stereolux

For my performance and installation at Stereolux in Nantes I answered a few questions about my work from Laurent Diouf, chief editor of MCD. The short version will be at stereolux website, but here is the long version:

01_ First, a few sentences about Radiant… about the meaning of this installation… and also about the use of laser and phosphorescent paint…

My work with Radiant started out with some thoughts on extinction, growth and decay, the fascination with how plants create food from light and the material qualities of laser and the phosphorescent pigment. Laser light is more intense than sunlight, and phosporecent pigment are actual natural minerals that are able to capture light and slowly release it as a green glow (In the times of Galileo they were called solar sponges).
Radiant is also much about time and speed: The intense quick drawings of the laser point versus the slowly fading out when the light is released. The interesting things happen in the layering of these drawings, where you can see traces of multiple pasts mixed with fresh drawings: different time scales (or Bergson´s duration) coexist on the surface of the screen.
For the audience I think it works also in a different sense when thinking about scale. It contains both a macro and a micro scale: You could be staring into the universe or be looking at a cell or subatomic processes.

02_ Your works / installations are “conversations with spaces” (with light, projection, sound and motion)… is it the same way for/with Radiant ?

Normally my process is to start with the space where I will make a work, spend time exploring it, using improvisation as a method: I bring my set of tools and start experimenting my way towards a path that creates an interesting amplification or transformation of the space.
With Radiant it is a bit different since I started it out as making a big flat quadratic light painting (the one at Stereolux will be 3.6×3.6m), and not particularly thinking about the space it would be presented in.
However the installation is transformed by the spaces it is presented in, and it also has the power to transform and intensify the spaces it is presented in. It is a quite different setting from a rough concrete environment at Kraftwerk during Berlin Atonal to a circular floor projection with a custom made arced wall in at Kunsthall Grenland in Norway.
Also the light of the white laser beam is quite intense so the resulting shadows in the space is quite similar to my other light installations.

03_ Following the opening of the exhibition, you’ll do a performance. What about this live a/v ? Will you use some elements from the installation in/for your set ?

Radiant started out as an installation, and I always thought of it as a loop piece because of the constant layering of time creating new images, where the installation becomes a place or a state you walk into. As a live performance time is not circular, it has a direction so this changes quite a lot the experience of the piece I think. Also a live set is more of a communal experience while the installation is maybe better experienced alone or with a few people.
The raw material of the installation and the live set is more or less the same, it is the structuring that is the main difference.
Also, the live set introduced the soundtrack, which is created in real time using the amplified mechanical sounds produced by the laser mirrors. The sound from the laser is amplified and played through the speakers, but also recorded and reappearing as new sound layers (similar to the visual material) during the performance.
My exhibition at Stereolux will actually be the first time I will try use this sound setup for the installation as well.
04_ Generally speaking, how do you manage your live’ set ? What do you want to show, to give to the audience through a live A/V. ? Is it also a “space for co-working” with other artists ?

I guess I partly answered that in the previous question, but for me this performance is about creating a focused intensified experience for the audience, in contrast to the installation which is more of a meditative piece.
Almost all of my other live A/V performances are quite different from this one, as they are real time free improvisations with musicians or other visual artists, where the process unfolding through the collaboration is the interesting part.
So Radiant Live is a very controlled piece in that sense, with a quite fixed structure but with room for variations.
05_ If you have some others projects…

I recently created a site specific light installation for four interconnected rooms in a gallery space. The piece was called Red White Black and consisted of two rails of LED strip that followed the contours of the rooms and doorways. One pulse of white light moved in one direction, one pulse of red light moved in the other. Super simple in one way, but it created a very dynamic space of opening and closing, revealing and hiding, a space that expands, collapses, twists and turns in the light from the red and the white pulse of light that chases along the walls, corners and door openings of the space. Probably one of my favourite pieces 🙂

A very different work but which has been my most shown work the last years is Barents (mare incognitum). It is a single channel video installation of the Barents Sea slowly turning around. It was filmed at the border of Norway and Russia with my custom built camera pointing towards the North Pole. It is one of many works that came out of my involvement with the Dark Ecology project; a series of journeys and projects initiated by Sonic Acts and Hilde Mehti in the Norwegian-Russian border area.
Another work that came out the Dark Ecology project was my film rift, combining
my love for the experimental film maker Len Lye and an interest in the deep time of plastic. It was part of the Vertical Cinema program: experimental 35 mm cinemascope films in the vertical format.

Finally I would like to mention speiling, which is the latest in a long series of projection spaces: solid coloured organic forms projected onto a highly reflective floor, creating a dynamic light space.

Right now I am working on two quite different projects: an installation for a stalactite cave in an old fortress to be presented in August, and a series of installations for next year where I give myself the challenge to work with light, sound and motion but in a normally lit space.

06_ Feel free to add or highlight anything you might think relevant.
This is my first solo show in France, although I showed my installation in transit X in Marseille as part of Chroniques Festival in 2017. I have also had a few screenings in various locations in France, including Cinemateque Francaise and Centre Pompidou, due to my involvement with the video art publisher lowave, which released my DVD Cityscapes back in 2005.

I made a book in 2017 documenting many of the Conversations with Spaces projects.
It is available through motto distribution.

VPT 8 released

vpt8_logo

I just released VPT 8, over ten years after the first release of Video Projection Tools (VPT).  VPT has proven to be a popular free alternative for windows and mac users interested in projection mapping and realtime video experiments: The previous version VPT 7 was downloaded over 100000 times, 2/3 was windows users, 1/3 mac users.

VPT 8 has a lot of under the hood changes. It is now 64-bit only. It will also be the last version of VPT.

