into real creation. Chicago-based creative studio Leviathan, teaming up with music foundry Waveplant, produced the project. Moving from an early art experiment to a commercial application, they combined a number of ingredients into a box for dreaming up custom designs. The elements: Projection mapping with a moving object (a technique we’ve seen with growing frequency) The “Pepper’s Ghost” effect – sometimes dubbed a “hologram” by folks …

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Bluetooth LE Will Make Minority Report a Creepy Reality, But Also Arduino Cooler

PSFK – Adaptive storefront prototype from + rehabstudio on Vimeo. After years of failing to demonstrate compelling applications, Bluetooth is back with a vengeance. If you haven’t yet used a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) device, it’s a completely different experience. Pairing and range and latency work better (the result of years of learning how to make these better). Battery drain is barely noticeable. You can expect BLE to power lots of clever new applications – and it’s nice to see it showing up on DIY electronics. Oh, yeah, and it can creep the hell out of you, privacy-wise, by making …

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