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  Mar.28.17 NaiveLaser's Captured Atmospheres Recreates Natural Phenomena with Lasers

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Captured Atmospheres: interactions between light, smoke and matter is an ephemeral and yet very physical experience that posits atmosphere as instrument. Within seconds the viewer is enfolded into a sublime medium that with acute insight and inventiveness has been crafted with realtime laser techniques and physical computing to create an experience and impression that feels "real" and elemental on a scale usually experienced in nature.

"How do you make lasers look so good?!" we wanted to know...

Captured Atmospheres was conceived and designed by Ana Herruzo and Jaine Sanchez of NaiveLaser who carried out extensive in-the-field research to achieve these effects and to design a physical delivery system made up of tubes, wood and various machines. The project was initially commissioned by The Paseo Taos Arts Festival, with the early collaboration of Julieta Gil. TouchDesigner was used to drive the laser animations and to control the smoke machines.

Exploring ideas of perceptual phenomena as a mechanism re-frame the built environment, Captured Atmosphere playfully abstracts and reconfigures both architectural material and ephemeral matter. Through the use of actuated materials, light, and smoke the experience is organized as a series of vignettes that create an augmented exposé of the intangible.


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  Mar.16.17 Virtual and Real Synchronize in TOKYO ART CITY by NAKED

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Tokyo Art City Morning
Tokyo Art City Evening

Tokyo Art City is an ambitious and beautifully executed art exhibition about Tokyo by NAKED Inc that is composed of projection mapping, illumination and large models of Tokyo's many landmarks. Under the concept of "City is Art" virtual and real Tokyo are synchronized over past, present and future. The team made extensive use of TouchDesigner for projection mapping and to control vast lighting arrays of LED as well as lasers to bring the "city to life".

Tokyo landmarks such as the Tokyo Station building, Tokyo Tower and a complex transportation network of Tokyo can be experienced through scale models combined with projection mapping and particles of light and sound. Human activity within the city is also animated and experienced in various ways.
 
There is a story in this exhibition that particles of light which express human activity are part of the city spread out over distance in space and time. 

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  Feb.21.17 TouchDown Houston at Day For Night Festival

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Day For Night in Houston last December was on multiple fronts one of the most ambitious and flawless festivals we've attended - take Aphex Twin's transformational live set for one, but the opportunity to experience such a formidable array of installation light and kinetic art in that particular venue (a staggering 1.2 million square foot decommissioned postal sorting station) does top the list; and that almost half of these installations made such excellent use of TouchDesigner was icing on the proverbial cake! In many ways it was like being at a gigantic TouchDesigner meetup (we can dream) but the running count of community members on site was up to 30 - at a single festival! Exciting stuff.

We've had a chance to let it soak in and to review the experience with the brilliant artist teams who showed at DFN and with the formidable Alex Czetwertynski who was responsible for curating this massive scale and mind boggling visual program. There's a TON of very interesting reading below so without further ado here is our TouchDown Houston at Day For Night Festival report!


BARDO, Michael Fullman, VT Pro
PHASES, AV&C + Houzé, Photo: Roger Ho
OUTLINES, TUNDRA, Photo: Theo Civitello

 

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  Jan.12.17 Refactor: An Autonomous Generative Painting Factory Mapping the Artist

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Background

After a series of exhibitions artist Nikzad Arabshahi had the idea to reconstruct his painting in real-time through computer renderings in a generative algorithmic composition. All of these algorithms are implemented by the artist in TouchDesigner, which allowed him to "simply visualize [his] thoughts without limitation while providing all the necessary equipment for the challenges of production". Refactor is a culmination of Arabshahi's earlier painting projects (Eraser – 2013 and Chlordiazepoxide – 2011) transformed into a generative art project.

The project is an experiment in a new dialogue blending two mediums - sound and visual - so that the two play with each other. The visual part is the result of an artistic pursuit and painterly experience that has "transformed the painter's mindset". The project portrays this new reconning and is thus named "Refactor".

At Refactor's core is a computer program based on evaluating, reviewing, reflecting and reinterpreting the painter's practice of art making.

The outcome of this self-reflection is turned into compositional algorithms that can be formulated mathematically so that their sequential outcome forms a dynamic network of computer codes. These computer codes make possible painterly experience without the painter; a painting factory without any need for the painter's presence or control. They recreate the process of image making and control painterly quality of this realization on dedicated visual platforms.

