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

getting dizzy on a square in Lisbon


rossio 1, originally uploaded by hc gilje.
Lisbon is full of mosaics, on the streets and buildings. The mosaic pattern at Rossio square had a physical effect on me: the wavy patterns on the big square confused my brain enough to loose sense of a stable ground.


quicktime movie playing fullscreen at startup

I have struggled for a while to find a solution to something I thought would be quite simple: When the computer starts up it should play back a quicktime at full screen, in loopmode.

I solved this quite easily in max, but figured out a way to do this with applescript also.

First, one thing which isnt obvious, is that you can save your quicktime movie with the loop flag checked, so next time quicktime player opens that movie it will loop.

There are lots of applescripts for playing back an already opened movie, but I couldnt find a working solution to first open a movie, then play it back.

First download, unzip it, and then follow the instructions below:

  1. open your movie in quicktime player and turn on the loop (apple-L), and save the movie.
  2. go to your login items (in accounts in system preferences), and add your quicktime movie to the login items list.
  3. add the qt-startupscript to the login items, making sure it comes after the quicktime movie.
  4. restart the computer, and hopefully your quicktime movie is looping and playing back at fullscreen.

Here is the script:

on run
delay 10
tell application “QuickTime Player”
delay 5
present movie 1 scale screen
end tell
end run

update nov 2008: Maybe the MSA QT Player is an alternative: it plays fullscreen, also over multiple outputs (unlike QT pro)

arduino workshop

I had the opportunity to follow an Arduino workshop at the interaction design department at AHO (The Architecture School in Oslo). The workshop was led by Tom Igoe (co-author of Physical Computing), and covered the Arduino microcontroller, the Xbee wireless modules, bluesmirf bluetooth modules, small RFID readers, communication between pc and arduino using processing or max, and much more.

Sensing and changing the space through physical computing

Instead of using regular computers as nodes in the system, it will be interesting to explore ideas around ubiquitous computing, that computer processing will be distributed in smaller units and have a more or less transparent presence in our lifes. Microcontrollers can both sense spaces through all types of sensors, RFID tags etc., and change spaces through use of light,sound,motors,and forcefeedback etc., so they can be an interface between the audiovisual world and the physical world.
I will be particularly interested in following the development of wireless microcontroller systems which could become an important part of doing interventions in public spaces.

Time-space relation

A space is a combination of being a specific location at a specific time. I want to explore this relationship on many levels: The relation between the memory/past of a space and the present (psychometric architecture), resolution of space and time (compressing/stretching time, looking at the surroundings through a microscope), breaking up the linear relation of space/time through animation, timelapse, reshuffling of frames, layers of time in a single image etc.

spinoff: mikro

Multichannel composition and choreographed motion using image and sound

An essential part of the project is to construct ways of controlling,linking and combining the different audiovisual elements, both in terms of creating a physical layout of audiovisual modules, but also to create a system for distribution of image and sound over multiple computers and sources.

My main interest on the software side is working with the idea of a network of audiovisual nodes, and experiment with different ways of how these individual elements relate to each other and to the global system, to create patterns, rhythms and movements across sources.

Apart from creating dynamic spaces by moving image and sound between different sources I also want to look at mechanical movement, by moving camera, projector, mirrors, projection surfaces. How can movement create spaces, and how does movement affect the perception of spaces?

spinoff: nodio