The next two weekends present a unique opportunity for the intrepid young video professionals to learn the powerful TouchDesigner platform from one of the best in the business. You would be crazy not to take advantage of it!
In this two part workshop, media artist Mary Franck will educate you on realtime video creation and performance using Touch Designer. Her work includes massive projection mapping projects with Obscura, such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque project, VJ sets for artists such as Nosaj Thing, and elegant projection based installation work.
TouchDesigner is a high-level real-time video programming environment, with hardware-accelerated 3d and 2d graphics generation and manipulation tools, flexible data handling, and a plethora of I/O options. It is a powerful tool that lends itself to data visualization, interactive graphics and art pieces, projection mapping, and custom VJ software building. Touch Designer FTE is free.
Get your tickets here.
January 27th 2012 10am-4:30pm $120
At Madrone Studios, 1417 15th St. @ Folsom, San Francisco, CA
This is an introduction with no previous programming or TouchDesigner experience necessary. This 6 hour workshop will teach you how to use TouchDesigner to create real-time 3d effects, video playback and manipulation.
Realtime Video in TouchDesigner Part II
February 3rd 2012 10am-4:30pm $160
At Space 1970,1970 Harrison St. @16th St., San Francisco, CA
This intermediate to advanced course provides a video playback, generation and control system for live video performance in TouchDesigner. The course will teach this framework with additional advanced topics.
-Showcase: Projects using TouchDesigner
-Basics: Navigating, modular components, good coding practice
-Operators: Different operators are for different data types, with some operators converting between data types
-Realtime 3D video: Geo, Mat, Camera, Render
-I/O: Using input from the mouse, microphone, OSC, MIDI and video cameras
-Reusability: Creating and loading your own components
-Brief intro to advanced topics: Instancing, scripting, materials, generative techniques
-Resources: Reference, help files, wiki and forum
-Software architecture in TouchDesigner
-Video performance framework: Clip loading, cue building, controls
-Composition building: Performable 3D
-Advanced Operators: Tricks & optimizations
-Advanced I/O: Video & audio analysis, KinectTOP (commercical license required for KinectTOP)
-Advanced topics: Instancing, scripting, GLSL, generative techniques
All course materials, examples and software will be provided, but you must bring your own computer with TouchDesigner FTE installed. TouchDesigner is currently only supported on Windows operating systems, but can be used on a Mac via bootcamp. Please see the system requirements: touch077.com/Downloads
I encourage you to take a look at supporting Clouds, an interactive documentary about creative coding presented in a forward-looking new cinema format. The work of James George and Jonathan Minard, Clouds explores the work of artists using technology in mercurial and interdisciplinary ways. However, it is more than just a film, it is an personally driven narrative told through an interactive environment, a launched executable run on your own glowing rectangle where you can choose your own eduventure. Don’t lose your grounding as you traverse your way across a sea of perspectives on what this nascent and undefinable medium of computational art production means for our culture…
The technology behind Clouds is built on the RGBD Toolkit, a software pipeline developed by James George that allows the linkage of a high resolution DSLR camera with a stereographic “depth” camera, such as the Microsoft Kinect. This allows the filming of subjects with their distance to the camera captured in the film, making 3d transformations possible. I saw the birth of the RGBD Toolkit at the Art and Code 3D conference in Pittsburgh last year, and it tugs the heartstrings to see these efforts come to fruition in a completed work. The latest round of development has been supported by Eyebeam, where the premiere for Clouds will be shown.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Media Art Kickstarter without Bruce Sterling yapping about something or other, which you can fully immerse yourself in here.
Over the last year we have captured interviews with over 30 new media artists, curators, designers, and critics, using a new 3D cinema format called RGBD. CLOUDS presents a generative portrait of this digital arts community in a videogame-like environment. The artists inhabit a shared space with their code-based creations, allowing you to follow your curiosity through a network of stories.
What does it feel like to think with code? How can emerging technologies enable us to actualize our dreams? How has online sharing transformed the way artists collaborate?
