Fuglane

Fuglane 2010, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

It´s been awhile.
Apparently, my bird obsession continues. I was asked to to do set design for an adaptation of the Norwegian literary classic “Fuglane” (“The Birds”) by Tarjei Vesaas, to be staged at Trøndelag Teater in Trondheim with Harry Guttormsen as director.
I have been spending the last two months working intensely on this project, a set design combining projections (using my projection software VPT) with a physical landscape.

I will write more about the process later, for now, just a quick mention that the piece premiered on October 30th to mainly great reviews, and it will be running until mid-december.

You can check out this slideshow for more images from Fuglane.

U trust blink?

I spent last week in Dortmund, preparing for the Trust exhibition, showing at the new Dortmund U. Trust is an exhibition curated by Andreas Broeckmann and Stefan Riekeles as one of the exhibitions for ISEA2010 which takes place in the Ruhr area later in August.

Dortmund U used to be the Union Brauerei (brewery), and is now turning into a center for different cultural activities.

I am showing a new version of blink, with new sound and a few visual changes as well.

Other participating artists in the exhibition:

Seiko Mikami (jp), Carsten Nicolai (de), knowbotic research (ch/at/de), Milica Tomić (rs), Ariel Guzik (mx), Joan Leandre (es), Joyce Hinterding (au), Julien Maire (de/fr), Naeem Mohaiemen (bd), Sophie Bélair Clément (qc/ca), Konrad Becker (at), Verena Friedrich (de), Antoine Schmitt (fr).

I am happy to be part of this group of interesting artists, and look forward to the catalogue which will be ready for the ISEA conference.

The exhibition is on until September 5th.

orgelnatt

hc@orgelnatt. photo © Nils Henrik Aasheim

I was saving this post for an update of VPT, so first things first: There is a minor update to VPT, available at the usual place. I am also working on setting up a simple forum which hopefully will make it easier for people to find information (in contrast to a never ending comments-thread).

Back to Orgelnatt: This was a project that happened in mid-May in Oslo Cathedral (Oslo Domkirke). I was invited by Nils Henrik Aasheim to create a visual framework for a two hour concert with some of Norway´s finest improvisers: Paal Nilssen-Love, Lasse Marhaug, Elisabeth Vatn, Frode Gjerstad, and Aasheim on the organ.

I invited Mattias Arvastsson to join me on the visuals (his projection on the right side in the picture below).

photo © Nils Henrik Aasheim

This was an interesting challenge for VPT, not too different from the concert on the roof of the Opera House the year before: Very little time to map the projections to the church walls as it stays light quite late in Norway at that time of the year, so we had only a few hours for setup. I focused on the window arches.

puls

light installation in the Fantoft-Paradis tunnel in Bergen, commissioned for the new metroline Bybanen which opened in end of june 2010.

The installation consists of two long wave patterns of light, one side red-white, the other blue-white. The total length is about 400m. The two wave patterns overlap, so for about 100 m you will see both the red and blue pulse. The material used is neon rope light.

Together with Marius Watz I was invited to make either a light or video work for one of the tunnels for the new Bybanen metroline in Bergen. You can see some images from Marius´ installation here.

I wanted to work with the fact that the train is moving at about 70km/h (about 20m/s) through the tunnel, using the movement of the train as a way of animating the two wave patterns mounted on the tunnel walls.

There were some interesting challenges to this project, as the installation was supposed to be ready for the opening of Bybanen in end of june. This meant I had to send in the proposal for the installation before the trains started to run. I ended up making an animation of some simple waveforms in Processing, which gave a pretty good impression of how this would be experienced when sitting in the train.

There are a lot of factors influencing how the work is experienced.  If you sit by the window closest to the tunnel wall the wave breaks up into rapidly changing curves and lines. If you sit closer to the middle of the tunnel you will see longer stretches of the wave. You will also see reflections of the waves in the windows of the train.

One thing I don´t have control over is the light inside the train, which is really bright. This dimishes the effect of the neon rope light washing the tunnel in different blends of blue, red and white (and potentially casting coloured shadows of the passengers onto the tunnel wall). Thus the installation exists in two different modes: The tunnel as a light modulator which can only be experienced when being inside the tunnel without any trains, or as animated wave pulses when riding the train through the tunnel.

They´re back

For the occasion of Festpillene i Bergen 2010, a flock of Wind-up Birds has taken over the mountain side of the Fløien mountain. More specifically along the windy, steep path through the spring-green forest called Fløiensvingene. They will probably stay a few weeks. This has created a lot of buzz among the people using the path, so I will try to spend as much time as possible there to listen to audience reactions.

They might sound similar to previous generations, but there has been a few changes under the hood: The wood blocks have this time been milled instead of glued, making them more robust. Thanks to Ivar Bergseth and his CNC mill!

I use a new set of xbee modules, the xbee 2.4 pro digimesh modules. This gives a more stable network and is much easier to work with than the previous firmware.