I have created an online manual which should make it easier to get started doing interesting things with your computer and a projector.

You can download and read more about new features on the VPT home page.

VPT 6 video tutorials

VPT 6 available: A projection powerpack

With almost 5000 downloads of VPT 5.1, I am happy to announce that the next version of Video Projection Tools, VPT 6 is now available.

VPT is a powerful and flexible video projection tool that does much more than just mapping.

What´s new in VPT 6.0
A completely new graphical interface making it even simpler to position, scale and distort the layers.
32 layers (previously 16)
mesh distortion with variable-sized control grid.
a completely rewritten cuelist making it even simpler to create transitions and to build complex sequences. You can now also send osc formatted commands directly from the cuelist.
crop-scaling of sources.
increased syphon support with two syphon (crop-scalable) inputs as well as syphon output support (mac only)
a DMX module has been added, with support for Enttecs usbdmx pro interface, enabling both control of VPT from DMX light consoles, or the possibillity to control dmx devices from VPT.

VPT still supports mac and windows, and it is still free. However, I have added the option for contributions through paypal:

VPT 6 is made possible through the support of IMAL in Brussels and Atelier Nord in Oslo.

IMAL offered me a one month residency in april to give a VPT workshop and to do an exhibition.

Atelier Nord has supported me twice this year: First they hosted a workshop as part of Oslo Lux in January which ended up in a VPT 5.1 release, and in june they gave me a week residency to write documentation for VPT 5.5 which instead turned into intense development of VPT 6.

So hosting workshops and inviting me to residencies is another way of supporting my work.

Read more about VPT 6 and try it out

VPT 5.5 preview

(update: VPT 5.5 turned into VPT 6 before it got released, and can be expected very soon)

I am busy finishing the upcoming release of VPT 5.5, and wanted to share a few of the new features.

One major addition is the possibillity to perform mesh distortion to each layer, giving you even more flexibility over the projected output.

The control interface gives you control over each point in the mesh.

Syphon is becoming an important tool for sharing image data between applications on Mac osX, supporting more and more applications (there is now a more or less working Processing implementation as well).

VPT already impemented syphon-in capabilities with version 5, but with version 5.5 there is more:

You can record the output from VPT using the Syphon Recorder App.

You can use different parts of the incoming Syphon image data in different layers: Using your favourite syphon-enabled application you can tile your output so that VPT split up the single syphon source into multiple sources.

For instance, if your syphon-app sends out something like this:

VPT can either use the whole image or split it up into four individual layers:

There are plenty of other improvements, which will be covered when it is released.

For VPT 5.5 I finally get the possibillity to make proper video tutorials, as Atelier Nord has generously offered me a one week residency to do this.

Expected release date: mid-June.

As always, free (with the possibility to donate).

btw, about 3500 people have downloaded VPT 5.1

VPT 5.1 available

After nearly 2500 downloads of the first version of Video Proejction Tools VPT 5 released in december 2010, I am happy to announce the new version 5.1, partly based on feedback from workshops and the VPT forum.

The release focuses on all the possibilities to expand and customize VPT to be the right tool for your particular project.

This includes a vastly improved controller section, making it possible to control almost every feature of VPT from another application (like maxmsp, processing and PD), computer, sensors through the arduino microcontroller, midicontroller as well as built in lfo controllers for automating control and software sliders and buttons. This comes on top of the already existing built-in preset and cuelist system for playback. Through OSC, VPT parameters can relatively easy be controlled by gestures, using camera or kinect tracking.
You can easily set up VPT to control simple projector shutters by controlling servomotors using the arduino module.

Templates are provided with the download for exploring OSC on maxmsp and Processing, PD will follow later. Arduino templates for input/output as well as a servo example is also included with the download.

VPT can be used with multiple projectors using Matrox Triplehead2go, and the latest version also includes support for multichannel sound: The movie sources can be individually routed to up to eight channels, depending on your sound card. Using the provided maxmsp template it is possible to process the sound further.

VPT 5.1 includes a new possibillity of processing the sources using the FX bus. The FX bus consists of eight FX chains, modules which contains shader based effects. New FX chain modules can easily be made using the provided maxmsp/jitter template, and can be dragndropped onto the existing FX chain to replace it, making it easy to customize the effects to your particular need.

Three new sources have been added to VPT: A solid (if you just want a colour in a layer), a noise texture generator and a text module which can either use text from file, osc or typed text. A maxmsp/jitter template is also provided if you want to create your own source.

Read more about VPT 5.1 and download it here

Read the online manual

Visit the VPTforum

VPT templates and examples for maxmsp/jitter, PD, Processing and Arduino

VPT is a free multipurpose realtime projection sofware tool for Mac and Windows developed by HC Gilje. Among other things it can be used for projecting video on complex forms, adapt a projection to a particular space/surface, combine recorded and live footage, or for multiscreen HD playback.

Fuglane-behind the scenes

I have uploaded some images from the process of constructing the landscape for the Fuglane scenography, you can see it here as a slideshow.


I started off with a plastelina model (which I don´t feel like sharing with the world), and then continued with a google sketchup 3D model.  I  then got the model milled in styrofoam to use as the presentation model of the scenography. Later the 3d model was converted into technical drawings used by the skilled carpenters at the theatre to build a full scale version (about 10mx7m, the highest top about 1.6m). It was then covered by a material to make it more suitable as a projection surface.

I used a total of 4 projectors, two from above, one frontal, and one for the back wall. I used two macminis with matrox dualhead- to-go splitters and a customised version of my projection software VPT (not unlike the upcoming release).
Everything was controlled from the lighting console of the theatre, using an enttec dmx usb pro interface combined with Olaf Matthes excellent max externals.