blink

Last week my exhibition blink opened at HKS in Bergen, Norway. It consists of two new installations and documentation of the main projects I have done during my research fellowship.

In the basement I have a light-sound installation, with 24 bright LEDs placed in a circle in the ceiling, animating the shadow of the visitor.

In the main space I have a video projection-sound installation, where I project into/onto the gallery space.

Since my project the last three years has focused on improvising with spaces, transforming them using image, light and sound, I decided for this exhibition to go all the way and work with two empty spaces.

You can see an excerpt of the projection installation here:

more images of the installation.

I will come back with documentation of the light-shadow installation.

HKS asked the australian artist and writer Mitchell Whitelaw to write a text about my work.

on top of the opera

An outdoor event on the roof of the opera house in Oslo, with two short concerts using video projection.
This was a projected iniated by electric violinist Victoria Johnson, which is currently a research fellow at the National State Academy of Music in Oslo.

The white marble opera house designed by Snøhetta has become one of the main tourist attractions in Oslo, with a nice view over the harbour and the city. It is almost like a iceberg that you can climb onto.

Standing on the roof, listening to the sounds of sirens and seeing something which could almost be a skyline (actually 90% of the tall buildings in Oslo are just behind the opera house), you could get the impression that Oslo is actually a big city!

opera_snohetta

In short, a quite spectacular setting.
The concert consisted of two compositions by Knut Vaage, Electra and multimorf, performed by Johnson and Thorolf Thuestad. Ellen Røed has made a beautiful volcano timelapse video for Electra, and I did a live impro video for multimorf.


We decided to do the concert in front of one of the walls of the stage tower, which is about 30x15m. We managed to cover one half of the wall, using a 15000 ansilumen projector.

We have performed multimorf twice before, in very different contexts: First with a big brassband at a concert venue in Bergen, then a stripped down version for electric violin,electronics and live video at the Concert Hall in Oslo. My video has changed from venue to venue, trying to adopt to the setting. The only connection between the three performances is a series of microscope images from brass instruments, which I made for the original version.
For the outdoor concert on the opera roof I wanted to have a more direct relation to the surface we projected onto, a beautiful aluminum wall with a relief pattern made by the artists Løvaas & Wagle.
The 30x15m wall consists of panels of the relief patterns and I decided to use my videoprojection tools software to mask rows and columns of these panels.

Working outside with a short timeframe means a lot of practical issues needs to be solved, and this left very little time for my slightly ambitious masking project.
It gets dark quite late in Norway in the spring, so the concert was to start at ten in the evening. Only at around nine was I able to see enough of the projection to actually start masking the image, so everything needed to be done in less than an hour. On top of this it was freezing, so I was literally shaking while I was trying to do very precise masking.

In the end, it turned out quite nice, and triggered some ideas for a project I am planning to do next year.

All photos from multimorf and of me is taken by Ellen Røed, thanks!

more images from the event.

The space between my ears

Perceptual meltdown after Granular Synthesis retrospective at the STRP festival in Eindhoven, in the old Philips facilities in the Strijp area.

The festival´s focus this year was a retrospective on maximalists austrian media art group Granular Synthesis. It was a unique opportunity to see a lot of the group´s work as well as newer work by the two members Ulf Langheinrich and Kurt Hentschläger. If you have ever seen any of their work before you would guess that this would be an overkill event, and you are right. The works are intense audiovisual bombardements, they physically attack your senses and that does something with your body and mind.
The Granular Synthesis performance installations POL and modell 5 are large scale multiple projections with a corresponding large sound system, which worked well in their monumental way in the factory space.
The solo works are not that large-scale, but more intense. Ulf Langheinrich showed Hemisphere (which I mentioned earlier from the exhibition “from spark to pixel”) and Drifter. Kurt Hentschläger showed Cluster and Zee, which could be seen as offsprings from his ARS electronica performance Feed in 2007. Zee is basically a room filled with smoke, with stroboscopic images projected into the smoke. You loose all reference to the physical space and experience psychedelic visions.