With four days left to go on their Kickstarter campaign, your support will enable further development of the tools necessary to create this kind of next generation hypernarrative. While the base pieces for the capture and production of this work are being solidified, there is room for a range of improvements and enhancements to the workflow. Imagine a final cut that supported depth inherently, or a emergence of the 3D star wipe… the possibilities for this kind of format are myriad and exciting. Give them money.
Support GAFFTA’s year-end campaign by attending this event!
Time: 7pm – 12am
Location: Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
923 Market Street, San Francisco 94103
Art Hack Day is an event dedicated to cracking open the process of art-making. Check out the video from the inaugural Art Hack Party at 319 Scholes in Brooklyn:
Between December 13-15, artists and hackers will inhabit GAFFTA to create a flash exhibit on the theme of ‘Lethal Software’. Software now has a license to kill, as advances in computing have made drones and other weapon systems autonomous. This development was long presaged by popular culture (Hal, Robocop, Terminator).
Fortunately, most of us don’t have to write this software (or suffer from it) although we interact daily with software that is lethal in other respects.There is software that prevents other software from executing (spam vs. anti-spam, surveillance vs. sousveillance) and there is software that shields us from the influence of fellow humans (e.g., Google’s auto-complete algorithm).
On Saturday, December 15th, we encourage visitors to engage with the projects for a donation based closing public exhibition, performances and party at GAFFTA on 923 Market Street from 7pm-late.
Confirmed Participants include:
Barry Threw, Josh Nimoy, Stijn Schiffeleers, Toby Schachman, Ryan Alexander, Matt Ganucheau, Syed Reza Ali, Jeff Easter, Igal Nassima, Dan Moore, Max Ogden, Andrew Benson, Gabriel Dunne plus many more to be announced! Register to attend the full weekend and collaborate on projects: http://arthackdaysf.eventbrite.com/
Joshua Kit Clayton is an artist, musician, and computer programmer, living and working in San Francisco. He is a graduate of the Bard College MFA program in Film/Video. He produces dance music for post-rave casualties both on his own and in the band Pigeon Funk. He is responsible for the development of Jitter, a video and 3d graphics extension to Cycling ’74′s Max visual programming environment. His performance and video based projects explore communication, speculation, value, directive, and the space between artist and audience.
Holly Herndon left her Tennessee home as a teenager to immerse herself in Berlin techno culture, eventually returning wide-minded to the States to pursue a Masters in Electronic Music at Mills College. While at Mills she earned the 2011 Elizabeth Mills Crothers award for best composer and developed Movement, her debut collection of material released November 2012 on RVNG Intl. On Movement, Holly hybridizes her modern composition training and undying devotion to club music, using custom instruments and vocal processes developed in the visual programming language Max/MSP. Holly has collaborated with the Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani, Hieroglyphic Being and Chicago footwork producer Jlin , and is currently a doctoral candidate in composition at Stanford University.
Mark Slee is a resident DJ and co-founder of House-Heads, a San Francisco collective throwing unique underground and private events focused on forward-thinking dance music. He is also one half of Manju Masi, a collaboration with long-time partner in crime Atish.
Born and raised outside Chicago, Mark grew up on a steady diet of electronic music. Early influences came from eclectic acts like Orbital, Aphex Twin, and Underworld, balanced against an exposure to the more dancefloor-oriented sounds of Chicago house. A student of the piano from a young age, he quickly developed a keen interest in audio production and DJing – an interest he has now cultivated for 15 years.
Living in San Francisco since 2005, Mark has evolved a style of DJing that uniquely reflects his personality. Technical and introspective, he brings a thoughtful approach to constructing sets that tickle both mind and soul, at the same time topping things off with a healthy dose of groovy, quirky fun. Understanding audio to be one avenue of a larger experience, 2011 has seen him return to original production, crafting custom-tailored tracks for the unique events he produces with House-Heads, often complementing them with interactive LED sculptures that he also creates.
