Interactive Arts Festivals

Spectators attending last year’s Dumbo Arts Festival in the Brooklyn neighborhood around the Manhattan Bridge thought they had seen some pretty impressive video projection mapping at the “Immersive Surfaces” event, but this year, stakes were raised by Codex Dynamic, a large-scale video projection exhibition, notes Live Design. The annual festival transforms streets, parks, bridges, buildings, galleries, and studios into canvases, stages, and exhibition spaces for more than 225,000 attendees.

It transformed the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage and Archway into display surfaces supporting work by well known and up-and-coming media artists, with the theme; man’s evolving relationship with time and space.

Two areas acted as display surfaces for video content: the 160'x45' Archway and the north side of the Anchorage, which forms a canvas roughly 180'x85'. Sixteen Christie Digital Roadster S+10K-M projectors were used for the inside tunnel mapping along with four Christie HD 10K-M projectors for the PIP windows and single-channel video inside the tunnel and six Roadster S+16K projectors handled the outside wall and archway. Control was provided by 10 d3 Technologies d3 media servers and fiber connectivity for the entire display.

Like the Dumbo arts festival, held last September, or SXSWi, which just wrapped up in Austin, these public events cry out for mobile apps that enable the public to interact, perhaps incorporating tweets or audio/video elements from smartphones.

Burn After Reading keeps the Burning Man spirit alive. The Eyeo Festival in Minneapolis brings art and interaction together while Re-New.org investigates emotion detection and sensor development. Sensors and controllers are getting faster, cheaper and better, enabling the audience to be reflected in a performance.

VJ software includes LPMT (projection mapping) which can warp up to 36 independent videos feeds onto objects, Modul8, a real-time video mixer and VDMX which is audio reactive. VDMX let you run your effects wirelessly from an iPad or MIDI controller.

TouchOSC (above) is an iPhone/iPad app that lets you send and receive Open Sound Control messages over a Wi-Fi network. It allows to remote control and receive feedback from software and hardware that implements the OSC protocol such as Abelton Live.

VJing is a broad designation for realtime visual performance. Using MIDI (or MIDI over WiFi), you can remotely control VDMX 5. Arduino sensors can control anything. OpenNI is an open source SDK used for 3D sensing.

Kinect for Windows costs $228.99 at Amazon. It is designed as either a development tool or with software that has been designed for it, but Microsoft’s vision for the future is wall-sized displays.

In that environment, touch doesn’t work as well as simply interpreting gestures via Kinect, which can “read” a user’s gestures and translate them into a familiar user interface.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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