Building a Mediated Environment (video documentation)

Posted in Transmedia Research by tpdr on August 24, 2009

I have put a small sample video online to illustrate the experiments I have been doing with the minimal setup of a projector, a see-thru-mirror-wall and 2 rgb-pixeltracks. The video images porjected on the mirror foil and the wall behind it are of my own creation, even though they are a temporary version. The sound is a mix of my own remix of solar sounds provided by the SOHO (SOlar Heliospheric Observatory) with added sounds and bleeps from COH for the final part.

To see the video click here to be directed to the vimeo site.


Setup of ‘Building a Mediated Environment – Transmedia Research 1.1’

Posted in MediaArt, Transmedia Research by tpdr on August 24, 2009
In the previous post I promised to add more documentation so here it is. Feel free to watch new pics here1s.

Carlos Cruz-Diez

Posted in MediaArt by tpdr on February 28, 2009

About a week ago I found this colorful spread which had to promote a work by Carlos Cruz-Diez (°17/08/1923, Caracas, Venezuela). The ‘folder’ was published by Hans-Ulrich Obrist of the Serpentine Gallery in London, but the most interesting information I found on the homepage of Carlos Cruz-Diez. The work, which was promoted, is called Chromosaturations and is an artificial environment. As a visitor you enter three small rooms, next to eachother. One is a filled with green light, a second one with red light and the third is colored by blue lights. On pictures I thought it looked already interesting because you can really see the mixing of color on the ‘borders’ between two rooms. Then again I realised the effect in reality must be a lot stronger since color is perceived and generates ‘after-images’.

As Carlos Cruz-Diez has been researching color in art for a long time, and since he also wrote the most important information in a pdf on his site, people interested in color should really read this document.

Ambiguous Signalscapes – Axel Roch

Posted in MediaArt by tpdr on February 9, 2009

This installation by Axel Roch (de) which I have seenat the Transmediale Exhibition in Berlin end of last month. I was not allowed to take any pictures, which I found rediculous because you can all check out in this online pdf.

As you will also be able to read in the pdf, the visitor creates a landscape of mountains, just by looking at the screen in front of him/her. The landscapes the visitors, and me when I tried it out, reminded me of a 3D version of the album cover of Joy Divisio’s Unknown Pleasures – which was designed by Peter Saville and will always be my favourite album cover I guess. Anyway, except for this link, I also associated the installation with a Karensansui garden, better known as a Zen Garden or Japanese Rock Garden. Since I am interested in concepts that bring the macrocosm our the outside world into the personal world or microcosm of a temple garden, I think this relation between the installation and the karensansui garden is very interesting. In this type of zen garden, mainly used for meditation, gravel/sand represents water while rocks symbolize islands, boats, waterfalls, … . In fast the more white, the more interesting it seems to me. Just by shaping the gravel/sand and watching it for some time, one creates his/her own landscape, just like in this installation where you are confronted with a white screen which becomes a landscape just by focussing your eyes on the emptiness.

Just as a note in relation to my own research I notice emptiness and the possibilities that come with this emptiness, start to fascinate me more and more. In one of my previous posts I noticed my interest in the link between the concept of the Wunderkammer and the inspiration I got while working on a Transmedia project ‘Magenta Room’. In other words how I think a room stuffed with objects and an empty room, can generate similar thoughts, feelings, etc.

Wunderkammer Oh Wunderkammer

Posted in MediaArt by tpdr on February 6, 2009

The Wunderkammer, also known as Cabinet of Wonder, Cabinet of Curiosities, Kunstkammer and Wonder-room, were first created mid-sixteenth century, even though they were still a piece of furniture, a cabinet. As soon as the cabinets became to small for all the objects relating to history, ethnography, natural history, geology, aercheology, religion, art, etc. they became real rooms. These spaces could be seen as a microcosm and a theater of the world or even a memory theater, all precursors to museums. Controling this microcosm one could feel like a ruler of the world, but what I find interesting is that I can imagine people getting aware of their own modest position in the world and feeling connected to the outside world in a mental way standing in this homely space.






