If you wanted an experience to make you feel like some kind of omnipotent being who could command the physical world at their will, then this interactive installation, from designers WHITEvoid and Hyundai’s Advanced Design Center, should do the trick. Called FLUIDIC it’s an impressive-looking piece that offers further proof that TRON was a harbinger of the future.
Created for Milan Design Week it was unveiled yesterday at the Temporary Museum for New Design. Not only does it look incredible, like some kind of alien comminication system, but it employs lasers to do so, which racks up the awesome factor to at least 11. Using multiple 3D cameras the piece can sense visitors, and the floating point cloud moves based on their presence and gestures, making the sculpture dance in a manner remniscent of Mickey Mouse and his Fantasia symphony.
Like many before it, it takes inspiration from nature reflecting the “natural ebb and flow of life” (of course) to create a “highly organic and natural distribution of voxels“. It has 12,000 spheres which act as the interactive stage/backdrop, creating an abstract 3D enviroment so visitors can manifest their delusions of godhood—their movements are then translated into light patterns and fired off onto the spheres using eight high-powered laser projections to create 3D graphics.
WHITEvoid has created other equally impressive interactive light sculptures, including Living Sculpture 3Dwhere the wave-like luminence of a ceiling installation can be controlled using an iPad. Along with Crystal Chandelier, a piece installed in a department store in Moscow, which has a circadian cycle that mimicks that of a work day, hybernating at night.
All extreme sport thrill-fiends know the excitement of waking up to a mountain of fresh powder, or perfect barrel waves folding over as the sun just starts to lighten the sky. Or looking over a rippleless glass-watered lake with anticipation—but the child-like fantasy of "riding a rainbow" is probably not one that has crossed your mind since the era of Crayola and daily peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Photographer/light painter Patrick Rochon and Snap! Orlando brought this youthful musing in to reality with these photos shot at Orlando Florida's OWC Cable Park. Created for Red Bull's photography competition Illume, three professional wakeboarders—Dallas Friday, Adam Errington, and Mike Dowdy—rode with LED-encrusted boards, painting a stream of colorful light into the photos.
Patrick Rochon will also be a featured photographer at Snap! Orlando's four day event May 2 – 5. The team regards this as a multi-faceted collaboration, where the athletes are as much artists as the photographer.
Dirk Rauscher, a self-taught animator/designer based out of Germany, creates work that juxtaposes the natural with the manmade, using geometric graphics combined with the organic movements of his animations and video projections. Having worked on a variety of projects ranging from commercial work for Red Bull to music videos for his flatmate (and rather famous German singer/songwriter) Clueso, his work still manages to have a cohesive look. Below are a few selections from his portfolio:
This trailer, designed for the Digital Marrakech Festival, features a concept which was initially created as a series of still images, one of Rauscher's personal projects.
"My personal projects are often a kind of research, in style, but also in a technical way, testing new technologies or new features of the software. In this case I wanted to illustrate a different 'frame of mind,'" says Rauscher. By isolating the head, the dream-like sense of reality distortion is achieved.
The Digital Marrakech Festival, held in Marrakech, Morocco every year, aims to unite Moroccan new media artists with those who reside internationally. Making a promotional clip for this festival provided him with the opportunity to animate this concept.
Light projection and a large backyard make for quite a beautiful paring in this music video, which Rauscher directed. Rauscher says the inspiration for this marriage of technology and nature was inspired by the lifestyle of the musician.
"Dominik Eulberg is a well known DJ and producer, traveling around the globe to play music in clubs. On the other hand, he is an Ornithologist living in the woods closely with nature. I was very fascinated about that fact. So from the beginning I wanted to do something which reflected this diversity," Rauscher explains.
Some unanticipated performers made their spontaneous appearance on the set as well.
"When I told my concept to Dominik, he came up with the idea to have some frogs in the scene," says Rauscher, "I told him that I have no idea where to get—or how to handle—frogs, so we canceled this idea. But, on the night of the shoot, magically, when we started to project the video, there were frogs coming from all directions, and they kind of looked [at us like] what the hell were we doing there. So, we decided spontaneously to integrate them."
Dirk has worked on a variety of music-based projects, and cites music as one of his greatest influences. One of the artists he works with most frequently is Clueso, the German singer/songwriter in the video above, who he also shares an apartment with.
"I've always felt a bit jealous that musicians can be creative in 'realtime,'" says Rauscher, "They press keys, pick a string, and they can transform that directly into an emotion, something you can feel."
This jealousy of immediacy is what drove him to initially become a VJ (as well as a breakdancer in his younger years), and has fueled his friendship and working partnership with Clueso.
"I love rhythm. Any rhythm is like a philosophy for me," Rauscher explains.
Inside South Africa
In the production of this video, used as an intro for a program about the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa, Rauscher was in charge of direction and animation. As a collaborative work, he credits Arne Clasvogt and Alexander Hollmer with much of the design ideas. Their ultimate goal was to create a video with a pop-up book aesthetic, using the culture of South Africa as their inspiration. With this concept in mind, they began researching how to make make this look realistic, to create a paper-like aesthetic in Cinema 4D. The sound design, also an impressive element in the clip, was created by Clemens Haas.
