The stage then turned into a ship launched into space with Tobin residing in a hyper-sleep pod. After dream-like hallucinations Tobin comes out actually wearing the suits shown in the animation.
A complex audiovisual narrative that blurs the boundaries between real and digital world, firing all sorts of trickery to cleanse out the audience of all their spatial references. Only when we lose all the anchor points we are truly primed to experience the digital voyage.
ISAM takes us on a journey through the unexplored universe generated by the EDM soundscape of Amon Tobin to the bring us back to the core of the action: the musician and his performance.
In my opinion, Xite Labs major breakthrough is their ability to truly animate their installation, snapping out of the static AV sculpture by delivering an immersive experience where all senses are captured within the space.
Their audiovisual world is disorienting and astonishing as it builds up in front of our eyes, departing far away from the bidimensionality of the screen experience.
Formed in the year 2000 as V Squared Labs by Vello E Virkhaus they have then merged with Tandem Digital Entertainment in 2018 to form XiteLabs.
Through the leadership of Greg Russell and Vello Virkhaus the audiovisual studio continuously executes next level experiential visual artistry.
The duo is always taking “never been done” concepts and turning them into reality. This process always starts with the blank page, and working with clients to define the words, scenery, illumination, content, interactivity, and the means to deliver it all.
Every year, the organizers propose a controversial and thought-provoking theme set to trigger reflection in the community and cutting-edge experimentation by the selected artists. Innovation in digital creativity is key and the festival creates a sonic space for this.
Every year, the result is an insanely powerful and immersive artistic rendez-vous that leaves a lingering impact awhile after the end of the festival.
In this Age of Pandemic, we are made acutely aware of our dependence on digital technology for work, education, and healthcare. Now more than ever, the growth of digital technology demands critical reflection.
Globalization and economic growth have brought us pandemic and environmental destruction. How can we break this cycle? Can we harness quantum technology to protect ourselves and the world we live in?
Ars Electronica features a wide variety of activities every year: Symposia, exhibitions, performances, concerts and interventions spanning a broad arc from speculative futuristic scenarios to analytical considerations, from provocative actionism to philosophical debate.
Combining amazing artworks with fruitful conversations is the perfect recipe to create a meaningful experience that constantly scans the new media landscape to find the most inspiring projects. The projects are not simply chosen based on their technical realization but most importantly because the social and artistic innovation they incorporate.
The result of this consistent endeavour is the creation of a loyal community of audiovisual artists, researchers and visitors from all over the world that every year reunites in Linz to inspire and get inspired.
Since its inception, the festival has been dedicated to develop new themes for each edition and the organizers are also constantly on the lookout for interesting new venues.
Indeed, the ongoing effort to break out of the narrow confines of conventional conference rooms and artistic spaces, and to stage cultural and scientific encounters in the public sphere has become something of an Ars Electronica trademark.
Stay tuned: Ars Electronica 2020 theme will be released soon!
In spring 2020 Kuflex studio began an experimental project Kusmos Live. The purpose of the experiment was to upgrade the Kusmos system in order to create a interactive online home shows.
In 2018-2019 the Russian audiovisual studio experimented with the innovative tool together with SILA SVETA studio on the Therr Maitz concert, Caprices Festival 2018, Nina Kraviz experimental performance at Coachella 2019.
Scene functions build a 3D model using the data provided by the Tracker and then we can layer all kinds of features with effects on the model and also transform and distort it according to the artistic concept. We also captured video from the laptop’s webcam and sometimes showed its picture. 3D scene acting as the artist surrounding, a set of virtual cameras for capturing from different viewpoints and visual effects were set up in advance in the Unreal Engine. Then the OBS program captures the video of the launched scene and sends it to the video streaming server.
During our second live experiment we tested some new features for the viewers interactive communication with the stream. While Leksha (Smolensk, Russia) was playing his ambient-set, a VJ (Moscow, Russia) was controlling visual effects with the use of commands via YouTube chat in real-time mode. Our team has implemented this function between the concerts and decided not to tell the viewers about it.
During the stream, noticing weird messages in the chat, some of the viewers started to realize that they could not only send a message to the chat but to even affect visualization. In the end the concert has turned into a digital quest. Some viewers picked up effect control by sending particular commands to the chat. We have yet to comprehend how to develop this function in the future.
KUFLEX: Kusmos is a universal software tool, with the possibility of variability of visual and interactive solutions. As a rule, our team creates a virtual stage specifically for the performance of the musician. Of course, we want to upgrade the program creating a database with different scenes, effects. In this case, the user will be able to construct the scene himself and combine the effects for his live/stream.
