I’m excited to be presenting this Friday, September 6th at the first TouchIn TouchDesigner meetup in NYC. TouchDesigner is a graphic programming language for all variety of events, 3d operations, and interactive installations.
I’ll be giving an overview of some of our more recent projects at Obscura, and am excited to share the bill with Dev Harlan, who does elegant and extremely impressive projection mapping installations using TouchDesigner. (www.vimeo.com/devharlan)
I hope to see you there.
When: 6:00 pm, Friday, Sep 6th, 2013
Where: Brooklyn Fire Proof, 119 Ingraham Street (in the alley), Brooklyn, NY
Facebook Event RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/332695706866722/
$$$: Free. Donations for artists accepted.
Time: 7-11PM, Sunday May 19th, 2013.
Location: The Lab, 16h and Capp, San Francisco, CA.
We’re very excited to announce Artup 2, our second in a series of monthly gatherings that foster an environment of sharing and debate in the Bay Area arts and technology communities.
This edition warrants your attention as it opens our dialog about the relationship between art and technology in the Bay Area with some insightful provocations. To kickstart the discussion we are delighted to welcome Ellen Cushing (East Bay Express) to present some thoughts on her powerful article The Bacon Wrapped Economy, which explores how tech and money has changed culture in the Bay area.
The Artup mission is focused on socially lubricating the culture and innovation sectors of our community, two groups which are massive stakeholders in every aspect of our lives here in San Francisco, but often don’t connect in real world situations. It turns out these groups have common needs that can be easily addressed through meeting and asking the right questions.
Bay Area artists are increasingly finding the economic climate difficult to survive in, forcing mass exodus to cities with either lower costs of living of more advanced art markets (NYC, LAX, MIA). This situation is perpetuated by at least two trends driven by the technology sector: a housing and studio rental market driven up by an influx of cash from silicon valley, and a tech sector apathy toward financing forward looking technology driven art by independent producers.
Tech workers are similarly (and perhaps unknowingly) wanting for outlets to participating as culture producers. Too many talents young creative people have found themselves in the cogs of mundane industry jobs without knowing how much the art community in the Bay needs their expertise to produce relevant work.
Interface between these groups is vital in a city that should be the epicenter of advanced medium art works in the world.
Music for the evening will be provided by artist and academic Brian Rogers, who will be playing records from his bottomless collection throughout the evening.
Last, but certainly not least, we will be announcing the recipient of the first Artup Venture Fund grant, and inviting people to contribute new project ideas for the next.
I truly hope to see you there.
This video is the first behind the scenes look at Obscura’s new architectural projection show of physical phenomena, Emergence, to be shown April 17th and 18th on the front of the new Exploratorium building at Pier 15.
The special mission of the Exploratorium as a “hands-on museum of science, art, and human perception” made us take a unique approach to this job by capturing the wonder of natural interactions and creatively displaying it as only possible through digital technologies.
Countless hours of media production time have gone into creating a singular experience of natural wonders through architecture. To create the content Obscura fabricated replicas of the Pier ranging in size from large terrariums to microscope slides. This process allowed us to capture physical processes of order arising inside chaos, and to view the world through a unique lens in a way never before seen.
As a bonus for those in line we are creating a special interactive projection with extremely sensitive thermal imaging cameras from FLIR. Able to detect variations in temperature with a sensitivity of <0.03°C, these cameras will be capturing the audience, processed and projected to cover the West wall of the building.
I encourage you to come out and see the show on April 17th and 18th, from nightfall until 11pm.
At nightfall on April 17th and 18th, Obscura Digital transforms the historic Pier 15 into a luminous portal revealing unseen dimensions of complex micro and macro phenomena. ‘Emergence’ takes visitors on a dynamic journey through a vivid array of non-computer generated, real-life visualizations that evoke a sense wonder and awe about the nature of order in our universe. To capture these marvels of nature, Obscura designed and fabricated ten miniature replicas of the Exploratorium’s façade, some microscopic, to contain unique experiments involving fluid dynamics, microorganisms, particle interactions, living systems, crystallization, and growth in time lapse. Documented in ultra high definition video, these compelling natural subjects are projection mapped back on the surface of the building, creating the illusion of being contained within its structure.
