Art from code - Generator.x
Generator.x is a conference and exhibition examining the current role of software and generative strategies in art and design. [Read more...]
 
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Paul Prudence: Talysis live in Venice (see also pt. #1 and #2)

Paul Prudence is known as the author of the excellent Dataisnature, but also increasingly for his impressive output of generative artworks. Having migrated from Flash to the more powerful VVVV, he’s now focusing on audio-responsive generative systems that evoke organic 3D spaces. A good example of his work is Talysis, shown above in live performance during the "Tomorrow Now" event at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice, Italy last year.

Talysis mimics analog video feedback systems, recursively transforming a geometric form through a series of render passes until a crystalline form emerges. The patterns produced seem unstable, constantly about to morph into new configurations. The strict symmetry evokes a sense of folding and unfolding movement, as though one was watches fragments of a 4-dimensional form projecting into Cartesian space.

Be sure to read Paul’s own post about feedback: Chaotic fingerprints and space-time labyrinths. There is also a clip #1 and #2.

 

NODE08 is a new festival for digital art set to to take place in Frankfurt April 5-12. The near-final programme is now out, and it is shaping up to be a powerful event indeed. While the topic is realtime art in general, the event is loosely based around the VVVV tool, making it the first VVVV-centric festival ever. With a full week of workshops, exhibits, concerts and live visuals, it should be a treat not just for VVVV aficionados, but for anyone interested in digital art.

The lecture program yields heavy-hitting names like Casey Reas, Herbert W. Franke, Paul Prudence, Verena Kuni, Theverymany and Berthold Scharrer. The many workshops will feature hands-on topics like “vvvv for Beginners”, “Shader Programming” and “Microcontroller And Sensor Handling”. Not all the workshops are about VVVV, for instance Casey Reas will give a tutorial on printing-related strategies using Processing. In any case there should be plenty of practical input to take home.

On the performance side of things generative VJs like Onoxo, Desaxismundi and Elektromeier promise to make the evening events interesting. The ever-present VVVV guru David Dessens aka Sanch will be performing under the new project “VA” with Nushitzu.

NODE08 is part of the Luminale light art festival, which will feature works by NODE08 participants. Have a look at the NODE08 web site for details on the programme as well as ticket booking. It’s guaranteed to be an event worth catching.

Clarification regard VVVV: Joreg from the VVVV group has asked us to clarify that VVVV is no longer produced by Meso, but rather by a group of 4 developers known as the “VVVV group” (two of whom work at Meso). This is a change from the early days when VVVV was maintained directly by Meso.

As a total malapropos, Meso has one of the best company mottos we’ve seen in a while: “Unimpressed by technology since 1982″.

 
Node 08: Digital Arts Forum / Jannis Urle Kilian Kreft: EnBW Lichtspiel

Festival: NODE08 / Jannis Urle Kilian Kreft: EnBW Lichtspiel

VVVV has slowly but steadily been gaining fame as a tool for realtime video synthesis. Artists like David Dessens, Jannis Urle Kilian Kreft (see image above) and Thomas Hitthaler (aka Ampop) have amply proven its maturity as a platform for live visuals, interactive installations and generative graphics. For more proof, take a look at MESO’s media design projects. Their work for Salzzeitreise Berchtesgaden looks spectacular.

Now a group of VVVV users have decided to celebrate their community by setting up a festival called NODE08. Set to take place in Frankfurt next April, the event will be part of the Luminale light art festival. In addition to an exhibition it will feature workshops and lectures on VVVV-related subjects, as well as a club night for the VVVV Fan Club to strut their stuff.

The NODEo8 organizers are currently looking for submissions, so if you’re working with VVVV and light you should head over to their submission page. The participants will have their work shown as part of the Luminale programme, which should give extra attention beyond the usual media art crowd.

Other VVVV posts: Seelenlose Automaten, *#07 video, Reality Foam, Sanch TV, Dein Lieblingsgestalter.

 
Seelenlose Automaten (VVVV video)

Schmidt / Groß: Seelenlose Automaten

Seelenlose Automaten is a generative music visualization with an unusal approach: Instead of analyzing the music for cues for visual change, MIDI control messages are sent simultaneously to the sound and image generators. Each mapping to a specific visual or sound effect, these messages are a vocabulary of rules giving structure to the composition. All change can be precisely predicted, and as a result the entire composition is perfectly synchronized.

Created in VVVV by Patric Schmidt and Benedikt Groß, the video uses minimalist forms to good effect. Polygons, lines and circles twist and turn in a gray void, responding to the smallest change in sound. Lacking depth cues, the images frequently read as flat 2D, only to become 3D once again upon the next movement. The total impression is of a glitch aesthetic, even though the deterministic nature of the system is antithetical to the glitch philosophy of creative breakdown.

Benedikt Groß is a student at the HFG Schwäbisch Gmünd design school in southern Germany. He recently completed an interactive installation presenting the principles of generative systems.

Ps. Three times is a charm: This is the third post in a week about a project created with VVVV… VVVV might still not be as wide-spread as Processing or Max/MSP, but there is certainly some very high quality work being produced with it. It will be well worth watching in the near future.

 
David Dessens: *#07 video

David Dessens: *#07 video

David Dessens (see previous entry) has posted a new video called *#07 using his trademark combination of GPU shaders and mathematical formulas. As usual he manages to imbue his synthetic structures with warm organic qualities, using color and irregular forms to great effect. See also this blog post for more images.

The video is for an as-yet unnamed HD video project, and is rendered in non-realtime using VVVV. Dessens has also been experimenting with creating high resolution images for print use. It will be interesting to see how he develops this work.