Writing about the intersections of arts, science, and technology presents challenges. The speed of information transfers faster than ever before which makes pinning down salient and worthwhile discussions a demanding task. Yet the presentation of innovative ideas meshed with deep and thought provoking prose on this convergence between arts and technology requires dedicated artists, technologists, and writers. The Creative Applications Network developed a print publication, HOLO Magazine, to address and contribute to the greater discussion and changing landscape of new media arts. The publication takes an in depth look at contemporary art and technology practices and their relevance in further understanding the impact of technological advancements on society and culture. Within an incredible group of artists, designers, and technologists featured in the inaugural issue such as Zimoun, Jer Thorp, Chris O’Shea, and Raquel Meyers, it is already proving its popularity with a fully funded Kickstarter campaign way before the funding deadline. The very fact HOLO has garnered immense support speaks volumes to the need for this particular type of publication.
Gray Area Foundation for the Arts is proud to serve as the nonprofit fiscal sponsor organization for the project, and a partner in the campaign! Consider donating to the project and receiving some phenomenal backer perks (i.e., subscription to the magazine, original artwork, etc.). Click here to learn more.
This weekend brings the Urban Prototyping Festival to San Francisco. This exhibition is the culmination of our most recent efforts at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts to catalyze civic engagement into real tools.
Dates: Saturday, October 20th, 2012
Times: 12pm – 10pm
Cost: FREE and OPEN to the public!
Location: 5th and Mission (5M Project around the SF Chronicle Building), San Francisco, CA 94103
On Saturday October 20, three blocks of downtown San Francisco will become a living laboratory of urban experiments. This exposition will demonstrate the capability of citizens to reimagine public space through creative applications of design and technology.
The festival will feature a showcase of 25 projects created by over 150 makers, as well as three stages of public performance and a series of inspiring keynotes and panel discussions around placemaking, prototyping, and the future of cities.
The GAFFTA Stage on Minna Street will feature an immersive Audio/Visual performance environment featuring experimental electronic musicians and visualists such as Mark Fell of SND (UK).
The Intersection for the Arts Stage on Natoma Street will feature artistic performances and speakers such as Tom Kelley, Co-Founder of IDEO.
The Halladie Plaza Stage will feature local standout performers including Trolley Dances, Campo Santo, and Gamelan X.
For complete details please visit: http://sf.urbanprototyping.org/
SAN FRANCISCO) Oct 11, 2012– The past several years have seen a surge in new forms of civic engagement, with teams of citizens joining together to build apps and projects that use technology to address contemporary urban issues. Now, a new initiative is bringing this same open-source “hacking” mentality to the physical realm. Building on the parallel rise of “tactical urbanism”–the use of small-scale, informal designs to seed long-term changes to the city landscape– the Urban Prototyping (UP) Festival aims to support new design and technology projects that improve the urban environment by creating more inspiring, livable and engaging public spaces.
The San Francisco UP Festival will take place on October 20, 2012, and will feature over 20 model projects set up in streets and parking lots in a 3-block area around the 5M Project at 5th and Mission. Each project embodies the concept of open source and will be documented so that they can be replicated in any city worldwide. Model projects range from the whimsical to practical and include outdoor gardens, urban playscapes, glowing crosswalks, public urinals, urban parasol structures, and much more. The projects will give everyone the chance to see firsthand how these rapidly prototyped urban interventions can change and challenge the way we use, share, and contribute to our public spaces.
The initiative is led by the San Francisco digital culture organization Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA), in partnership Intersection for the Arts (IFTA). GAFFTA has been recognized for its large-scale festivals and hackathons at the intersection of technology, art, and urban issues, and IFTA is exploring the economic impact of the arts in placemaking through its new 5MPlaceworks initiative.
“The Urban Prototyping Festival demonstrates the role of innovation and art to reinvigorate public space,” said Josette Melchor, executive director of GAFFTA. “The movement starts in the capital of innovation, San Francisco, and is spreading its arms to the world. Our talented community is responsible for the content of the event and we are pleased to provide–with our many partners–a platform on which citizens engage and design the changes they want for themselves.”