In addition to the ‘Emergence’ exhibit, Obscura presents an interactive thermal imaging wall (in cooperation with Flir), located on the side of the Exploratorium building, where visitors can see their heat signature projected in real-time, at large-scale, with brilliant color.
I’ve been listed in tandem with a couple of projects I’ve collaborated on in Dummy Mag compiled by tech aware artist Holly Herndon. Standing next to technologies such as OSC and being grouped with artists no less than Andrew Benson and Kyle McDonald is a great honor to say the least.
Holly Herndon: BARRY THREW is an artist, engineer, friend and collaborator who has done incredible things in the realm of instrument design and the development of immersive audio visual environments ( perhaps best characterized by his work as technical lead of RECOMBINANT MEDIA LABS ). This video is of a projection mapping project he developed with Obscura Digital to illuminate the entire Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the UAE, which is an unbelievable technical and aesthetic achievement.
These projects are prime examples of the use of experiential technology for spatial cinema presentation. This kind of augmented and alternative reality will continue to make an appearance. It has a unique ability to deal with physical space and digital content in a way that is compelling in a culture where sense of place is increasingly ambiguous. The use of digital technologies to create new spaces for the body to experience work runs counter to its normal role of breaking down geographic barriers, and makes this kind of work relevant and timely.
Both of these projects were both massive collaborations with teams from around the world. Recombinant Media Labs would not be possible without a very large list of contributors over the years, but in its current incarnation Naut Humon and Vance Galloway keep the show alive. The Mosque was an even larger undertaking, with the entire Obscura team working non-stop to ensure its success, especially the unsinkable Mary Franck who lead show control and development on this installation.
When: Thursday, April 4, 2013 – 7:30pm – 10:00pm
$$$: Free and Open to the Public
Where: San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA
April 4th I will be moderating a panel for the SFAI 2013 Design and Technology Salon called Shared Feedback: Active/Passive Collaborative Installations and Performance. This evening includes new works and presentations by a number of outstanding Bay Area artists and SFAI students. The exhibition focuses on off-screen media engaging audience in social experiences outside of the cybersphere.
While screen-based social media is certainly the buzz of the moment, immersive media installations and performances challenge this idea of “social” by activating otherwise passive audiences and providing off-screen spaces that engage imaginative experiences among diverse participants. In exploring the collaborative possibilities that are framed by such spaces, the Spring 2013 Design and Technology Salon presents and contextualizes a series of projects at the intersection of performance, installation, and responsive systems. Unities within these systems are examined by the event audience together with the presenters in order to mark out strategies for influencing the creation of participatory media, and to explore the potential of these experiential systems for activating personal, social, and political change.
7:30–8:30: Presentation of project displays in café, adjacent McMillan conference room, and Zellerbach Quad
8:30–9:30: Panel Discussions with presenters, moderated by Barry Threw
9:30–10: Questions & Answers
Participating artists and projects:
• Mary Franck: “Rouge: A Video Performance Platform”
• JD Beltran and Nick Lally: “RGB Space”
• The Big Conversation Space (Clémence de Montgolfier + Niki Korth) in collaboration with John Mowitt: “Live Readings from the Tarot of Technological Change (Conducted via Analog Skype)”
• Spencer Holoway: “Disintegration, Time After Time”
• James Howzell: “Go! Arthur Go!”
• Christopher Palmer (CTP): “Mixmaster Motion Study 1″, 2012
• Laetitia Sonami and Andrew Benson: “Magnetic Memories in the Age of the Oracle”
• Ben Wood: “The Man who stopped Time, Eadweard Muybridge’s Magic Lantern Lecture at the San Francisco Art Association 1878″
What: A kickoff event for a new Bay Area arts organization supporting nascent works and building community.