I made new more practical circuitboards, which I got manufactured at BatchPCB, making the job of assembling the woody boards much easier. This was my first attempt at working with Eagle PCB circuit design software, but I leaned heavily on Roar Sletteland´s previous PCB layout for the first generation.

blink at Sonic Acts XIII in Amsterdam

I am presenting blink at the Sonic Acts festival in Amsterdam. The installation is part of an exhibition that will be on until May 2nd at NIMK.

I have added some images of this version of the installation in my blink flickr set.

The theme of this year´s festival is The Poetics of Space, and the program is packed with audiovisual performances, screenings, a very extensive conference program as well as the exhibition. There is also an accompanying book, which contains the text that Mitchell Whitelaw wrote about my work.

I will be giving a presentation on the last day of the conference.

The program for Sonic Acts is avaible online, but also you can download the programme booklet as PDF.

Esemplasticism: The Truth is a Compromise

blink v2, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

Blink is part of an exhibition curated by Hicham Khalidi, produced by Den Haag art space TAG, made for Club Transmediale that opens in Berlin today.

From the exhibition decription:
Our brains are esemplastic. They are perfectly evolved for pattern recognition, designed to shape disconnected elements, like the incomplete or ambiguous information we get from our senses, into the seamless whole of our experience. What we see, hear, touch and feel is folded into an amalgam of data, emotions and cultural baggage. And in the contemporary world, this esemplastic power is pushed to the limit in the sea of information that we are floating in: data-visualizations, scientific studies and computer analyses become increasingly abstract and disconnected from our normal experiences. Are we losing our sense of meaning as we fail to join the billions of dots? What compromises are we making when we try to settle on a particular interpretation?

The works in Esemplasticism – the truth is a compromise are mostly low-tech, using everyday objects and media. Employing sound, objects and synchronicity; relatively ‘old’ technologies like field recordings, music, video, and projection, each piece lifts the curtain on the perceptual tactics that our esemplastic/apophonic/pattern recognising brains employ to negotiate the world; with wit and irony, they have much to say about verisimilitude as each exposes a different fracture between our expectations, our perceptions and our compromises about the objective ‘truth’ that exists ‘out there’.

Participating artists
Artists: Edwin Deen, Daniël Dennis de Wit, Lucinda Dayhew, Anke Eckardt, HC Gilje, Terrence Haggerty, Yolande Harris, Alexis O’hara, Pascal Petzinger, Mike Rijnierse, Willem Marijs, Bram Vreven, Katarina Zdjelar, Valentin Heun, Sagarika Sundaram, Gijs Burgmeijer.

I will post links to the catalogue when that becomes available.

The exhibition will be on until the end of February.

For me this was an opportunity to improve the installation both esthetically and technically. I constructed a platform for the equipment using a laser cutter, which turned out quite nice. This greatly simplified the installation of the work. As mentioned in previous posts, the installation uses my dimsun lighting system, and the design for this will be made available shortly.

Due to other obligations I needed to set up my installation before everyone else. It was a strange experience to work alone in the 900m2 empty building in Spandauer Strasse, close to Alexanderplatz. My only companion was the stepladder which also became the model for my documentation.

blink feedback

As expected, the international art press didn´t fly to Bergen to cover my exhibition. Neither did the national press or the local press (with one exception).

However, I did get a lot of positive comments from visitors of all ages (see more of the younger generation´s response here), as well as some feedback from Norwegian art blogs like kunstkritikk and ytter (both in Norwegian).

Create Digital Motion generously mentioned my work, as well as the blog Young Starving, which was just too flattering not to mention 🙂

“This is pretty darn beautiful. Projection mappings been done to death but so far most people have just copied each other and done trippy, morphing stuff on castles and libraries. HC Gilje takes a step back and puts two flat surfaces to work. We’re in love.”

For a relatively updated list of coverage, take a look here (in norwegian)

dimsun

The last half year I have been working quite a lot with lights and shadows, and this summer I decided to build my own lighting system, which I called dimsun. The first use of it was for my blink installation consisting of 24 leds placed in a circle.

It consists of dimmers based on the TLC5940 led controllers. Each of the dimmers can control 16 channels, up to 5w each, and are intended for power LEDS, very bright leds up to 5W. The dimmer is controlled by an arduino microcontroller, and up to 6 dimmers (96 channels) can be controlled from one arduino.

more images of the dimsun system.

The schematics will be made available soon.

The lamps are based on starshaped LED´s combined with a lens mounted on an aluminum profile.

blink blink

My exhibition at HKS contained two new installations, both named blink. The first blink has already been mentioned.

In the cellar of the gallery I set up an artificial sundial, 24 leds placed in a circle, moving the shadows of the people standing within the circle.

I used the dimsun lighting system which I made this summer, based on power LEDs and arduino controlled LED drivers (TLC5940).