Lead collaborators on UP are Rebar, a design studio whose projects reframe the way we think about public spaces worldwide; and global design and innovation firm IDEO.
UP stands out among other public design festivals for its focus on creating projects which are easily replicable, and can be adopted by cities worldwide. The San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation and the City’s Planning Department are working closely with UP to identify projects suitable for larger-scale pilots similar to the parklet program.
“San Francisco is home to so much talent and opportunity,” says Jay Nath, the Mayor’s Chief Innovation Officer. “As the innovation capital of the world, we are excited to use Urban Prototyping to showcase the city itself as a platform for creativity – ultimately leading to new pieces of infrastructure and design that transform our public spaces.”
After the San Francisco festival, UP events will be planned with partners in other cities, to explore how design, art, and technology can serve as tools for civic participation.
Arcos da Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, June 19, 2012
I recently returned from a Rio de Janeiro with a strike force from Obscura on a mission to raise awareness about a very special campaign to save our rainforests. We teamed up with Wildlife Works to spend a week canvassing the city in imagery in support of the launch of Code REDD, a innovative campaign offering carbon offsets that allow corporations to save tracts of rainforest globally. This event was one of the highlights of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20.
We transformed Rio’s historic aqueduct, Arcos da Lapa, into a large scale messaging platform with visualizations focusing attention on the pressing need to interject forest protection as part of the conference dialogue. The architectural landmark became a storytelling canvas, revealing the devastating effects of deforestation through a show of sound and light, followed by the premier of the Code REDD Campaign film, showcasing a scalable solution to save the threatened forests of the world.
Bassel Khartabil is a dear friend and colleague at Fabricatorz who has been placed under arrest by the Syrian government since March. The #FREEBASSEL campaign combines our efforts to bring about the immediate release of our beloved friend Bassel who is currently being detained in Syria. Please help us spread the word by using the following channels: freebassel.org, @freebassel and #freebassel and spreading the word as much as you can.
And please sign the support letter on freebassel.org.
On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Since then, his family has received no official explanation for his detention or information regarding his whereabouts. However, his family has recently learned from previous detainees at the security branch of Kafer Sousa, Damascus, that Bassel is being held at this location.
Bassel Khartabil, a Palestinian-born Syrian, 31, is a respected computer engineer specializing in open source software development, the type of contributions the Internet is built upon. He launched his career ten years ago in Syria, working as a technical director for a number of local companies on cultural projects like restoring Palmyra and Forward Syria Magazine.
Since then, Bassel has become known worldwide for his strong commitment to the open web, teaching others about technology, and contributing his experience freely to help the world. Bassel is the project leader for an open source web software called Aiki Framework. He is well known in online technical communities as a dedicated volunteer to major Internet projects like Creative Commons (www.creativecommons.org), Mozilla Firefox (www.mozilla.org), Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org), Open Clip Art Library (www.openclipart.org), Fabricatorz (www.fabricatorz.com), and Sharism (www.sharism.org).
Since his arrest, Bassel’s valuable volunteer work, both in Syria and around the world, has been stopped. His absence has been painful for the communities that depend on him. In addition, his family, and his fiancée whom he was due to marry this past April, have had their lives put on hold.
Bassel Khartabil has been unjustly detained for nearly four months without trial or any legal charges being brought against him.
We, the signees of the #FREEBASSEL campaign, demand immediate information regarding his detention, health, and psychological state.
We urge the Syrian Government to release the community member, husband-to-be, son to a mother and father, and celebrated International software engineer Bassel Khartabil, immediately.
Today is the official start the RML Cinechamber’s residency at the cinema Excentris for MUTEK festival and International Digital Arts Biennial in Motnreal. With fellow technical director Vance Galloway and artistic director Naut Humon, we have been hard at work for the past week setting up what I think is our best installation ever, presenting works from over 50 international artists in a full 360 degree immersive cinema experience. This showing also includes about 20 new works presented at MUTEK as world premieres.