When: Tuesday, April 2nd, 7-11pm
Where: 522 Valencia, San Francisco, CA
There has been a continual conversation among the artists living and working in San Francisco over the past five or so years. The general thread is a sense of frustration that a city ostensibly on the forefront of technology and culture offers little to no support for artists working at the intersection of technology and culture. At the end of this conversation is always despair, but it is clear that the immense artistic talent in the Bay Area can be highlighted in the international community. All that is needed is a framework.
Artup is a community-powered incubator for forward-looking work stationed at the intersection of contemporary art and digital technology. It is a platform to engage in venture culture, aiming to help create a vibrant ecosystem of artists, art appreciators, and benefactor organizations first in the Bay Area and then beyond.
Artup attempts to foster a vibrant arts community in the Bay beginning with three major programs.
1) First, the Artup Venture Fund bestows a monthly grant of $1,000 upon creative projects of exceptional promise. Projects are selected and awarded by the Artup Trustees – a group of community members each of whom contributes $100 dollars per month to support the grant. Projects eligible for the grant are proposals for works concentrating on art and technology. The grant comes with only two stipulations:
The creator presents the project idea (with preferably a demo or some sort of tangible work product) at an Artup.
The creator establishes a web presence with updates with progress reports for the work.
2) Secondly, the Artup is a monthly gathering that fosters an environment of sharing and debate in the Bay Area arts community. The Artup features presentations by grant recipients, as well as curated lectures, panels, performances and exhibitions by relevant players in the Bay Area and global arts and technology community.
3) And finally, the Artup Creative Pact is a voluntary commitment, open to anyone, requiring the production of one creative work a week to be shared on the Artup website. This pact is intended to encourage a culture of responsive and proactive commentary and creation, and a supportive platform for anyone to be able to participate in their media of choice.
It is our hope that these programs together, and more to come, will serve to begin elevating forward-looking and relevant art works to wider recognition and eventually provide a platform to support arts communities in San Franicsco and Beyond.
This Friday, March, 15th is the 1st Annual #FREEBASSELDAY.
We, the supporters of the #FREEBASSEL project are inviting every person, everywhere to make an event on March 15, 2013 with other people in your city in global solidarity to call for the immediate release of open web advocate Bassel Khartibil. This day is the one year anniversary of the illegal jailing of Bassel Khartibil, well known free internet pioneer, software engineer, teacher, husband, family-man and friend. Bassel is a normal guy, in a bad situation. He is now stuck in a Syrian jail cell where he is not able to directly contribute to his local and global communities. We demand his captors to #FREEBASSEL!
Join us to create an activity, event or even a party to celebrate the great work and ongoing life of Bassel. We challenge other leaders of the free internet and open web to create events to make #FREEBASSEL t-shirts, release #FREEBASSEL software, put up #FREEBASSEL posters in your city, to make food together or even to throw a party at a local bar with #FREEBASSEL images and songs playing. Have a cheers for #FREEBASSEL and tweet the picture of your group publicly in your local language.
By freeing Bassel, you help to free the Internet. Joining the global movement is simple. List your city below, use the #FREEBASSELDAY hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and other social networks, set a goal for what you will do on this day and spread the word! For those community leaders out there like Bassel, pick an activity, a location for people in your community to meetup and make known the time for the gathering to your community. Then, let’s all have a global #FREEBASSELDAY.
