The Fusion Festival takes place every July on the former military airfield in Lärz (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) Germany. Besides the attraction of a multitude of music over four days long it also has the distinction of being totally free from advertising and sponsorships. This makes plenty of room for making projection art installations!
I know Dirk Rauscher from the VJ duo of Bruno Tait. And here he is working his magic on an installation by a group I have never heard of before called Lotus Lumina. I am not sure what he has done, but from all appearances it looks like Modul8 and some other VJ app are playing together nicely somehow.
MUTEK, in Montreal, Canada is a major destination for the electronic music scene. In the past GarageCUBE has attended MUTEK to host workshops and many of the artists who perform during the festival are often using Modul8 for VJing.
Therefore it was exciting to see an installation that literally put the experience of MUTEK on the street vis a vis an interactive projection installation on a building in the city of Montreal during the festival. We were also thrilled to learn that Modul8 was the tool of choice for delivering the video content of this project.
Through the magic of vimeo I was able to contact the people behind the installation and was therefore able to interview Daniel Iregui:
m8.us: First, tell us who you are and what you do.
Daniel: My name is Daniel Iregui and I am the founder of Iregular, an interactive
content creation studio based in Montreal. We create projects like interactive
installations, live visuals and experiential websites.
m8.us: How did this project come about?
Daniel: Mutek, the electronic music festival in Montreal, commissioned our
collaborators in the project Baillat Cardell & fils to create a project on the facade of a building. BC&F later contacted us, Iregular to make these projections interactive. What we decided to do was to adapt the web experience we did before (mutek.org/play) so that the public on the street could interact with installation. The result is Period.
m8.us:What was the creative process for its development? You had the design
first and this dictated the overall look and feel. What technical
elements came into play that altered the appearance of the graphic design?
Daniel: The father of Period. is Play (mutek.org/play), an experiential website
we did with BC&F for Mutek. We wanted to create an experience where the
audience could get the feeling of what the festival was but on the web.
Once we decided to make a large scale installation with the same concept
the look and feel was already done but we had to adapt it to the size of
the building, the angle we could project on, etc. Also now the project
was multiuser so this added a requirement of creating a way to have many
people interact at the same time. That is where the iPhone app came into
place… and that of course came with its own bag of challenges.
m8.us: What made Modul8 an indispensable part of the tools you used? How well
did it ‘play’ with the other tools used?
Daniel: We use Modul8 almost every time we do this kind of project because it
allows us to embed interactive sources (Flash/Quartz) and mix them with
video. It is also very easy to move assets around, rotate them, scale
them, etc… so mapping the projection on the building becomes very easy.
Photo credit: Adam Thompson
m8.us: Can you share any advice with our community about some of the caveats
involved in producing such a project that you think would be helpful?
Daniel: Yes, go to the location many times. Especially before the installation
of the project because, for example, trees grow. See how people get to
the location and determine how much they will interact with it. The
location is real and you have to work around it, so it is important to
know it very well.
m8.us: What other softwares did you use, and what were the protocols you used
to connect these other technologies to Modul8?
Daniel: For the whole installation we used Modul8. As for the play back of
content and mapping, Flash for the generative content, Max/MSP for the
data management, and web technologies for the iPhone interface. We
communicated with the Flash files inside Modul8 using OSC.
m8.us: What kind of projectors did you use?
Daniel:2x 22K Christies
m8.us: What was the turn around time for the project?
Daniel: 4 weeks.
m8.us: Were their other projects that came about as a result of doing this one?
Daniel: Yes. We took [Period] to Mexico and it was an amazing experience. We are
currently looking for other festivals to present it as well.
For more information about Iregular and their other projects go to see their website at their website: http://thisisiregular.com/.
One of my favorite and iconic projects done with MadMapper to date is the Space Invader project directed by the Bogota based A/V Director and VJ, Laura Ramirez Leal l (aka Optika VJ). The simple concept of the classic icon of a Space Invader reproduced on a grand scale screams fun for the eyes. We have some great photos of it as well, courtesy of Boris who joined the project as technical adviser.
Such a large project needs a lot of energy and I am always curious how these things come about. Via email (my favorite medium for conducting interviews) I got all that I wanted to know about Space Invader.
m8.us: What was the name of the event?
Laura: Fiesta Electronica de Verano, Summer electronic party.
m8.us: Where and when was this exactly, dates?
Laura: It was 12 August 2011.
m8.us: Was it one night only?
Laura: It was just 6 hours, 4 pm to 10 pm, because the laws for public events in this venue. Plaza de eventos simon Bolivar Bogota – Calle 63 entre carreras 50 y 68 Bogota.
m8.us: Who were the Headlining acts?
Laura: The main DJ was Jhon Acquaviva and local DJ’s were La french toast, DJ H, El mono. Boris Edelstein and I (Optika Vj) were the VJ’s.
m8.us: Was the project commissioned directly?
Laura: It was commissioned by two different companies. I was in charge of managing and creating the general concept of the party. This included:
- Project direction
- Creating the campaign and concept
- Designing the stage
- Supervision of technical development
- Direction of the Visual content, loops and footage
- Booking of the international and national DJ’s
- Booking of the international support , Boris Edelstein and Vjing
m8.us: What was the creative process?
Laura: To give you a background, there is a 2 weeks event in Bogota organized by the Municipality of the city called “summer festival.” This festival is dedicated to culture and sport activities and is offered for free to the citizens. In the program, there is a day dedicated for an electronic party. This time the organizers were looking for a special proposal due to the fact that they had the same conventional format for more than 7 years.
At first, there was the idea to buy an international show and bring it here, but in the end I encouraged the idea to do something local with that budget. I designed the stage and the visual concept and also designed the campaign which was aimed to reinforce the real meaning of the electronic party and electronic culture.
The first step was create a unconventional stage, show people something that they have never seen here before, so, due to my passion for mapping and real time performances and inspired by the creative use of scaffolding made by 1024 architecture, I designed the “AV invader – 8 bits and light,” a huge space invader that serves as a multi-projection surface to create optical illusions, and at the same time as a stage that displays the DJ inside. The visual content is a trip through 80′s video games and 8-bit culture. This idea was approved by the municipality and the project started to run!
I looked for a crew of animators and based on the measures, we started to design the video footage. For this, we built a mockup to make preliminary tests of color, geometry, contrast, etc. On the technical side, the project was analyzed with various companies who supplied the scaffolding, projectors, scenery, screens, montage, etc.
The final step was looking for international support, someone with experience who could advise us on the process, and for this reason Boris was invited to work with us. His work was essential for the technical execution, giving us advice for the video footage composition and helping with using Modul8 and MadMapper for the mapping and performance. That gave us more security because I had never made something this big.
I really wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to make something never made here before, make a giant scenario based on video mapping and Vijing performance and let people know what is happening, talking about visual arts and real time performances involved with electronic music culture. Personally, it was an amazing opportunity to take a new step in my career and put in practice all that I have been learning the last 2 years.
m8.us: How many people were involved?
Laura: The design crew was 3 animators working under my direction. The technical part was about 180 people working from 4 or 5 different companies.
The technical specifications of the Invader:
- 2 x 20K Christie projectors stacked
- Modul8 and Madmapper
- 20 mts wide
- 14 mts high and 6 mts deep inscaffolding covered with material
- Public : 90.000 people
The Obscura crew throws their images upward utilizing the roof of the tent to create a more immersive atmosphere for the Roskilde Festival in Denmark by setting up a ‘ship’ of projectors on a truss suspended above the audience. Three days of work setting up, and four days of VJ’ing. You can see some video of the setup process here.