Archifon: Interactive virtual musical instrument

Chapel architecture. Lasers. Ones and zeros, and human interactivity. Are these makings of live music performance of the future? Quite possibly, yes.

And if Tomaš Dvořák (Floex) and Dan Gregor (Initi) have any say, the future is here.


Immaterials: Light painting an invisible landscape

There are invisible landscapes all around us. Every day we live among them, pass through them, we utilize them, yet they remain completely undetected by our naked eye. Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen and Einar Sneve Martinussen have ingeniously devised a method to visualize these concealed network within physical space. They built a light stick that responds to Wi-Fi signal strength, walked it through the city revealing with time lapse photography the changes in the transparent atmosphere. I won’t go into detail on how they created the device, you can read all the specifics here. I just love how they found a simple and visually beautiful way to open our eyes to what we cannot see. Makes me wonder what other forces are fluctuating around us that we are unable to detect, and who will come along and reveal them to us.


Kim Asendorf’s pixel sorting Mountain Tour

Kim Asendorf is an artist working out of Bremen, Germany. He’s trained as an industrial electrician but has since taken up studying Media & Social Hacking, & New Media Art and Creative Coding. His blog is full of code test that put on display his curious mind as he experiments with various code libraries and softwares. Typically code tests as art are hard to digest visually but this recent set of mountain landscapes that he’s pixel sorted are contrary to the norm. They retain enough of the original image giving our minds something to grasp onto yet manipulate it in way that let’s us wander among the newly created color fields. I find it quite interesting that photos today can be run through a code sequence and yield images that resemble art that was created 50 years ago. Looking at the sharp juxtaposition of colors, almost torn away from the original image below it, I’m reminded of the AbEx paintings of Clyfford Still. His work didn’t have the depth that these coded mountains do (at least on screen, in person is a different topic entirely) but the idea of manipulating reality to challenge the viewer is shared by both. It makes me wonder what kind of mental process Still was going through that led him to paint color fields that could, half a decade later, be created with a few lines of code and a handful of pixels.

Kim has amassed quite the library of images up on his Flickr page too. If you like the Mountain Tour I’d recommend checking out the results of some of his other coding experiments. His pixel sorted aerials are equally stunning.

Update: As of late, Kim has moved into experimenting with motion. This video for a.d.l.r. applies his pixel sorting technique to the film of a space shuttle launch and the results provide you with an entirely new way of seeing a launch.


Cosmogramma Fieldlines: Flying Lotus Augmented Reality App

Flying Lotus’s new album ‘Cosmogramma’ is due to drop soon so in celebration its imminent release he and a few friends have put out Cosmogramma Fieldlines, a free augmented reality application. It was developed by Aaron Meyers who describes it as entrancing motion and sound, which is a pretty accurate description. You can control it with both a webcam and a mouse. I opted for the webcam while waiting for a crowded flight which had me waving my hands at the screen and moving my head all over the place. I’m sure I looked a little nuts but that’s probably a pleasant side-effect built into the experience. The art is based on the work of Leigh J. McCloskey, a self described modern Renaissance Man, whose interest, knowledge and learning ranges from history, religion, mythology and esotericism to string theory, quantum physics and the multidimensional nature of consciousness. If this is any indication of where FlyLo took Cosmogramma it’s going to be a trip.


Strangeloop: 2010 [or] How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Technological Singularity

2010 [or] How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Technological Singularity is a pretty intense audio/visual set from Brainfeeder’s Strangeloop. Here’s the quick synopsis, “2010 is about a dystopian alternate universe where an A.I. Deity has become imprisoned within its own Ego. It discovers a transcendental media living within an archaic laptop, which upon viewing, facilitates its spiritual evolution.” Chew on that for a few minutes.

Aside from being a total mindfuck, Strangeloop has earned a reputation for pushing live sets to the next level and what makes 2010 next level shit is that its a “completed work in progress, meaning that it is meant to change, in a live-environment, and in different re-contextualizations,” so this clip is only one of an infinite possible renditions. I love how this format really opens it up for a interpretation. If you were to see it live five times I think you would have five different experiences, not just seeing it in different arrangements but how you mentally try to make sense of it all. It’s intense though, after watching it I paused  for a second and realized it was okay to breathe again. I’m not sure I could handle a full length version, or even live, but if your up for it he’s producing 300 limited edition copies which you can try to grab here.

He’s also set to release an LP through Brainfeeder later this year called “Easy Listening for our Future Children” [below] which is much lighter than 2010 so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of evolving visual experience comes out of that. Or if they co-evolve into something entirely different.


Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2010