On January 15th, 2005, after a 7 year and 3,2 billion kilometer piggyback ride through space, the ESA (European Space Agency) space probe Huygens detached from the Cassini orbiter and parachuted into the thick atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan. Two years later the Montreal based artist Jean-Pierre Aubé parsed the scientific data the probe sent back to Earth into a video installation that reimagines the historic descent in Kubrick vision.
Titan, and Beyond the Infinite (Titan et au-delà de l’infini, 2007), Aubé states upfront, is direct reference to the famous Jupiter, and Beyond the Infinite scene in the 1968 science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Stargate Sequence, as it is also called, was created by Douglas Trumbull, an American special effects pioneer with NASA credentials who adopted the slit-scan technique used in photography in order to shoot the psychedelic warp tunnel we see in the film. Recreating the same slit-scan technique in Processing Jean-Pierre Aubé generated an 11 minute Stargate Sequence out of actual data obtained from an alien world.
After analyzing the 2 minute and 30 seconds radio signal that Huygens transmitted upon touchdown (available as a sound file on the European Space Agency’s website) Aubé’s software organized the contained data – the probe’s altitude, speed or the density of Titan’s atmosphere – into a database. From it the Processing sketch then generated images (2D renderings that were later treated in After Effects) and sound (OSC input signals feeding a set of analog and digital synthesizers). “The ESA mission is extremely well documented. A lot of my research went into reading fact sheets about the type of sensors and the way they collect data,” says Aubé about approaching the scientific material over email.
The original installation – shown within the exhibition Making Real / Rendre réel (Ottawa, 2007) and at the Société des arts technologiques (SAT) (Montreal, 2008) – involved two computers reading the scientific data and post processing the audio in real-time. A rendered video version was last shown at Montreal’s Eastern Bloc as part of the 2011 edition of Elektra.
“Given the cinematographic reference the design parameters of Titan, and Beyond the Infinite were pretty fixed,” says the artist, who’s currently busy preparing a new piece for this year’s Elektra in early May. “In retrospect however I’d like to think that each of Huygens’ sensors was “played” and “visualized” by a set of rules inspired first and foremost by the science behind it.”
[below: the original installation of Titan, and Beyond the Infinite at SAT (Montreal, 2008) and Making Real (Ottawa, 2007)]
- Moonbell [Processing] Created by theÂ the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, this Processing app lets you "listen to the moon"Â by converting topological data into […]
- Dutch Wife [Inspiration] 'Dutch Wife' is a new short film by Jesse Kanda, a visual artist based in London. We have asked him to briefly walk us through his work process which utilizes tools such as Maxon Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects, and Ableton Live. JK: The whole thing started when I was walking along a canal in Clapton and saw all the greens floating around. I took these initial test photos with my phone. JK: The girl is a modified combination of a couple of free 3D models I found. I textured her head with the stitched up phone pictures and moved it across. It looked nice as stills, but the animation was predictably a bit rigid. JK: I went back to the canal, held my video camera out with a tripod and a mic stand and spent the day taking footage. JK: I then swapped the footage (image sequences) with the old texture. JK: I setup an IK rig for the girl so I could position her how I'd want her. This plays a bigger roll in the ending. The body distortions you see in this scene and in the feet are displacement deformers with animated noise and falloff. JK: The main scene in the film was done with dynamic metaballs spinning and colliding around her head. I added some junk that might be floating down the canal, but kept it quite subtle as I didn't want it to end up looking like an environmental protest film. JK: I wanted something a bit funny and crazy at the end, so I made a bunch of recordings of the limbs moving around using Cappucino and made an edit out of that. JK: I do my own music as well; layers of chopped up samples from films, my iTunes, freesound.org, past recordings, etc. MT: Thanks Jesse. -- Jesse Kanda is an independent graphic/motion designer, director and visual artist based in London. Upon spending 3 years at London design studio Hi-ReS! working on projects for various international brands such as Chanel, Channel 4, Dolce&Gabbana, The Economist, Issey Miyake, and Nokia, he now works on a freelance basis from his own studio. More work can be seen on jessekanda.com Previously: Waking From A Coma [Inspiration] by Jesse Kanda […]