As a self-taught artist, Dirk is a proponent of using the internet for design education, and an example of how this can lead to success. Although he has obviously triumphed at this, he says that he did in fact struggle with the self-discipline involved in this autodidactic method, but argues that participating in personal projects, and ones which you are interested in, make the work process feel less like work, and tend to lead to the most successful work in your portfolio.
"It is then more likely that people will love your style, and will pay you for things you like to do, which should be the goal," says Dirk, "One of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs which always inspired me to push things forward is 'Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.'"
In an earlier era, travelers of all sorts depended on maps as an essential tool for navigation, from those who trekked The Silk Road in search of trade to those who drove across the country in Jack Kerouac fashion. Although oftentimes rendered in an artistic manner, encoding a painstaking amount of detail, these colorful webs of ocean, land, and ever-shifting territory lines served the utilitarian purpose of aiding travelers to navigate successfully from Point A to B.
In the modern world, there's an app for that. In the age of turn-by-turn directions, many of us don't even know how to properly read a map. Maps have become less about practicality, and more about fulfilling the insatiable human desire to contextualize one's life within the world. This universal curiosity is what makes maps perfect fodder for artists, and since our cell phones now double as compasses, and the most advanced cartographers are Google cars, digitally-generated maps provide excellent material for artistic manipulation.
Here are 10 Google Earth art pieces that may not help you get where you are going (ask Siri for help with that), but will certainly entertain:
Developed by digital creative agency Teehan + Lax, the Google Street View Hyperlapse Tool gives the feeling of being on a road trip with a racecar driver. The browser tool allows you to select your start point and end point, and then creates the high-speed journey at 60 frames per second.
Created by artist Peter Root, this Google Earth digital installation uses images from the software as a backdrop for his multi-colored pseudo-architectural structures. With floating squares and bizarre building structures, the Digital Detritus Dover Project uses Dr. Seuss-style buildings and Piet Mondrian-like shapes all sitting on top of images of our muted home planet. For more on Peter Root's creative process, check out our Tech Q&A with him from last September.
This video, created by Bartholomäus Traubeck, takes you soaring over a glitchy landscape with occasional target-like shapes bombarding the screen. The somewhat anxiety-inducing sounds combined with the muted aesthetics and centrally-located geometric shapes makes you feel like a cyber-fighter pilot cruising over Google Earth's landscape.
This project by photographer Michael Wolf collects odd scenarios incidentally captured in the endless documentation of the world's streets. He has a few sub-collections of this project, including "fuck you," a collection of people flipping of the street car as it captures them in Google Earth's temporary record. This project uses the Google Street View to highlight arguably the most fascinating aspect of these thoroughly-documented streets: the people.
Although the utilitarian value of this app is minimal, anyone who grew up watching skateboard videos knows that everything looks cooler from a fish-eye perspective. By using this app, any street corner where you can virtually situate yourself can be distorted stereographically (a technique meant to give a 3D perspective often used in projection).
Even Google couldn't resist tinkering with their own application. Created as one of Google's infamous April Fool's Day pranks, Quest is an 8-bit version of Google Earth designed for use on Nintendo. This 8-bit version of the intricate world map (although no longer available) featured small Mario-reminiscent characters trekking through uncharted green territory with large monuments rendered in detail.
Screenshot of Washington in Google Earth 8-Bit Map
Taking structures such as basketball courts or swimming pools out of context and collaging them, artist Jenny Odell emphasizes the geometric shapes and patterns that us humans create on the earth. By isolating them from their typical environment and juxtaposing them alongside other similar objects, the viewer focuses on the oddities of the actual shape and design instead of the larger context.
In this piece, artists Robin Hewlett, and Ben Kinsley integrated street view into fiction. Street With A View had the Google team come to document a fictional story of Sampsonia Way, a story which the town's residents participated in creating. Above is the making of video, shot from the same proverbial aerial view that Google Earth uses. To view the project, visit Google Map and type in "Sampsonia Way + Pittsburg".
Using the phantom-like images Google Street View creates, street artist Paolo Cirio takes these figures out of the digital realm and puts them back into the streets. He extracts these figures, prints them at life-size, and places them using wheat paste back onto the street where the Google car had originally captured them.
Although the word “technology” immediately conjures thoughts up of our generation—of iPhones and iPads and iAnythings or of laptops that have essentially embedded themselves as extensions of our fingertips, tech has been used as an artistic tool for decades.
In the early 1960s, the surrealist films of Dalí, Cocteau, and Buñuel used some of the cutting edge technologies of their time. Inspired by these films, contemporary fashion designer Shao Yen Chen and photographer Penny Tu created Stalker, a video production featuring Chen’s newest collection by the same name. The film was produced for the BFC Fash/On Film initiative, which “aims to develop relationships between fashion designers and film makers and recognises the ongoing development of fashion film as an important medium in the industry.”
Borrowing aesthetics from films such as Un Chien Andalou and incorporating some more recent symbols of technology such as screen glitches, the film presents a disjointed visual aesthetic that matches the vision behind the designs, which use neutral colors alongside punches of pink or animal print, and a variety of textures and layers.