KUFLEX: Regarding Kusmos Live project, the Kuflex team is collaborating with various musicians. We wanted to support the performers. So this approach determined the emphasis on the figure of the musician on the virtual stage, under whose musical personality, sound we come up with a visual solution. We do not just shoot a video with a musician, as is often done in broadcasts, but create a digital avatar that changes depending on the script, music and VJ control.
We try to achieve the effect of real interaction with the viewer as well. Our team is developing a function of interaction through chat – viewers’ comments fall into the scene, they can affect the content through certain chat commands. But Kusmos can be used by artists of other genres. In the near future we want to try to create a dance performance. Now we are discussing this idea with one Russian choreographer.
Technically, the performer will find himself in different areas of camera scanning, on the screen we will observe how his digital avatar changes. Again, it will all be like shooting a movie in one shot and in real time!
We intentionally did not talk about this function in advance to get the quest. As a result, some viewers guessed and began to help in managing the scene. We explore different possibilities about other ways of interaction.
In the future we want to create a client application for connecting to the broadcast via a mobile phone, desktop PC screen or VR. We intend to develop Kusmos as an art tool. Our team believes in a power of collective interaction. We want to give a palette of visual solutions, effects. Let’s all together create beauty here and now! This idea is a sincere inspiration for us.
We wrote a special function for our software that receives data from chat on YouTube using the Google API. We came up with several commands, for example: cam1, cam2, skin1, skin2, electric noise, lasers and the like. And when someone in the chat wrote one of these words, then a certain visual effect or a corresponding camera was included in our program.
In general, we have an idea to expand the number of commands and their appearance, so that it looks more like live coding. For example, add numerical arguments to the commands, which will additionally specify the parameters of a particular visual effect.
KUFLEX: Yes, this is the main object of research for us. Usually, a limited number of people can come to the offline exhibition. So we want to overcome any space frames. With Kusmos we don’t have any restrictions online! We can find ourselves in amazing digital worlds that are impossible in the physical world.
Now that Kuflex Lab and its creation Kusmos entered our radar we will most definitely keep following their progression, as always supporting innovation and creativity in the audiovisual art world.
Memo Akten describes himself as:
“an artist and researcher from Istanbul, Turkey. He works with emerging technologies as both a medium and subject matter, investigating their impact on society and culture – with a specific interest in the collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual and religion.”
His work goes much further your average visual artist, as he specialises in Artificial Intelligence, works with algorithms and large-scale responsive installations with image, sound and light. In AV culture’s layman terms he’s an audiovisual jack-of-all-trades and a true techy, oh and he’s studying for a PhD in AI as if that wasn’t enough. Here you can see a selection of his work in the very accurately named video, ‘Selection of work in 3 minutes’ (2017).
Akten received the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica – the most prestigious award in Media Art – for his work ‘Forms’ in 2013. He has exhibited and performed internationally at exhibitions including The Grand Palais’s “Artistes & Robots” in 2018 (Paris FR), The Barbican’s “More than human” in 2017 (London UK) and the Victoria & Albert Museum’s landmark “Decode” exhibition in 2009 (London UK). He has shown work at venues such as the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow RU), Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum (Shanghai CN), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo JP), Royal Opera House (London UK), Lisbon Architecture Triennale (Lisbon PT), Itaú Cultural (Sao Paulo BR) and many others.
He has collaborated with celebrities such as Lenny Kravitz, U2, Depeche Mode and Professor Richard Dawkins, and brands including Google, Twitter, Deutsche Bank, Coca Cola and Sony PlayStation. Akten’s work is in numerous public and private collections around the world.
Alongside his practice, Akten is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London in artificial intelligence and expressive human-machine interaction, to deepen collaborative creativity between humans and machines and augment human creative expression. Fascinated by trying to understand the world and human nature, he draws inspiration from fields such as physics, molecular & evolutionary biology, ecology, abiogenesis, neuroscience, anthropology, sociology and philosophy.
Memo hasn’t just emerged on the scene by any means. In 2007 Akten founded The Mega Super Awesome Visuals Company (MSA Visuals), an art and tech creative studio. For some of those who have been following audiovisual culture since before even Audiovisual City was born, then they’ll recognise the name Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) – the evolution of MSA Visuals in 2011. In more recent years and a lot of success, Akten is now focusing on his own work and research, though his contribution to audiovisual culture and performance, must not go unmentioned. I strongly recommend that you explore his exceptionally wide and varied body of artwork and scientific investigations, as it takes you on a socia cultural journey that goes beyond audiovisual art.BUY US A COFFEE?
The residency supports artists exploring new lines of inquiry intersecting technology & society. The aim of this program is to facilitate dialog, partnership, and collaboration at the intersection of technology and exploratory arts. By focusing on this synthesis, the program empowers artists to create work which inspires shifts in perspective and cross-collaboration.
