It’s hard to believe – especially as the software remains at the bleeding edge of what you can accomplish with a GPU – but visual programming environment vvvv is now one decade old. It’s one of a handful of tools that has powered the most eye-popping projects of those years, and so it’s little surprise that users and artists around Berlin would pack a developer-led event on Friday to celebrate its birthday.

This was no ordinary party. The big reveal for vvvv users: full DirectX 11 support is coming around Christmas – stay tuned for that. (The DX11 implementation is by mr. vux, an independent developer.) The party therefore featured some very pretty demos of what’s possible. And video presentations from the likes of Cycling 74’s Joshua Kit Clayton, OpenFrameworks’ Theo Watson, 1024 Architecture’s François Wunschel, and magician Marco Tempest offered heartfelt – if often also tongue-in-cheek – congratulations.

The rest of the party, though, is what could best be described as unconventional. There was vvvv-based artwork everywhere, yes. There were presentations, yes. But there were also invented products involving the letter ‘v’ made of concrete, boxed and ready to buy, a kind of arty 21st-century take on the Pet Rock. Those concrete blocks, packaging, and scattered typography were developed in collaboration with Letters Are My Friends, the Kreuzberg/Neukölln “experimental typography” gallery and studio. And there was, nicely enough, a vodka variant on glühwein.

It’s hard to describe the devilishly-geeky atmosphere, but to give you a rough sense, vvvv’s joreg explains the “hardware product introduction.” (Pieces of concrete with letters carved in them, presented Steve Jobs-style? Oh, yes.)

– Concerning the Quad:
After having set an industry standard in software development for vvvv the next logical step was to reach out to realworld development by creating a versatile building block in hardware.

The Quad offers the ultimate universal unibody user experience. It is massively multitouch and only your mind is the limit of its applications.

Quads are available in sizes MEGA (160x160x13), CLASSIC (80x80x8), MINI (40x40x8) and NANO (20x20x8) and are all made from concrete with a grain size of 1mm max. Only a little “v” embroidered in their bottom right corner lets you distinguish it from any other random brick of concrete. Designed by nature, assembled with lovvvve.

– Concerning the collaboration with Letters Are My Friends:
When Bärbel Bold came up with the idea to host a vvvv party at Letters Are My Friends it occured to us that we even have a reason to celebrate. So now we had a shop and were looking for a product to sell. We love quads, Bärbel had experience with concrete…we all like to come up with stupid ideas and then realize them just because we can and…the rest is history.

Good times.

We’ll have more details this week on what’s new in vvvv – and why it looks so very cool. In the meantime, enjoy the aesthetic outpouring of geek-hipster (“nerdster”) goodness from the show.

The Quad: vvvv Tribute in Concrete

Executing a tangible tribute to intangible visual programming software is a unique challenge. Expressing their love of type, and the typographical nature of the gallery venue Letters Are My Friends, vvvv created cheeky concrete constructions, photographed here in promotional images demonstrating various … use cases. (Yes, concrete quads can do all kinds of things.)

Quad photos by Nino Halm. Used by permission.

The Party

Artwork in the exhibition included creations by Rainer Kohlberger, Eno Henze, Arístides Job García Hernández, Ingo Italic, and Bärbel Bold, along with live-techno-jazz by tonfilm “and special appearances by a doctor and Santa Claus.”


Impressions, photographed by yours truly.

Happy tenth, vvvv.