The most curious thing about this from a visual artist’s point of view is the fact that they have turned traditional VJ and music video culture on its head – rather than the visual artist creating content based on sound, they’ve taken a more soundtrack approach to the project.
The visual artist creates a 10 second loop, which the Onomatopoeia team turn into 30 seconds and THEN pass them on to a sound artist for the mini projects to be completed. The result? A quarterly webzine of 10-15 audiovisual collaborations and a lot of fun and inspiration.
They’e just launched their first edition (6th July) with a great mix of 12 artists’ collaborations. It’s really curious way to discover new visual and sound artists, and warning, it’s quite addictive. Maybe it’s just me, but I certainly can see and hear the difference of the sound being created after the visual… can you?
Here are my faves from this month’s edition:
Check out the first edition and let us know your thoughts, and get in touch with them if you’d like to participate and have some fun, whilst meeting new artists!
Join the community and see new episodes via the Instagram channel!
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.
Marco Savo from Audiovisual City and Kate Rolfe from The Revels Office have never met in person. Theirs is a true digital relationship born of the pandemic.
Audiovisual City is a digital magazine that promotes and supports audiovisual artists and events worldwide. Connecting hundreds of digital artists from across the world, it is the go-to place for inspiration and information when it comes to the application of digital technologies in artistic expression.
The Revels Office is a cultural consultancy who specialises in finding new revenue for the arts, advising organisations on commercial opportunities and uniting them with funding partners who value the unique, high quality content that only the cultural sector can produce. Together with a network of consultants -The Catalyst Network – the team at The Revels Office manage a range of projects at the intersection between arts and commerce.
At a time when the sector is anxiously remodelling their core operations to survive months of low visitor numbers, reduced income through established business lines, and a new, uneasy socially distanced experience, we wanted to investigate what untapped value digital arts might offer.
We share with you here a summary of our findings, designed to inspire you at a critical time, to offer valuable ideas to consider in your re-modelling plans, and to decipher the role that digital can play in a sector based almost entirely on live and tangible experiences…
It is a collective strategy game in which different levels and challenges must be overcome, based on the idea of a labyrinth. Controlled externally by passers-by, Enjambre Celular offers an example of a pandemic-proof artistic installation.
They are invited to have contact virtually within the same image, bringing them together face to face. The head-to-head image created by the software is trying to constantly reduce the proxemic distance between the two people, creating unique and ephemeral meetings with the other and making a connection even when physically apart.
Put simply – do you need to move your live content online for commercial, audience or safety reasons, or do you want to create a new interpretation of your content that will explore your stories in an entirely new way? Neither choice is right or wrong, but it will impact the outcomes you achieve, as well as the process you go through.
“The importance of concept is key; you must start with your concept and then chose the technology to match”Hayley Cantor
No solution is quicker for overcoming an image of being elitist, static or uninteresting than a digital initiative, so long as it is done well, has a clear purpose and audience, and so long as it incorporates some kind of live and/or unique element that ensures the digital is not simply a mimic of the live experience.
While digital design is fantastic for bringing to life educational and historic content, and is arguably simpler for translating to an online platform, where digital arts stands out is in the sensorial, emotive experience that they can create, lasting longer in people’s memories and creating a sense of community and harmony even if you encounter the art alone.
Via a VR headset, the user flies through a 3D data-point cloud formed, visualizing more than 1,700,000 documents present in SALT Research archive collections. Refik Anadol’s installation was displayed as an extension to the artist’s Archive Dreaming project.
The price we have paid for the vast amounts of thrilling, comforting and informative digital content that has been dispersed throughout the global lock-down, is the expectation that digital means free.
In this way there is still value, there are no barriers to audiences engaging with you, and you can use data and reach to collaborate with new funding partners, upsell products and services, and request donations wherever possible.
In this way we have seen a really positive response during the pandemic, with culture-lovers willingly paying for online experiences, seeing this as a charitable donation to save something they love rather than a charge for valuable entertainment. However this has not yet translated into a consistent approach that audiences and funders recognise, or indeed made up the huge gap in revenue that arts organisations face.
Given the high value outlined by option 1, it seems reasonable that – just like the expectation to pay for the cinema or a gig – you will have to pay to participate in digital cultural experiences. This transactional view may not sit well alongside arts experiences that are traditionally free, such as museum-entry, but this demonstrates the opportunity presented by digital arts as opposed to digital design; by creating a new experience on a new platform, arts organisations can create something of value to their audiences (and new ones), one which better warrants a participation charge.
Ultimately this is an argument of supply and demand, but what we endorse is a collective reassessment of how and when to charge for digital experiences, thereby protecting arts organisations and artists from giving away valuable content for free, especially when for a time this might be one of their only viable sources of revenue.
The oldest full dome projection festival has been held virtually for the first time this year due to the pandemic, charging a ticket price for the online experience. A courageous decision from the organisers who decided to go full steam ahead, offering a 360 view of the festival using VR headsets.
Mutek is one of the top audiovisual events worldwide, born in Montreal and then expanded through an international network. The San Francisco edition has been online this year with their ‘Nexus Experience’, hosting live AV performers on two stages, offering digital galleries, online workshops, and ‘viewing party’ film screenings. The event was free and open to donations, with 100% of the festival proceeds going directly to the artists.
For those who want to consider digital as part of their future plans, digital arts producer Steph Clarke shares some considerations:
• Once a digital installation, artwork or exhibition is installed, it can often run 24/7 with minimal staffing and low running costs. Not only can this make valuable budget savings, it also accommodates far higher audience numbers over time, and can easily be adapted to allow for social distancing measures.
• Digital works can easily have their content re-purposed to suit different objectives. Content can be refreshed regularly to suit seasonality, adapted for VIP or stakeholder events, and used for advertising purposes if required.
• It is relatively easy to scale digital work depending upon size of venue or audience size, meaning this approach can be considered for a variety of projects, places and budgets.
• Digital can be used to extend and enhance audience engagement before and after the event/exhibition itself, through engagement online and via apps, creating more touchpoints with your intended audience and opportunities to capture insights and data.
• By digitalising the content for a digital installation, you are simultaneously archiving it too, preserving it for future generations and achieving important cost-savings.
• Given the huge range of digital formats available – apps, projection, light shows, VR, AR – there will always be a format suitable for your budget, timescale and objectives.
As part of the Bahidora 2018 festival, Medusa Lab created a unique experience for Ache Producciones and its client: Mezcal 400 conejos.
This article was written by Kate Rolfe from The Revels Office and Marco Savo from Audiovisual City with contributions from Hayley Cantor (Audiovisual City Creative Director, Multidisciplinary Graphic Designer and VJ), Sean Carroll (Business Improvement Project Manager), Nicola Casperson (Brand Marketing, Events and Place-Making Consultant), Steph Clarke (Digital Arts Producer), Marta Minguell Colomé (New Media Artist, VJ and Photographer), Amy O’Brien (Events Producer), and Mónica Rikic (New Media Artist). Collectively our experience includes roles at the National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Secret Cinema, Battersea Power Station, Westfields, and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra.BUY US A COFFEE?
The post What digital did next: Digital Arts and Social Distancing appeared first on Audiovisualcity.