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- MSA Remote [iPhone] After a number of rejections, MSA Remote by Mehmet Akten is now finally available in the AppStore! MSA RemoteÂ is a remote control application for iPhone & iPod Touch that sends OSC messages over the wifi network. This allows you to control any OSC supporting applications such as Max/MSP/Jitter, PureData, Reaktor, VDMX, vvvv, Resolume, Quartz Composer etc. By mapping the OSC to midi on desktop (e.g. using OSCulator) allows further control of any application which supports midi such as Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic Pro, 3DSMax etc. In addition, developers can easily integrate OSC into their applications knowing it can be controlled remotely. Features: - Multitouch information sent using standard TUIO protocol for instant integration with existing TUIO clients - Accelerometer data for each axis (x, y, z) is sent - 64 faders (8 pages of 8 faders) - 64 triggers (8 pages of 8 triggers) - 108 key (9 octaves) VELOCITY SENSITIVE polyphonic keyboard. Yes, the harder you hit the keys, the greater the velocity. - Settings are automatically saved and restored - Multitouch area orientation can be set as desired - All information on protocols are documented in the app See alsoÂ iOSC [iPhone],Â synthPond [iPhone, MaxMSP] Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: $1.99 Developer: Memo (Mehmet) Akten MSAFluid for processing (Controlled by iPhone) from Memo Akten on Vimeo. Graffiti Wall meets MSA Remote from Alex Beim on […]
- Cinemetrics [Processing] Cinemetrics is the thesis project of Frederic Brodbeck's at the Royal Academy of Arts (KABK), Den Haag. It aims to create a visual “fingerprint” for film using the editing structure, color, speech and motion. Different characteristics are analysed using python and openCV, and data visualised using a custom Processing application. This allows films to be interpreted or compared side by side. Being someone who really enjoys movies and cinema, I always notice little things about the style of a movie, so film and its characteristics were an interesting starting point for this project. Furthermore my thesis is about generative / computational design and what role writing code plays regarding new approaches in (graphic) design. It was clear that for my graduation project I would use the methods I described in the thesis and that it would involve a certain amount of programming in order to visualize data. However, today there are already a lot of information graphics using meta-data related to film and cinema (budget, box office data, awards won, relationship between characters etc.). That’s why I wanted to use the movie itself as a source of data, to see what sort of information can be extracted from it, to find ways of visualizing it and to create the necessary tools to do this. Tools for disassembling video files into their components (video, audio, subtitles, etc.) and processing them (shot detection, average shot length, motion measuring, color palettes), as well as an interactive application to generate and compare different movie fingerprints are all available as code here. To accompany the analysis, poster series show the most important steps of the process. They explains where the data comes from and what techniques have been used. Project Page Frederic Brodbeck is graphic designer and creative coder. Recently graduated from the Graphic Design department at the […]
- rheo: 5 horizons [MaxMSP, Sound] Described as "one of the best audiovisual installations and a personal favourite of the prix ars electronica 2010" by Jonas Heuer, the rheo: 5 horizons is work by Ryoichi Kurokawa. The audio/visual piece has just won Golden Nicas prize in the Digital Musics & Sound Art category. First created back in 2009 utilising 3 screens in the form of Audiovisual concert (see images below), the new installation is a five screen extravaganza and a must see if you're making your way to the prix. Ryoichi Kurokawa’s new work ‘Rheo’ is a new form of audiovisual expression inspired by the constant flux of landscapes. Kurokawa tends to eliminate the boundaries of our physical perception. A minimal, yet chaotic conflux of visual and auditory perception merges into an experience of memory and ambiguity, where virtual and actual images are no longer distinguishable. Read more about the work […]
- Avouching A/Visions at MUTEK 2011 [Events, Sound] [AntiVJ's Simon Geilfus and Murcof at A/Visions 2 / photo: basic_sounds] Having just completed its twelfth run, Montreal's MUTEK festival continues to cultivate the the substantial niche it has carved out for itself on the global media arts circuit. In addition to a storied history of showcasing emerging and established electronic musicians of all stripes, MUTEK has also acted as an r&d lab for exploring the possibilities of integrated audiovisual performance. In 2005, a programming stream dedicated to presenting bleeding edge collaborations between musicians and visual designers entitled A/Visions was brought into the fold to showcase innovative projects like artificiel's cubing and Marc Leclair & Gabriel Coutu-Dumont's 5mm. A/Visions has matured so rapidly that by 2008 this supplementary programming was consistently eclipsing 'big room' headliners and—at least as many MUTEK regulars were concerned—functioning as the locus of innovation within the yearly gathering. The 2009 and 2010 AV performance programming upped the ante even more and the expectations for both experimentation and production design were very high going into the this year's edition of the proceedings. This post presents an overview of and reflection on material featured at A/Visions two weeks ago in Montreal. Electroacoustic composer Alain Thibault and visual designer Yan Breuleux have been working together as Purform for almost 15 years. For MUTEK the duo presented White Box, a project dedicated to exploring "new forms of generating A/V compositions in real time." As evidenced by the teaser video above, the performance leveraged a massive three screen projection surface as a canvas for exploring dense monochromatic meshes and emergent moiré patterns. Characterized by coarse granular synthesis and dynamic, clinical pattern studies, the set was undeniably polished – perhaps pristine to a fault. Compared to the subsequent rumbling bass-scapes of Emptyset and the cataclysmic improvised mayhem that Mika Vainio cooked up in the darkness, White Box offered a glimpse into a stark formalist universe that could only emerge from such a longstanding collaboration. Within about 45 seconds of beginning their performance at the SAT the British duo Sculpture had already confirmed their status as the wildcard artists at MUTEK 2011. Sound artist Dan Hayhurst and animator Reuben Sutherland specialize in crafting dense, plunderphonic soundscapes complimented by live video of custom-made zoetropic picture discs. Their performance married reel-to-reel tomfoolery with turntable centric digital video that was projected onto a horseshoe-shaped configuration of screens lining the perimeter of the space. This arrangement was intentionally overwhelming and many audience members were visibly dazed by the combination of Hayhurst scrubbing through his tape loop inventory and Sutherland's reconfiguration of the wheels of steel as a psychedelic movie machine. The set was a gloriously orchestrated cacophony – media archeology for the MIDI controller set and a refreshing reminder that a virtuosic back-to-basics approach to animation is capable of trumping any graphics library. Fernando Corona (aka Murcof) and Simon Geilfus of AntiVJ have been collaborating for approximately two years and the duo presented the fruits of their (iterative) labour at the second A/Visions event. The embed above really does not do this work justice and the creative partnership essentially 'builds a universe' around Murcof's brooding, orchestral LP Cosmos and some more recent material. AntiVJ's Joanie Lemercier and Nicolas Boritch describe the work as "being rooted in a 2009 residency in Bristol" where the artists had the time to build an "emergent" performance workflow "from the ground up". Riffing on the geometries and organizational logic of cosmology, biological systems and the scattershot luminosity of a dense weave of light rays, the set was captivating and deservedly received a thunderous response. It should also be noted that AntiVJ developed a thoughtful solution to the perennial "where do we put the performers?" problem by projecting the video on a semi-transparent mesh scrim that hung in front of Corona and Geilfus, downplaying their visual presence and also creating the illusion that the animation is floating in space rather than dancing across a "standard white screen". One particularly riveting sequence played out as if the audience were drifting through a 3D field of detritus that pulsated in sync with Corona's drones, the shading of this 'space junk' was incredible and justifies comparisons to some of Lebbeus Woods' wilder moments. A veteran of the inaugural MUTEK lineup, Seth Horvitz is amongst a handful of artists including Atom Heart and Carsten Nicolai whose experimental practices have remained important references to the evolution of the festival over the last decade. Horvitz recently completed his MFA at Mills College and essentially presented his thesis research Eight Studies for Automatic Piano on intensely programmed scores for the Yamaha DC7 Mark III Disklavier. In perhaps the best moment of theatre of the entire festival, a besuited Horvitz began his performance by strolling across stage to turn on his piano and then disappeared into the shadows, not to be seen again. The work presents kind of a piano endgame that tested the perception of the audience while—given the scope of MUTEK—offering a timely examination of precision and 'programming'. An excerpt from the 'listener's guide' (PDF) for the LP release of the project on LINE where Horvitz discusses the notion of hand-made algorithms: "I have been told that my music is algorithmic, although I don’t really think of it that way. I don’t use any math other than simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. I copy something (often a repeating figure), paste it next to itself, and then change it a little. Then I do it again and again, changing it by the same amount each time, and listening all the while. If it doesn’t sound good, I might start over. Or I might copy half of all the copies and put them somewhere else, change that a little, then repeat the process again and again… I avoid using equations, because I never want the music to get too far away from my ear." The above video demonstrates how the dense melodies literally wash over the keyboard while the projections offer a rudimentary visualization of the complexity of these pattern studies. Eight Studies for Automatic Piano was a treat to experience live, and there was something quite amazing about watching a precisely calibrated automaton work its magic in a concert hall setting. The above smattering of teaser videos clearly doesn't do A/Visions 2011 justice but these taste tests certainly verify the innovation and diversity of the work programmed this year. For the sake of brevity this review did not touch on Tristan Perich's surprisingly moving rendition of 1-Bit Symphony, a severe prop-driven performance piece by Women With Kitchen Appliances and an atmospheric meditation on macro photography by Comaduster – these projects are all worth looking into. Stepping back from A/Visions and considering the larger events at MUTEK, it is clear that the interplay of sound and image is becoming increasingly important to the direction of the festival; this year the spotlight shone on Richie Hawtin's LED cage (produced by Ali Demirel and the wizards at Derivative) and Amon Tobin showed up for his gig at Metropolis at the helm of a cubist megalith (it was hardly the Mothership, but I suppose it would do in a pinch). I greatly prefer the focus and discipline of the work I've described above, but one can't help but note that audience expectations and visual literacy are evolving rapidly. While my mind is still buzzing from this abundance of stimuli, I'm already starting to catch myself wondering what next year will yield. -- About the Author: Greg J. Smith a Toronto-based designer and researcher with interests in media theory and digital culture. Extending from a background in architecture, his research considers how contemporary information paradigms affect representational and spatial systems. Greg is a designer at Mission Specialist, blogs at Serial Consign and is a managing editor of the digital arts publication Vague Terrain. He currently teaches courses on information visualization, technology and urbanism in the CCIT program (University of Toronto – Mississauga/Sheridan […]
- KAIST Mobile Phone Orchestra [iPhone, Processing, Sound] The KAIST Mobile Phone Orchestra (KAMPO) aims to explore the potential of mobile media for music and media art. In addition to suggesting new and innovative mobile performance paradigms through concerts, KAMPO conducts active research/education in music and mobile media as well as software development. The performances include five participants equipped with iPhones operating different components of the iPhone app, playing different instruments. Besides just triggering instrument sets in Ablenton Live, the main display application also creates a loop, as in a real orchestra, sending conduction messages back to performers and their devices. The iPhone app used in the performance is made using Apple iOS framework together with Momu Toolkit of Standford, MoPho (Mobile Phone Orchestra) for some functionality, especially OSC. The app is available for purchase on the AppStore and includes five separate interfaces (button, drawing, mic, accelerometer, compass) and one setting interface. The main display app uses Processing and receives performers' OSC messages to visualize the data. This main application sends conduction message to performers' iPhone via OSC, such as 'Start' message, buttons to press, lines to draw, direction to tilt, level to blow, direction of compass. Sounds are generated from the main computer running the main application, by using Ableton Live via MIDI message. KAMPO was the thesis (PDF) project of Sihwa Park as well as an AIM (Audio & Interactive Multimedia) Lab project. The team are currently preparing several performances using not only this app but also other applications. KAMPO Homepage. Director: Woon Seung Yeo, Co-directors: Sihwa Park, SongHee Jung Performers: AIM Lab […]
Posted on: 11/04/2012
Posted in: Processing
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