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  Jan.12.17 Lidar Scanning in the Fulldome: Remote Sense

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"Like I was staring into space in a cave that was also a cathedral of light whilst in a submarine" - audience comment

Visual artist / designer Jonny Knox and audio composer / performer Darien Britto  premiered 'Remote Sense', a realtime fulldome performance at Glasgow Science Centre Planetarium for Cryptic and the FDUK Bienalle in November 2016. The visual work is an investigation of Lidar, point cloud data captured through laser scanners (remotes sensing), processed, animated and rendered realtime in TouchDesigner.

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  Jan.11.17 In Light and Stillness, The Sublime Artistry of Ali Phi

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Ali Phi is a prolific Tehran-based media artist, musician (as elemaun) and the founder of nullsight, a studio that produces technology-driven projects for clients involving creative coding, interaction design, immersive environments, 3D mapping and so on. TouchDesigner plays a role in all of these enterprises as Ali tells us:

"About its importance in my works, TouchDesigner is the most powerful toolkit I've ever used! I should say that I work with different platforms of visual programming and coding and use them based on demands of the project, but usually TouchDesigner is my first priority because of its stability and ease of modelling the ideas into a patch. The simple logic of programming and the possibility of running python scripts as well as the software being so up to date for connecting to new technological hardwares are the most powerful reasons for me to start all sketches with TouchDesigner"

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  Dec.12.16 TouchDesigner at Day For Night, a Preview

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The second edtion of Day For Night taking place December 17-18 in Houston, Texas will host an incredible lineup of sound and visual artists and prominently feature in the "Light" section, are some very exciting projects from the TouchDesigner community.

Saint Petersburg art collective TUNDRA bring their lasers and artistry to North Americ for the first time, NYC-based AV&C + Houze return to Day for Night (d4n) with mirrors, motors and projections, Ezra Miller adapts his WebGL generative art to bigger real-time screens, VT Pro Design with a secret project fly in from LA, and Colin Hoy programs and controls the festivals' interstitial screens at all the stages! TouchDesigner is indeed 'in the house'!

Whatever we can reveal at this time we do so below along with a samling of past works from the artists. Much more to come on all these installations during and following d4n (many surprises in store!).


 

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  Dec.06.16 TouchDesigner Community Highlights Fall 2016

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A sampling of work from our talented TouchDesigner community this fall. Featured here: Light Notes' Vodafone: Interactive TouchBoard, Mart Mai's ///, Ultravioletto's Immersioni, Modular from Vincent Houze and team, Patrik Lechner's du schimmelst ja, Anton Grabovskiy's TouchDesigner Shop and Indae Hwang's Rectangular Shapes and Particles. Such range, so inspired - enjoy!

 

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  Oct.19.16 DEEP DREAM ACT ll | NONE & ANDREW QUINN

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Art collective NONE premiered their multimedia installation 'Deep Dream Act II' at the VII edition of DigitaLife, an Italian exhibition dedicated to digital-art. The visual content produced by Andrew Quinn using TouchDesigner.

The work bears the name of a mathematical algorithm discovered inadvertently by Google. The mathematical algorhythm proceeds by visual associations, capturing images and videos from Google’s database, a neural network that interprets reality through a shared and constantly evolving archive of images.

Deep Dream Act II is the second part of a research project, which aims to place the human being within the data stream that they themselves produce and share. The viewer "travels" in a continuous stream of data within an n-dimensional 'hypercube' composed of 150 square meters of mirrors in which one completely loses all reference to space-time. The visual and noise bombardment that the system generates inside the hypercube is thus a reflection of our virtual affairs.

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  Oct.06.16 WONDERS OF NATURE | GASOMETER OBERHAUSEN

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Photo Credit: Gasometer Oberhausen
Photo Credit: Gasometer Oberhausen
Photo Credit: Michael Rasche
Photo Credit: Michael Rasche
Photo Credit: Gasometer Oberhausen

"Wonders of Nature" is a current exhibition at the spectacular Gasometer Oberhausen where the highlight of the show is our blue planet itself 'brought to life'. Suspended in the lofty 100-meter high air space of the Gasometer the 20 metre globe floats as animated, high-resolution satellite images (8-10 K) are seamlessly projected onto its surface. Visitors are thus able to experience from a perspective usually reserved for astronauts in space, the fascinating phenomena of the changing atmosphere, the alternation of night and day and the changing seasons on the planet we call home.

The video above provides a glimpse into the process that enabled the team to construct this stunning representation (making it look easy of course!) and below we unpack some of the more granular details of the 'making of' with Intermediate Engineering's Nicholas Braren.

Conceived in partnership with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and curated by Prof. Peter Pachnicke, Wonders of Nature runs till December 30, 2016 - experience it if you can.

