drifter, installation 2006

drift_total, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

(Slideshow of more images from Drifter here)

Drifter is a 12 channel audiovisual installation: 12 nodes, each with a computer,flatscreen and speakers, are placed in a circle. The nodes are connected over a wireless network, but each node only relate to its neighbour: It knows when a image is coming and knows where to pass it on to. Images travel clockwise across the network. The images leave traces. The image and traces are processed in realtime individually on each node and a sound is generated from the video, based on a given frequency. There are 4 base frequencies for the sound distributed among the different nodes, creating chords.
Each node has the same set of rules for how to behave, but they make individual choices (using the dice analogy, all the nodes follow the same rules for what happens if they get a 1 or a 6, but they throw their own dice, which will get different results on the different nodes).
There are also a few states or moods which change on a global level: the change happens on all the nodes simultaneously, switching between nervous, relaxed or more intense behaviour.
The overall result is an everchanging surrounding audiovisual landscape.

The first version of drifter was developed for my solo show at Trøndelag Senter for Samtidskunst in march 2006, and then in april at Rom for kunst+arkitektur.

A documention video from TSSK:

A video explaining the principles of the installation:



Dense, installation 2006

Dense 01, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

(Slideshow of more images from Dense here)

A doublesided videoprojection on six vertical strips of half transparent material at different depths in a blackbox space. One projection creates downward movement and the other a movement from side to side, thus creating a video weave on the projection surface where the projections overlap. The audio is generated by the changes in the video, one a dry chirping sound which pans with the horizontal movement of the video, the other is created by the downward movements of the other video, creating a very loud, deep sound resonating in the space. Moving around in the space is like walking inside a videomixer, perception of image and sound changes dramatically as you move inside the installation.

The installation was comissioned for the opening of the 2006 season of Black Box Teater in Oslo, and was developed during my residency at Tesla, Berlin in autumn 2005.


nodio 1st generation

nodio 1st generation, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

The series of experiments which I have called nodio (nodes of video and audio) started in the spring of 2005 when I got a short residency at BEK and an opportunity to show it at prøverommet BETA.

nodio is a networked multichannel audiovisual system, where each node in the system is a source both for video and audio. The nodes are linked either by a LAN or WLAN network.

So far the nodio project has resulted in the installations dense and drift, and the system was also used on the last kreutzerkompani performance irre.

My interest is to explore what happens when combining several audiovisual sources, where maybe the most interesting things happens in between the screens: the development of patterns and rhythms, and of audiovisual “powerchords”, but also to look at the spatial aspect of having several sources in a physical space that you can move around in, and where the image and sound changes the space.

Each node can operate individually or as part of a bigger setup. One image can be split up to the different nodes, or each node can have a separate image. Images can freely move between the different nodes, to create a distinct experience of movement in a physical space. Image transformations
and fades can be triggered individually or globally.

Sound is created by image analysis of the current video being played. this creates a very tight relation between the image and sound, and when images are moved around to the different nodes in a space, the sound moves with them.

The software is made using maxmsp and jitter, and the hardware is a macmini for each node.

The following video shows some of the possibillities in the first generation of nodio during a residency at BEK in Bergen (spring 2005) and Tesla in Berlin (autumn 2005).


Liquid Space workshop at Club Transmediale07 in Berlin

I was participating in the LiquidSpace workshop organised by the artist-architecture group lab[au] from Brussels. They are developing a software for creating 3d environments to experience image and sound in immersive installation or performance setups. In Berlin this meant a cubic setup of 4 screens and 4 speakers with the audience either on the inside or the outside. I was interested in it in relation to my own research in creating and transforming spaces with image and sound, and the workshop clarified a few differences between lab[au]´s approach and mine. Their focus is creating a virtual 3d audiovisual space for the audience to immerse into. I am more interested in using physical sound positions instead of surround sound, and projecting on the structures of the physical space itself instead of having them images floating in simulated 3d space.

The software for creating the environment is still under development, but I was especially impressed by the sound possibilities of the system.

Here is a short excerpt from some of the results from the workshop.

video installation at 11 in amsterdam

nearuki at 11 in amsterdam 6, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

(Slideshow of more images from nearuki here)

In december 2006 I was invited by my dvd label lowave to do a 12 channel projection at the 11 space in Amsterdam. 11 serves as the café for the stedelijk museum in the daytime, and as bar/club/restaurant in the evening, with an amazing view over the city. I showed Nearuki (sleepwalkers), a series of slowmotion videoes of people crossing a street (one of the sequences is also in Night for Day). It was interesting to see how the slow movements interacted with the busy indoor space, and how it reflected onto the city outside.

light space modulator by moholy-nagy

light space modulator by moholy-nagy 01, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

(Slideshow of more images of the light space modulator here)

One of my inspirations for the research fellow program has been the work of Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, both his ideas related to labs, and his art work dealing with creating spaces with movement and light. I went to see the replica of the Light Space Modulator at the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Holland, both to see how the physical space was altered, but also to investigate the translation from a 3D space created by the kinetic sculpture to the beautiful black-and-white film Schwartz-Weiss-Grau. I believe having read somewhere that Moholy-Nagy´s intention with the Light Space Modulator was as source material for the film, not as a freestanding sculpture. This would make sense to me, as it was a bit disappointing to see the installation in the museum, but interesting to look at it through my camera lens. Below you see a short recording I did, and an excerpt from Moholy-Nagy´s film. (video links updated jan 2014)

addendum feb 2008:

I discovered through ‘Y’ factor some interesting info in the bauhaus archive:

“The model consists in a cubic box […] with a circular opening (stage) at the front. Surrounding the opening, on the back side of the board, I have mounted a number of yellow, green, blue, red, and white electrical bulbs […]. Inside the box, parallel to the front, there is a second board, also with a circular opening, around which a further set of light bulbs is mounted.

Single bulbs light up at different places according to a pre-set plan. They illuminate a continuously moving mechanism, made partly of transparent, partly of cut-out materials, in order to create linear shadows on the back wall of the closed box. (When the presentation takes place in a dark room, the back wall of the box can be removed and the color and shadow projection behind the box projected on a suitable screen of open dimensions.)“

This means it installed wrong in the Van Abbe museum, you are supposed to look at it from one position, through two holes in a box which contained the kinetic object. The Van Abbe Museum have put it in the middle of a open room, with static light, thus ruining a lot of the interplay between changing lights,movement and shadows which was Moholy-Nagy´s intention (which probably explains why the film is more interesting than seeing the replica).

Office Building in Almere by UN studio

UN_office3, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

(Slideshow of more images of the building here)

In Responsive Environments by Lucy Bullivant I read about the office building designed by UN studio in Almere, Holland. It looks relative normal on the outside with a silver/grey facade, but it has two openings leading into a spectacular colorful courtyard: the facade of the inner courtyard is covered with a magnetic film which makes the walls change color according to the light and from which angle you look. I had the chance to experience the building in december 2006.

More info