These are the categories covered by the open call:
COMPUTATIONAL CREATIVITY & HUMAN-MACHINE COLLABORATION
EXPLORING NEW FORMATS & APPLICATIONS FOR FORWARD-THINKING MUSIC
BUILDING CREATIVE BUSINESSES
CREATING EXPERIENTIAL CONTENT
ONLINE, 23 – 24 May 2020
A digital gathering organized by Mutek San Francisco with NEXUS Experience.
The audiovisual event celebrates world-famous digital culture, experimental electronic music and films. It debuts online this year to respond to the current restriction on public events
MUTEK SF – NEXUS Experience is free to join. Donations are welcome as all proceedings will go directly to the artists.
The online festival has worldwide support from the international MUTEK network.
Krakow, 4 – 11 October 2020
Unsound focuses on a broad swath of contemporary music — emerging, experimental, and left-field — whose sweep doesn’t follow typical genre constraints. Influential around the world, it has developed a reputation for identifying innovative scenes and radical sounds.
It’s a platform for an exchange of artistic ideas for musicians, visual artists, curators, journalists, record label owners and booking agents from every continent.
The theme for Unsound 2020 is Intermission. Meaning a break in a performance or production, here it also refers to the rupture caused by COVID-19, a period starkly separating before from after. The word therefore embodies multiple, and somehow contradictory, forces.
The audiovisual event takes place every year at a number of venues across Kraków, regular events also take place in New York, Adelaide, Toronto, and London. Between 2016 and 2018, Unsound also produced eleven festivals in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus, part of a long history of working with curators and artists in the post-Soviet region.
As well as spotlighting emerging artists, Unsound also commissions new shows and encourages trans-border collaborations, adapts and re-imagines abandoned spaces for concerts and club nights, manages cutting-edge artists, and is known for its sound-inspired Ephemera perfume project.
Jena, May 13 – 16 2020 – EDITION IN STREAMING
The FullDome Festival is the oldest and only fulldome festival with an unbroken continuity. With about 800 contributions from 30 nations and more than 500 visitors per year, the audiovisual event is most probably the biggest international festival of its kind.
Visitors do not only see and evaluate a great variety of international fulldome films, they meet professional, student and independent producers and take part in paper sessions, workshops, diverse presentations and expert talks. Festival curators, an international jury and the festival directors evaluate the submitted works and select the most interesting and innovative productions for the festival from these submissions and determine the works for one of the festival’s awards.
A core mission of the FullDome Festival has always been to encourage students to stretch the envelope of what’s possible in the dome. It is amazing to see completely new approaches to the medium at each festival. Many are really creative, some even can compete with professional works. For most students, the FullDome Festival not only offers an introduction to the medium, it is often the only way to present, and is one of the few public venues.
Gijon, September 10 – 13 2020
L.E.V. (Laboratorio de Electrónica Visual) is a platform specialized in the production and promotion of electronic sound creations, and its relationship with visual arts. It was a European pioneer in this field, and since more than 13 years ago, it tries to converge the natural synergy between image and sound, and the new artistic trends, making special emphasis on live actions.
LEV develops the L.E.V. Festival (in Gijón) and specific, de-localized shows called LEVents. Through both proceedings, the platform reaches its goal: to provide an eclectic, panoramic vision of the current state of creation and all its connections, in an ever-evolving environment.
That is why LEV focuses its work both on international artists that are leaders in audiovisual creativity and local artists, both pioneers and new talents.
L.E.V. is a co-production between the Principado de Asturias Government, the Gijón City Council and LABoral Art and Industrial Creation Centre and it was designed and conceived by the Asturian collective Datatrón. The festival honors by its acronym to Lev Thermen (Russian scientist father of the present-day synthesizers).
Laboral, Camino de los Prados 121,
Amsterdam, 24 – 27 September 2020
FIBER Festival is an Amsterdam based festival for audio-visual art, digital culture and electronic music.
With the program – which consists of multi-sensory art, performances and in-depth lectures – FIBER presents emerging art practices that offer alternative perspectives on our 21st century society.
With the festival theme of Instability the festival explores new ways of adapting to an age of planetary and societal changes. What opportunities are open to artistic making and thinking to contribute to this transformation?
Our living environment is often presented to us as stable and unquestionable. Landscapes, borders and technological infrastructures are considered static entities. Yet current crises now force us to transform the way we relate to our ecological surroundings. Extreme weather, droughts, wildfires and viruses are forces of nature that tear apart our modern way of living with far-reaching consequences.
The festival aims to seek artistic narratives, skills and sensibilities to prepare us for an alternative life in a period of uncertainty and radical instability.