All their works relate to perception, and it was an interesting coincidence that I was reading The Space between our Ears while I was at the festival.

It was a bit strange to experience Granular Synthesis at STRP, since the audience is mainly a quite young techno crowd, and the difference between a trippy techno party and an installation like Zee is pretty vague.

Apart from the retro media artists there wasn´t so much of interest at the festival, the exhibition was a mix of two trends in the media art scene: The commodification of media art on the one side: beautiful objects in perfect collector size, and the technology fascination on the other side.

The Strijp area contains more than the festival. It is the site of the former Philips research lab Natlab, in the art world probably best known for the creation of le poéme electronique, a collaboration between LeCorbusier, Varese and Xenakis for the World Expo in Brussels in 1958 (I will probably write a bit more about this in a separate post).

The old Natlab is now dead, but last fall Baltan laboratories emerged in another part of the Strijp complex, a media lab with a fantastic space and with interesting artists like Telcosystems and Geert Muul involved. I will give a presentation there in the end of may as part of their monthly public Natlab sessions.

Defining space with light

sonumbra by loop.ph

sonumbra by loop.ph

This week I went to a presentation with loop.ph, an artist research duo consisting of Rachel Wingfield & Mathias Gmachl.
Loop.ph combine biology,technology,textiles and structural elements into a wide range of projects, often collaborating with experts within their field. The last few years they have concentrated on constructing lightweight relatively large-scale structures (synetic structures which is supposed to be an improvement over Buckminister Fuller´s geodesic structures),  combined with light and solar cells (they are collaborating with a danish company making printable solar cells).
The result is quite fascinating: large dynamic volumes but with hardly any mass. Especially in their Sonumbra project the light patterns in the structure is defining a changing volume in space: Each thread is a line of light, which can be animated. Check out the video from the first animation test.

sidenote: It took me a while to realise that Mattias was the same guy I  knew from Farmers Manual from back in the 242.pilots days.

colour psychology

tannerie, old medina in Fes, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

Last week I went to an inspiring lecture with professor Byron Mikellides from Oxford Brookes University about colour psychology.
Mikellides is together with Tom Porter editor of a new edition of Colour of Architecture Today which comes out in December this year. This book is a completely revised edition of the first one which came out in the seventies.

He spoke about colour related to our environment, about NCS (Natural Colour system), about the relation between the perception of time, volume, weight, size to colour.
He looked at different examples of combinations of colours in architecture, mentioning Josef Albers “Interaction of Color” as a great source for practical colour theory. Mikellides made a point of not only looking for relations in a space, but over time (diachronic), so looking at how colours change in the course of a day, over the seasons etc.

Since my primary interest in the topic comes from working with light and projection it was interesting to hear other people talking about painting with light, and he showed several interesting examples of use of light in architecture, particularly the architects Speirs & Major who have made a study of light with the website and book. (It doesn´t quite compare with the monster book from ZKM: “Light Art. Artificial Light (Emanating)).

video projection tool v2.1

Last week I was invited to the Medialab Prado in Madrid to give both a short workshop and a presentation as part of the light,space perception sessions. The energy at the medialab was amazing, a lot of projects being worked on in parallell, and it was great to see a medialab focused on producing works, not making festivals or big exhibitions. Check out their interactivos program, a intensive two week period for developing a selected group of works, a collaboration between the artists, the workshop teachers and other collaborators who want to contribute.

I got a chance to continue working on my videoprojection tool, which is a multi-videoplane software for masking video projections and position layers on specific objects and surfaces. You can find all the information,documentation and software (osx and win xp+vista) here.

relief projection 2008

This easter I got the opportunity to work in a large theaterspace (BIT Teatergarasjen) to continue my work on relief projection (or masked projection).
I made 9 plywood boxes to use as my projection objects, and worked with two projectors, having a total of 16 projection surfaces.
One of the aims for this session was to also work with sound (each object would double as a speaker), and to create a depth in the placement of the objects.
I implemented my nodio system into the projection patch, which made it possible for me to create sequences of movement.
There are plenty of images from the session here.

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