Few software tools have proved as expressive in generative visuals or audiovisual performance as TouchDesigner. Get introduced to its AV powers in a new, free video – or if you can make it Montreal, get the full experience live.

TouchDesigner is a dataflow tool – a graphical, patchable development environment – uniquely suited to squeezing gorgeous eye candy out of your computer graphics card. It’s also special for being musical and modular. It’s pretty enough that I’ve seen its actual zoomable UI displayed as art in performances, but whether or not you share that with the audience, it’s a kind of digital, graphical counterpart to the renewed love of cables and patching in sound.

Russian-born, Berlin-based Stanislav Glazov has gone deep into that world both as a teacher and as an artist. (You can catch his visuals this week as part of the UY ZONE, a fashion-meets-performance immersive environment inside Berghain in Berlin, or as a solo artist or working with techno legend Dasha Rush around Europe and Russia.)

Stas is happy to help you decipher the mysterious arts of TouchDesigner work yourself in his online workshop series. But you’ll probably want to start at the beginning – or even if you have some TouchDesigner background, better understand Stas’ take on it. Over the weekend, he led a free online workshop, and now you can watch at your leisure on YouTube:

If that taste has you excited, though, you might want to think about being in MontrĂ©al in August – timed perfectly with the massive MUTEK festival.

It’s not the first time there’s been an event around this tool, but this is surely the biggest. The day program alone features:

  • 350 participants
  • 69 presenters
  • 45 workshops
  • 21 talks

And that’s all in 3 days, packed onto the Coeur des Sciences / UQAM campus. The organizers describe it as “an intensive forum and stimulating meeting ground for the TouchDesigner community to share knowledge and experiences, learn new skills, connect in person with your favorite TD mentors and peeps and make a lot of new friends and collaborators.”

The night program promises still more, with an “after dark” social program, with 404.zero, ELEMAUN / Ali Phi, our friend Procedural, and Woulg.

TouchDesigner for its part has been expanding with lots of new features, including a specialized module for performing with lasers. That in turn is being used in the incredible collaboration of Robert Henke and Christopher Bauder – hope to cover that more soon:

Full details:


And to check out Stas’ paid video courses:


Image at top – deadmau5, prepping as his live show is built in TouchDesigner. Find lots more inspiration like this on the blog – I could page through that all day: