Archives for the Month of November, 2007

Camera Lucida – Sonochemical Presence

Camera Lucida
Camera Lucida – Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand

Recently while in Venice I had a fleeting space-time intersection with Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand, an interesting couple who create sensory immersion environments that merge physics, chemistry and code. Dmitry directed me to one of their works that uses sound to create light in liquids via a process known as Sonoluminescence. This phenomena occurs when certain liquids are exposed to ultrasound, this causes microscopic bubbles to implode at extremely high temperatures causing the emission of light. Camera Lucida consists of a chamber of gas infused liquid surrounded by multiple ultrasonic transducers that generate an ‘ever modulating sonochemical environment’

The Leonardo paper (PDF) is a great read, it includes the story of how various obstacles were surmounted in pursuit of the required sonochemical reaction, how the Camera Lucida came to be, and how in the experimentation process an intriguing side-effect was generated – a ‘high-pressure thermo-acoustic wind’. It then goes onto discuss, in detail, the final apparatus used in the installation to produce patterns of light-bubbles that correspond to ultrasonic sound waves with their inherent interference patterns. Fascinating work.

Darlene Charneco – Dioramic imaginings

darlene Charneco
Immense Journey Symbiosis – Darlene Charneco

Darlene Charneco art dioramas, terrain paintings and constructed virtual worlds explore personal memories, mappings, networks and imagined communities, often inspired by her explorations in virtual worlds such a Second Life or experiences in playing ‘god games’ like Sim City – as if seeing ourselves from above, we appreciate another layer of distant objectivity made more so affirming by such radiant use of colours and offering a portal back to our childhood. As previously mentioned, dataisnature is a map lover, so its no surprise then that much excitement and awe is found in perusing Avadarlene’s Sparkleworlds & Gameworld Flickr sets! At times the mapping schematic breaks down, as in ‘Coney Island Level’ to offer a lexicon of shapes with painterly abstraction. The wonderfully titled ‘Self-Archiving LibraryTemple’ associates the architecture of a printed circuit board with that of a real landscape such as an airport, where functional necessity defines structure with particular pattern and geometry.

The system will eat itself

Those of you who may have checked the dataisnature browserspace in the last day or two will have noticed images not showing up on each post. This is because the images are hosted on another server, which on inspection had gone down. On contacting hosting/domain support I was told that my domain account has long been overdue for a registration update, and after repeated warnings the expiry date had long passed. Ouch, ‘But I received no notification that the domain was near to expire’ I told the techhead. ‘Ah, we sent you emails, 4 of them over the period of a month’. ‘Ah but I never received any of them’ I said.

Turns out that webmail, as I often use when I’m away from home, incorporates anti-Spam filtering that is not user controllable or defined, and Easyspace’s own Spam filters had kidnapped their own warning emails to me! Nice!

This is the first ever DisN post without any links.

Flickr Fruits 11 – Perlin Noise and Sunflow

Perlin Noise to Surface_Constrain – Dottore

A couple of sexy new looks for the generative autumn/winter season – Perlin Noise and SunFlow rendering rock the Flickr catwalks.

Like neatly packed sheets of ice covering a mountain range reflecting the rarefied light of the sun. The output of Dottore’s VVVV ‘Perlin Noise to Surface_Constrain’ module appear as ice crystals, glaciers and various Arctic landscapes.

Yesyesnono set out to feel the power of a billions lines and ended up producing some nice Perlin Noise distributions such as 10000 triangles and 40000(). The latter image has a time based process feel to it like ones found in nature – weathering, dripping or bubbling of paint for example.

Perlin noise is widely used in computer graphics for effects like fire, smoke, and clouds. It is also frequently used to generate textures when memory is extremely limited – such as in the case with the Demo Scene.

Sunflow, a global illumination raytracing engine built in Java, has gained quite a bit of popularity recently with the Processing hardcore. The p5sunflow library allows Processing sketches to be rendered with seductive soft diffused textural shading and shadows. Simon Geilfus, Lennyjpg & Movax have used the renderer to produce some nicely balanced mutliform compositions and wildstyle extrusions.

Italy Bound – Code_In_Motion & Tomorrow Now

Tomorrow I head off to Italy to participate in a couple of events that have code based generative art works with sound responsiveness as the main theme.

The ‘2007 edition of Code_in_Motion, part of the electronic arts programme of Club to Club festival, curated by Associazione NADA, deepens its survey about code as a graphic creative tool and its interaction with sound in clubs.’ I’ll be joining Andreas Köberle (Eskimoblood) in Turin on the 9th November where we will give a short talk about our work, then later in the evening present a night of real-time visuals, along with Claudio Sinatti, in three of Turin Clubs to the sounds of minimal tech house.

Further south in Venice at the Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa, ‘Tomorrow now – Engage the code’, will include performances by Marius Watz + Alexander Rishaug, TeZ (Maurizio Martinucci) and myself (Transphormetic) where ‘personally programmed software allows for an audio-visual performance stream in real time’. The event, part of a program of conferences, Tomorrow now – Contemporary Artistic Practices in Digital Culture, takes place at the Junghans Theatre on 13th November 2007.

Connecting the two events are Fabio Franchino and Andrea Clemente, two members of the cultural Association NADA who will be providing a workshop at the former event on sound reactive generative art and will be lecturing at the latter. NADA deals specifically with software art and is the developer of Code_in_motion, ‘The project, which gathers artists, designers and programmers from different cultural and professional backgrounds, explores the potentialities of programming as a means of generating new graphics and its possible interactions with electronic sounds’

Boston Gems #2 – TV Buddha & Global Groove, Nam June Paik

Global Groove – Nam June Paik

A version of the classic TV Buddha, one of several made by Nam June Paik, can be presently seen at MIT’s List Visual Art Center, as well as other key video works in Sounding the Subject. Sitting on his own in the otherwise sparse room the Buddha views a TV screen displaying an image of himself that is arrived at from a camera pointing at his head from behind the TV. The video loop becomes great metaphor for the idea of self contemplation and meditation (and the flow of consciousness being conscious). Even though the TV signal is live and time-based recording events occur, the final image of the Buddha is frozen and timeless. I like the fact that if you stand behind the Buddha you appear on the screen as part of what the Buddha can meditate upon. So deep in contemplation, however, the Buddha fails to notice anything that could possibly remove him from his infinite loop of contemplation.

Video Trajectories, in a space nearby, is a videotheque collection of early American video art shown on DVD players including works, among others, by Mariko Mori, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra and Pipilotti Rist. But again it is the June Paik piece, Global Groove, that draws me in the most with its mish mash of psychedelia, mysticism, John Cage, Burlesque strippers and advertisements of the day mixed together in garish colours and using effects from the Paik-Abe video synthesizer. The 29min film completed in 1973 has a fantastic voice-over, ‘This is participation TV, this is a glimpse of the video landscape of tomorrow, when you will be able to switch to any television station on the planet and the TV guide will be as fat as the Manhattan telephone book’.

Boston Gems #1 – László Moholy-Nagy Light Space Modulator

light space modulator - László Moholy-Nagy
light Space Modulator – László Moholy-Nagy

László Moholy-Nagy’s Light Space Modulator has been part of the permanent collection at Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger since 1956 but due to the fragility of the original the museum has acquired a full-size replica, produced in 2006, which is being showcased as part of the exhibit Light Display Machines: Two Works by László Moholy-Nagy. The replica Modulator has been installed in a darkened gallery so we can experience the shadow, reflection, and light patterns created by its mechanical choreograph. Alongside is Light Play: Black White Gray a film produced from images created by the machine. It can be viewed here.

Moholy-Nagy spent over 10 years working on the piece and said that he believed in magic as a result of being transfixed and entranced by the light modulations and permutations from his machine. Unfortunately also he became equally depressed by the public’s lack of interest in the piece – they preferred his films of the machine instead.

While I was at the museum I did manage to sneak in a short video of the replica device in operation, as well as pictures of the original. Sometime soon expect an upload of the video – in the meantime you can view HC Gilje’s video of another working replica at the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Holland.

Hackronic Visuals & Music, Boston.

hacktronic - paul prudence
Structure W – Paul Prudence

Last Thursday I provided a selection of my visual work, as well as Djing, for Hacktronic – the reception for a Razorfish/Avenue-A conference in Boston, US. It made a pleasant change to show some of my work on high quality plasma screens which retain a graphic quality not usually maintained with standard video projection. I played a mixture of minimal techno, tech house and future funk which seemed to go down very well. Some documentation can be found as part of this Flickr set.