The 2nd Anniversary of Syrian Uprising and #FREEBASSELDAY
✳ Update Bassel’s Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
✳ Translate Bassel’s Wikipedia entry into your own language
✳ Make our event global: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
✳ Print out #FREEBASSEL Posters, and put them up all over your city
✳ Take pictures of your meeting raising your cups to #FREEBASSEL
✳ Create #FREEBASSEL artwork
✳ Write a #FREEBASSEL song
✳ Make a video to #FREEBASSEL, post on the web
✳ Write a blog-post or news article about #FREEBASSELDAY
✳ Release software into the public domain dedicated to #FREEBASSELDAY
✳ Release audio, video, image and texts dedicated to #FREEBASSELDAY
I’ll be rolling into Austin tomorrow to begin setup for the Spotify House party. I’ll be doing interior projections on all three stages of the venue along with a team from Obscura Digital.
March 11-15, 12PM-6PM, Spotify House, 1010 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702
I’m working with Markus in a continual collaboration on OvalDNA, a unique sample browser/sequencer containing free open source samples from past Oval tracks. New versions of OvalDNA with more tracks are in the works and coming soon.
Calidostópia is the result of a 10-day, blind-date-esque studio session in Salavdor De Bahia, Brazil. Rapid prototyping + unlimited enthusiasm + working in three shifts = metamelomusical supermerger. I went to to Brazil with tons of released as well as unreleased material – and returned home with dozens of all-new, beautiful songs.
Calidostópia! was made possible through the generous support of the Goethe Institute (Bogotá, Caracas, Cordoba, Montevideo, Salvador und São Paulo branches) as well as the Cultural Foundation of the State of Bahia. And these kinds of cultural organizations curate non-commercial projects.
Direct DL links:
MP3 320 kbps
I’ll be participating in a panel discussion at SXSW this Saturday called “Get Physical: Digital Experiences, Real World”. The panel will explore some ways offline spatial media experiences are being created for multiple purposes.
When: Saturday, March 09, 2013 12:15 PM-1:50 PM
Where: 506 Congress Ave; Austin TX 78701; Microsoft SXSW Headquarters
It’s free, but space is limited, so register here: http://sodasxsw2013.eventbrite.com/
Presented by SODA/Microsoft/Adobe
Physical is the new digital. In an age of cooked metrics and inflated stats citing millions of views and downloads, the new movement is a return to offline interactive experiences where real people converge with design and technology in very physical ways. Discuss.
Other participants are:
Moderator – James Senior, Head of Creative Partnerships at Microsoft
Patrick Gardner (CEO of Perfect Fools)
Patrick Gardner is co-founder and CEO of Perfect Fools, the award-winning digital creative agency based in Stockholm and Amsterdam. Fool that he is, it might come as no surprise that he started his career as an assistant speechwriter to US VP Dan Quayle in 1990 and 1992. After working with traditional marketing in the US, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia, China and Sweden, Gardner went digital in 1995, co-founding Houdini Digital Creations in 1999 and Perfect Fools in 2002. Gardner graduated from Vassar College in 1993.
David Schwarz (Creative Partner, HUSH)
David Schwarz is an award-winning creative director working between motion-based storytelling, graphic design and interactivity. After receiving an MFA from Art Center College of Design, he became a sought-after freelance talent working at many notable creative studios on both coasts and beyond. He’s directed projects for exceptional brands such as Nike, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Honda, American Express and Coca Cola, among others. He’s also been featured in publications like Creativity, Shots, IdN, RES, and Monument Mag. As one of the founding partners of HUSH, he mixes creative pursuits with high-level business relationships.
Mauro Silva (CCO of LiveAD)
Mauro leads the planning and creative team of LiveAd. He is responsible for highly complex communication projects for clients like Nike, Lenovo, Doritos, C&A, Multishow and Globo TV. His work has been recognized with 2 PR Lions and 1 Branded Content Gold Lion at Cannes, as a finalist at SXSW Interactive/Activism and was awarded with bronze at the first edition of the Facebook Studio Awards.
I'm Barry Threw.
Here I write from the trenches about emerging aesthetics in experiential technology and spatial media arts.
If you'd like to collaborate, email me.
You can also find me here:
gray area foundation
gray area foundation for the arts
keith mcmillen instruments
recombinant media labs