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  Sep.07.16 Design Meets Surf Culture | Ericeira World Surfing Reserve

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“The centre's chief objective is to present and explain the reserve and its main attributes: the 7 waves and their characteristics, the biosphere, the meteorological composition, the flora and fauna and the facilities. The detailed visualisation of data about the natural characteristics and surf conditions of the area is made possible by the close interweaving of design and technology. Via an innovative interactive video-mapping system combined with customized apps the visitors can explore this information in an accessible way. This is a milestone in terms of the transmission of complex geographical, meteorological and oceanographic data in surf reserves." Ericeira – World Surfing Reserve

AN INTERACTIVE INTERPRETATION CENTRE MEETING SURFERS’ NEEDS

With seven of the world's most venerated waves crashing upon its shores surfing is a huge deal in Portugal, impacting both local culture and tourism. While it is far more typical for hardcore surfing enthusiasts to keep their coveted waves under the radar, the local authorities have had a different approach, in the past posting official tourist signs to guide visitors to all the famous waves in the area.

The first of its kind in Europe, the Ericeira World Surfing Reserve Interpretation Center represents the epitome of that trend, and while it might be frustrating to some it is also remarkably well conceived and executed by a team of researchers, planners, programmers and designers.

We spoke to Rui Gato (Technical and Creative Director) and David Negrão (3D and Interactive Designer) of ALTA_International Creative Alliance about their outstanding contribution to the project using TouchDesigner for video-mapping of the scaled model, realtime generation of the data visualization, and the multitouch UI that controls and allows users to navigate the content of the Interpretation Centre. Exceptional work, enjoy!

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  Aug.30.16 Fit The Culture | An Interactive Portal

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It is always exciting and inspiring to see how TouchDesigner is being used by students in schools - sometimes for the first time - as a creative tool and to experiment and solve problems.

Art project Fit the Culture is an interactive portal between Russian and Austrian culture created by a joint student team MOSGRA from British Higher School of Design in Moscow and FH Joanneum in Graz. The installation took place simultaneously in both cities from 17th to 21st of May inviting visitors to hop on a journey through 'stereotypical' cultural environments. Visitors were dared to look beyond the cliches of the unfamiliar culture and find emotional connections in the most entrenched touristic icons.

Fit the Culture is the first collaboration between these two geographically remote design classes made up of 10 students from Austria and 4 from Russia under the supervision of tutors.

We spoke with Tanya Samarakovskaya and Olga Kazmina about the project and their teams' experience of working with TouchDesigner.


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  Aug.18.16 Infinity, Hyper Thread & Origins | The Lab at Panorama NYC

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The inaugural Panorama Festival was held this summer proclaiming itself as a "modern-day World's Fair of music, art, culture and technology, showcasing future-forward creativity beyond the confines of the average music festival experience." Headliners included music stars Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem but featured as well was a showing of innovative digital interactive installations created by NYC artists.

Housed in a 70-foot video dome that also functioned as a fully immersive 360-degree VR theatre, The Lab (designed and curated by META.is, sponsored by HP and presented by The Verge) created a space where experiential technologists were given equal billing to their musical counterparts - and as some even put in "stole the show".

Of the seven interactive installations three were designed and produced by NYC TouchDesigner artists: VolvoxLabs produced Origins, projection-mapped visuals spanning the entire dome's facade, Gabriel Pulecio installed Infinity Wall, a very trippy mirror and LED infinity experience, and Dave & Gabe provided silk cocoon, user-driven sonic experiences with Hyper Thread.

The work is tremendous and we could not be prouder or more impressed by these three teams. We found a few minutes to debrief (which was not easy as they don't sit still) and share with the community a little more background on these installations. Enjoy!

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  Aug.10.16 TouchDesigner Community Highlights Summer 2016

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A quick round-up of diverse and spectacular new work from the TouchDesigner community this summer. Featured here: Obscura Digital's Salesforce Video Wall, Reaction-Diffusion from Nobutaka Kitahara, My Whale (inner revision),TUNDRA, Ericeira - World Surfing Reserve from Experimentadesign, Fit the Culture from joint student team MOSGRA from British Higher School of Design in Moscow and FH Joanneum in Graz; and Behind Closed Eyes from Peter Walker. Enjoy!

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  May.26.16 ThoughtForms | Visualize and 3D Print Your Thoughts

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What would be the consequences of our most intimate feelings and memories becoming accessible by technology? Hold that thought…

THOUGHTFORMS is a collaboration between sensiLab and Monash Art, Design & Architecture

Project artists: Kellyann Geurts (PhD candidate) & Dr Indae Hwang
PhD supervisor: Mark Guglielmetti
Specialised support in 3D printing: Elliott Wilson, sensiLab

Category: Art & Design, Research, Wearables



As a participant what will I be doing?
In this project, you will wear an EEG brain sensor device that measures tiny electrical changes in your brainwaves. Using specialised software, this data is translated into abstract 3D forms. You will concentrate on building your own personalised thought-form, which can be 3D printed and taken home with you.