 
0701214_enohenze.jpg

Eno Henze: Der Wirklichkeitsschaum / Cortices (excerpt)

Der Wirklichkeitsschaum (The Reality Foam) is an ambitious project by Berlin-based Eno Henze. The 10 x 3,5 meter image is a massive wall, created at low cost by mounting 288 A3 inkjet prints as a continous surface. The image itself depicts a complex structure of fine trails, created by tracing particles as they move across the surface. Attracted and repelled by attractors, they leave an intriguing network of nucleii and boundaries.

This interest in fine-grained structures is repeated in Cortices. Here, a folded surface created using Perlin noise is sampled and plotted. The resulting gossamer-like structure looks as though it has been frozen in motion.

Both works were created using VVVV, a tool that is more typically used for realtime applications. Henze’s pieces show that it is more than capable of producing works for print.

 
Jun 27/06
17:18

Following up on the post about David Dessen, here is some more VVVV news:

The busy boys at Meso have launched a new version of the VVVV wiki, improving considerably on the previous design. Important new functions include the Galeria (where Meso can show off VVVV projects like the Football Globe Germany) and News blog sections, as well as improved Reference and Documentation sections. The main access for users is now the Fan club page, which gathers access to the forums, blogs and shoutbox in one place.

All in all, this redesign sharply reduces the geek factor which marked the previous VVVV site. It should also make it easier for would-be users to find information about the tool. Like Processing, VVVV might be in eternal beta, but that doesn’t mean there is no maturing of the tool and its community.

 
David Dessens: Sanch TV

David Dessens (aka Sanch): Linear / Math surface destrukt

David Dessens’ work with VVVV has been generating a lot of interest since the first appearance of his shell-like objects on the VVVV pages. With the launch of his own blog Sanch TV he displays a range of hugely impressive formal experiments, bursting with voluptuous curves and saturated color. It is proof not only of Dessens’ personal talent, but also of VVVV’s qualities as a production tool.

Most of his experiments involve the use of vertex shaders, filters that affect geometry but which are executed directly by the graphics card (GPU) rather than the computer’s internal processor (CPU). The GPU is a specialized chip dedicated purely to graphics operations, and farming out computation to it results in lightning-fast execution. Some of Dessens’ experiments are based on shader implementations of mathematical "supershape" surfaces. These meshes are then distorted and manipulated further. But even working with standard mathematical formulas as raw material, Dessens manages to produce images with a unique visual style.

At the moment Dessens’ interests lie mostly in live visuals, but it will be interesting to see how his work develops. He is currently artist-in-residence at VVVV developers Meso, which should be a guarantee of more interesting work from him in the near future.

Be sure to see Dessens’ showreel, generated purely in realtime. As an extra bonus for wannabe VVVV hackers, he also posts shaders and patches on his blog.

 
Name: Project

Dein Lieblingsgestalter: Generative hip hop visuals

Jannis Kreft has uploaded videos of his generative hip hop visuals (made in VVVV), which was blogged here a while ago. It looked good in pictures, but in motion it really rocks. Massive kudos to Jannis for proving that abstract generative visuals can stand its ground against speculative booty videos. You can find the video over on DeinLieblingsgestalter.de, it’s short but most excellent.

For those who of you who don’t know German, Dein Lieblingsgestalter roughly means “your favorite designer”, but Liebling also means beloved and so is a more ambiguous word. The name is a play on a German rapper whose artist name is Deine Lieblingsrapper. I have no idea if Jannis knows him or not. In any case, the video features a gem of German rap, created specifically for Jannis’ finals show (note that this is transcribed from the video, and my German grammar is dodgy at best):

DeinLieblingsgestalter.de / Monarch und Thec / this is how we do / Ihr hört die Raps von Monarch und Thec / für deinen Lieblingsgestalter / Jannis Kilian Kreft / das ist innovativ / quasi ganz grosses Kino / vergiss alles was du kennst / Wer war noch mal Tarantino?…

Name: Project

Dein Lieblingsgestalter: Generative hip hop visuals

I should say that Jannis is an ex-student of mine from the Universität der Künste, so I am probably biased when looking at this project. But I love the way he has managed to make the hip hop expression effortlessly his own, all the while making no attempts at satisfying any visual clichees from the genre in his visuals. He manages to create visual 3D spaces with sound-responsive input, without it feeling contrived or unoriginal. The colors are good, and he has a solid grasp of graphic vocabulary. Makes me think it would have been an excellent addition to the Generator.x tour.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I was still his teacher I’d be proud. Way to go, Jannis. It’ll be interesting to see what you do next.

 
Jannis Kreft: Generative Audiovisual Systems

Jannis Kreft: Generative Audiovisual Systems (rappers Monarch & Thec)

Jannis Kreft (aka "Dein Lieblinsgestalter") has documented his diploma project for Joachim Sauter’s class at Universität der Künste in Berlin. Entitled "Generative Audiovisual Systems", the project is a performatice live show using VVVV to generate interactive sets for rappers Monarch & Thec.

Abstract visuals are normally seen illustrating electronic music, while hip hop typically features ubiquitous booty videos. Kreft breaks the norm, only referencing traditional hip hop aesthetics with an interactive Lowrider model (seen top left). Using IR camera tracking, projections onto the bodies of the performers can be isolated from the rest of the set.

See Kreft’s site for details, including step-by-step progress reports, and be sure to look for the hilarious bluescreen photos. The site also holds documentation of other audiovisual projects Kreft has been creating for media design studio Art+Com.

Respect to the German generative massive. Peace, I’m out.