I had the pleasure of participating in this year’s Motion Graphics Festival, and just being there provided enough inspiration for a year’s worth of projects.

I’ve tried to track down and compile some of the highlights that really struck me as being innovative and interesting. The actual environments were so saturated with visual media that it was tough to take it all in, so I’ve also enlisted the help of a few participants/attendees to sort it all out.

First, VJ Tesia K rocked the Saturday showcase with an installation and live visuals.
tesia k vj

Tesia also had an installation video that worked really well in the space, projected against the sloping underside of a staircase. It was a woman (my wife Renee, actually) swimming back and forth, back and forth as though bound by the edge of the projection.
tesia installation

Just to the right of that an audio-reactive laser pulsed, with a camera and video projector using that as a source for some excellent video feedback. Sometimes the simplest things can create very complex behaviors. Plus, lasers rule.
laser feedback

Different VJs took over the desk throughout the night. Below their screen, The Great Mundane played an amazing set. His work is glitchy, instrumental hip-hop, which means bangin’ beats and hooky basslines. Heads were nodding in unison all over the joint.
the great mundane

In the back room, a large screen and IR motion sensor (I think) cycled through a number of audience-interactive video pieces by Oto. My mom really loved this one:
interactive screen

There were two virtual reality stations set up, with people playing what looked like Halo or one of those other shooting games. I had heard they’d get Second Life up and running, but I never saw it happen.
virtual reality

Next to that, a single projector showcased some truly amazing Aftereffects animations all night. I didn’t find out whose works graced the screen, but the lush organic forms, generative geometry, and typographic works looked slick and smooth.

This 3-screen installation piece mesmerized me for quite a while. I think it was called “Screen Saviors,” and it used older screen-saver imagery in place of religious iconography, for a hilarious and slightly evil effect.
screen saviors

Downstairs was a series of hallways with video screens everywhere. My own pieces Octophonopod and Snowy day were here:

Octophonopod at MGFest 2008 from Michael Una on Vimeo.

Snowy Day at MGFest 2008 from Michael Una on Vimeo.

Nearby, three screens showing the same video phased in and out of sync with each other:

The Sunday night showcase featured electronic music created live using realtime audio equipment and visual cutups created live using realtime video equipment, for a bit more loose and improvised feel.

Fifteen minute rotating performances by Chicago’s Moment Sound crew and others created a dynamic and changing sonic environment.

moment sound
mp3 of slava

Video was handled by Stoptime 341. Even though a lot of people were tired from Saturday night’s show, the Darkroom was bumpin’.

There was too much to do and see for one person, so please forgive me if I’ve omitted anything important. CDM readers, did any of you attend and see anything worth mentioning? Please link in the comments.

Also, much thanks to Chad Magiera and Psymbolic for the photos.