The recording will take approximately 5 minutes; your 3D thought-form will take between 15 – 20 minutes to print.

How did the project come about?
This collaborative project is based on Kellyann's PhD research: Imagining Thought in Digital Space. Kellyann and Indae are working together to realise the research project into 3D form.

This research project follows a long history of "picturing" thoughts in both art and science. From the late 19th century, photographic plates and film aimed to capture "vital sources" (thoughts, mental energy and dreams). In 1924 the first EEG machines recorded brainwaves and from this time, in scientific labs around the world today, neuroimaging techniques accurately measure, and even predict thought. Outside the labs, the recent trend of consumer wireless EEG devices now makes it possible to record impressions of our brain/mind responses to everyday stimulus, in a variety of domestic settings.


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  May.24.16 LIGHTfaktor's Atolla Chandelier for Top Golf

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Photo credit (all photos): Topher Adam Photography


This decorative chandelier located in the lobby stairwell of Top Golf Flagship in Las Vegas, NV at the MGM Grand, consist of 26 suspended LED Rings (white light LED's) with 17 strands of RGB LED pixel hanging through the LED rings. The fixture is over 32 feet tall and is meant to provide more than just ambient lighting, as its equipped with 5 motion sensing sonar cameras and a direct audio feed, making it capable of interactive motion and audio effects. The fixture and system was designed by Wes Lane and fabricated by his team at LIGHTfaktor. TouchDesigner programming and sensor integration was handled by team member Daniel Schafer.

 

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  Apr.07.16 Square Root of Sin | Student Exhibition | MARS Center

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Moscow-based artists and new media producers Yan Kalnberzin and Evgeny Afonin (as Curiosity Media Lab) have been conducting TouchDesigner workshops in Moscow for a number of years now. What began as short, intensive sessions evolved into week-long workshops and eventually into three month marathon sessions which culminate in incredible showings of the students' work. We were blown away by the exhibited work and also by Yan and Egevny's continuous efforts to teach TouchDesigner and to share their considerable knowledge and experience.

We asked them why they do this and then we asked the students about their experiences in class and working with TouchDesigner. Here is what we learned.

Yan Kalnberzin: We were first invited to make some small masterclasses on Anja Intektra's PLUMSFEST event 3 years ago. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and it made my brain work another way. Rethink and reformulate how and what I do and I liked it much. Students were asking questions and I couldn't sometimes give answers. So I had to dig into some new fields (and I still do).

Then we made some intensive week-long masterclasses and that was also cool. But I felt that only few of students had enough time to get used to the interface and concepts of TouchDesigner if they started from scratch. So we decided to make an experiment and make a longterm course. Last year was the first 3-month beginner's course and then there was another 3-month advanced course. At the end of their study the students made an exhibition of their works and in spite of all our expectations it was not trash at all. I was inspired by their ideas.

Tutors Yan Kalnberzin and Evgeny Afonin

 

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  Apr.05.16 Mapping The Cave | Secret Mapping Experiment

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The Cave

everything is a secret now.
secret locations
secret lights 
secret ideas 

So reads the about section of the Secret Mapping Experiment Facebook page along with links to the group's tumblr and instagram accounts. Keeping secrets isn't an easy thing to do - especially when those secrets revolve around throwing an uninhibited spectrum of light onto, from - and in the case of The Cave into- some spectacularly abandoned or disused spaces and "gigantic masterpieces of engineering machines".

We had a few questions for this secret society and in the spirit of not revealing too much, faces, places and some names have been changed or not provided. Here's what we can tell...


No idea who these guys are
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  Mar.16.16 The Future of Music | Making of a 360 Film

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"THE FUTURE OF MUSIC" is a ground-breaking 360° virtual experience made by director Greg Barth and Phenomena Labs that immerses the viewer in a surrealist musical space.

The point of view is that of "interviewer" in a behind-the-scenes mockumentary with Carré Bleu, a revolutionary music inventor who is in the midst of presenting his unique production methods for recording an instrumental track. 

The very amusing and clever part is that each of these instruments is an actual human turned into a gravity-defying "GIF-strument". The Kick is a checker-board-latex-suited-character with spikes on his derrière falling back onto confetti-filled balloons - twice! The Synth combines a wacky combination of vacuum cleaner and toilet rolls; the Snare has the chief sound engineer being pushed through a colorful sheet of real sugar-glass and so on…

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