Artists showing at the Cinechamber include SemiConductor, Skoltz _Kolgen, Jochem Paap & Scott Pagano, Werner Dafeldecker & Lawrence English, Jefre-Cantu Ledesma & Paul Clipson, Francisco Lopez & Cécile Martin, D-Fuse, Robert Henke & Tarik Barri, The Soft Moon & Ron Robinson, Frank Bretschneider, Telcosystems, Vladislav Delay & AGF, Daniel Menche, Cécile Martin & Li Alin, S. Mason, Louis Dufort, Christian Fennesz & Lillevan, Scott Arford, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Xárene Eskandar & Ken Nordine, Andrey Kiritchenko & V4W.ENKO, Fred Szymanski, Oval & Masako Tanaka, Signal, Marsen Jules, Rrose, Biosphere & Egbert Mittelstadt, Edwin van der Heide, Robin Fox, Hyena Hive & Karl Lemieux, and Maryanne Amacher.
Individual tickets for the PANORAMA programs are on sale for $12 (+ taxes & service charges). The CINECHAMBER LIVE modules are on sale for $15 (+ taxes & service charges). And finally, a CINECHAMBER pass giving access to all 5 PANORAMA programs is also available for $30 (+ taxes & service charges).
If you happen to be at MUTEK or in the Montreal area, please come and see us.
I’m pleased to announce the availability of the OvalDNA player, a small sample browser with a unique interface. It is an add on for Oval’s recent, 2-disc concept album OvalDNA.
OvalDNA is a hybrid album conceptually, a mixture of old and new from Markus Popp’s various creative phases. In OvalDNA you’ll find a collection of rare Oval pieces and 12 previously unreleased tracks.
But, the most interesting part of the OvalDNA release is the second disk. 2,000 Oval Sounds from various phases of Popp’s work are included as individual AIFF files. The software and sound files are intended for music producers and are available to all without restrictions. To complement this sample archive I’ve been collaborating with Markus Popp/Oval and graphic designer Frieda Luczak on the OvalDNA player to browse and sequence the sound archive.
The player is built as a MaxMSP patch to allow for rapid prototyping and user feedback along with the development. Once our intended feature set is complete we will open source the patch as well, leaving it for the community to carry forward. New soundpacks for the player will be available with every release, and our intended feature set will allow for the construction of complete tracks.
OvalDNA player represents a, well, playful approach to handling sound files including a few unique takes on the traditional sequencing paradigm. OvalDNA player is part colorful, casual sound browser, part sound-over-time music tool for AIFF and WAV samples (and yes, that also includes user sounds).
The release version ( “iteration 1”) of OvalDNA player comes loaded with a set of 8×8 customized Oval sounds (“OvalDNA Soundpack 1”). Users can also import their own sounds - or they may start with those 2000+ free (and neatly pre-sorted) OvalAIFF sound files included on the DVD-ROM of the physical, 2-disc retail release of the “OvalDNA” album.
OvalDNA player will be made open source in a future release – once its full feature set will have been specified. Nonetheless, users should feel invited to help shaping this software’s future from day one!
OvalDNA player can be downloaded starting April 30th, 2012 from www.shopkatapult.com using the download code that customers got with their copy of OvalDNA.
2011 has turned out to be a pretty dense year. I think it’s always worth reflecting on what’s been accomplished over the last cycle. Here are most of the major projects I helped push forward this year.
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This was a huge year for Recombinant Media Labs. Or new mobile surround-cinema apparatus, the Cinechamber, made its debut this year to a European festival circuit supported by the ECAS network of festivals. We started out 2011 for a month long residency at Club Transmediale in Berlin. Then later on in the fall we set up at two more festivals, ORF-Musikprotokoll in Graz, AU and Cynetart in Dresden, DE, some of our best shows ever.
In the middle of all of these we developed a host of brand new 360-degree 10-screen content from Egbert Mittlestadt, Fundamental Forces (Robert Henke and Tarik Barri), Signal, Edwin van der Heide, Lillevan and Fennesz, Subshrubs, Lawrence English and Werner Dafeldecker, Louis Dufort, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Jade/Pita, and Naut Humon / Peter Tscherkassky.
Development for some exciting shows in 2012 has been progressing as well, stay tuned for some major announcements for future audio/visual casualty.
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The momentum at Keith McMillen Instruments also keeps building. While I largely removed myself from day-to-day operations at KMI this year to pursue some other projects, the stellar team that was built continues to grow and push out great products. This year saw the unveiling of the SoftStep to the world at the Winter NAMM Show. The SoftStep saw major press and uptake over the year, and has gone on to become one of our most popular products.
The later half of 2011 saw the introduction of the QuNeo, and subsequent groundswell of support for its kickstarter project to fund tooling for production. This innovative controller takes the Monome concept and adds pressure sensitivity over four points, making each pad like a joystick. It also features a gradient of multicolor LEDs under each pad giving a variety of feedback options.
Finally, we successfully completed the primiere of the first string quartet for K-Bow augmented sensor bows in conjunction with the Kronos Quartet and composer Doug Quin, Polar Suite. This is a landmark for live ensemble-driven electronic music performance and hopefully paves the way for even more ambitious projects with Kronos.
Violinist Jon Rose and I developed Palimpolin, an improvisatory solo work for processed violin. This work uses the K-Bow system to process samples and spatialize the sound over a quadrophonic system with realtime control from the instrument.
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The majority of last year I stepped into projection mapping and architectural projection fully, completing many projects in conjunction with Obscura Digital. In May we completed the world largest projected surface, the Coca-Cola Skyscraper in Atlanta, GA, for their 125th Anniversary celebration. The fall saw the completion of the interior projection mapping for the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco Symphony, a show completed with orchestral accompaniment.
Back home we unveiled Illuminique, a holiday show in the historic Emporium Dome inside the Westfield Centre Mall in San Francisco.
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Fabricatorz also made great strides forward this year on all of our many projects. In early January we helped create An Open Web, developed at a book sprint in Berlin in a weeks time. We also had some time to throw together a web based visualization of the book as it was being edited, http://wall.fabricatorz.com/.
I gave a presentation about HyperAudio at the Libre Graphics Meeting 2011 Montreal. Fabricatorz also rolled out several releases at LGM, including major updates to the Open Clip Art Library, the release of the Open Font Library, and updates to Aiki Framework.
We also saw the launch of the MilkyMist video synthesizer. This innovative box contains an FPGA that is programmed to be optimized for video processing. But, its also a complete FPGA system-on-a-chip development board. Even more exciting; its all open-hardware and open-software, schematics and source code are all freely available.
Finally, movement continued on the Sharism project, including the release of our Beta Site. There will be many more Sharism events in 2012 as this project grows.
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In September was the primiere of Active Ecosystem installation at Sacramento Airport, a 14-screen interactive environment attached to a glass elevator shaft, with artists Camille Utterback and Michelle Higa. The piece reacts to time of day and elevator movements, painting stylized natural scenes inspired by the Sacramento airport inside the new SMF Terminal B.
At the new Nokia headquarters Obscura set up the Nokia Horizon Line installation, a linear canvas of micro-tiles visualizing information about Nokia customers world wide. We also put a smaller multitouch installation for Lexus at the Concourse d’Elegance in Carmel, CA.
I was also honored to be added to the ME’DI.ATE Art Group’s Advisory Board this year. They produce the annual Soundwave Festival, one of the best festivals for emerging arts in the Bay.
Although I didn’t do as many speaking engagements this year, I did contribute to Hot Spots a projection mapping panel at the San Francisco Art Institute; presented some Kinect based projects at the Art && Code 3D conference at CMU, and was on a Digital Marketing Roundtable with the Society of Digital Agencies.
The Gray Area Foundation for the Arts had an amazing year of educational workshops, events and exhibitions. We recently had our 2nd annual Galvanize Gala which provided a great deal of support for a fantastic 2012.
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Of course all of these projects were made possible by a huge assortment of people, way too many to list here. Allow me to generally express my gratitude to everyone I’ve been fortunate enough to work with in 2011; we’ve all done some amazing things!
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