I have been interested in this concept since a long time, just last year I worked with a collection of objects as representation of my own mental world, my own memory theater. Also looking at artist inspired by the same concept of Cabinets of Curiosities, like Wesley Meuris or Hans Op de Beeck, I have kept thinking about it. Then I sudenly noticed a relation to a project my colleagues at Transmedia and I have been working on these last months. The project is called the Magenta Room and is based on the Dream House Project of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela and deals with the concept of inside/outside. For more details you can check the blog, but I just wanted to explain more about the relation with the Wunderkammer as I mentioned.

Working with the idea of inside/outside the Magenta Room filters the natural light comming in, changing the contrast and increasing the recognition of subtle changes of the sunlight. At the same time, during the daytime you can look from the inside at the outside but when it becomes dark outside the filters become a mirror. One extra is the fact that we are also working with the sound of the sun. This sound from outer space, hearing it while having two feet on the ground inside this rather small room, in combination with the previously described effects, made me feel like I think I could feel standing in a Wunderkammer. To be more precise, as I mentioned before, I think you can also in this room feel connected to the rest of the world, even feel connected with outer space and reflect on your own humble position as part of this bigger cosm.

In short I associate the feeling of microcosm meeting macrocosm in one room with both the Wunderkammers and our own Magenta Room. Talking to the senior researcher who initiated this project, Frans Evers, about this, he concluded that it this sense we could call the Magenta Room a possible 21st century Wunderkammer, which is fine by me. Still one major difference has to be put forward on this context, namely the fact that the Wunderkammers were stuffed with objects and the Magenta Room, on the contrary, is a totally empty room, no objects that are not part of the architecture.

For myself I can conclude now by saying my thinking about how a Wunderkammer should look, will never be the same again.

Augmented Sculpture Series – Pablo Valbuena

Posted in MediaArt by tpdr on December 26, 2008

Pablo Valbuena studied to be an architect, but ended up in the gaming industrie and currently focusses on media art. He is interested in the combination of space and time, to be more specific about space in transformation.

He first started with a rather ‘simple’ construction (= the real layer) and added a projection (= the virtual layer) to add these two up to get an augmented reality.


Augmented Sculpture by Pablo Valbuena

Augmented Sculpture by Pablo Valbuena








As he gets outside into the public space, things get more exciting. I can’t say I am amazed by every piece he does but I really like the part of the projection he did on the city hall in The Hague (the Netherlands) when the stones of the building seem to be moving back and forward or even look like they are turning arround.

To understand what I am talking about you should just watch his movies on his website.

Salt Lake – an interactive installation by Tom Heene and Yacine Sebti

Posted in MediaArt by tpdr on December 14, 2008

This project caught my attention about a year ago. Unfortunately I never had the chance to see it, Nevertheless I find it still an inspiring concept. On the website it is discribed as follows:

‘The installation Salt Lake is a research project concerning the influence of information and the media on our everyday lives. The need to win the ‘communications battle’ encourages the commercial media, the authorities, institutions and individuals to swamp us with audiovisual material. 
We are presented with this visual, auditory and iconographical corpus as a single large archive, fully searchable, without intellectual, ethical, or moral limitations, in a universal language to be interpreted and recycled by all. This accessibility stimulates reflection on a number of issues. Is the internet a simple window on the world as it is, or an image of the world as created by the internet and its users themselves? Does this complete access to material that has hitherto been kept secret or exclusive – at the same time beautiful and terrible to see – help us to build our own memories and through its duality create new personalities for us and our children? Do the media and the internet really influence our mental and physical states?

Salt Lake investigates these subjects. It is an ‘immersive machine’ that reacts to the spectators’ physical presence as they enter this excess of audiovisual information. Salt Lake is meant to cause indigestion, nausea, image overkill, so that the spectators can rediscover themselves as they reach the end of their journey through media inferno. Totally isolated in the void where they can reflect on their own existence.’

Certainly watch the videos to get a glimps of the effects the installation had on its audience.

This article was based on the content of the website of Salt Lake, hosted by iMal. Click here.

A Plaything for the Great Observers at Rest – Norimichi Hirakawa

Posted in MediaArt by tpdr on December 5, 2008

I first heard about this installation reading the CyberArts 2008 International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica book. Reading about it and watching it on the DVD included with the book, it semmed to be a great experience playing with it. Here is how the artist would outline it himself:

In this installation, audience can control viewpoint and switch between geocentric model and heliocentric model through the operation of the device, conceptual model of Sun and Earth. But the operation of a moving eye : this is a kind of privileged power that the unmoving observer, using only a paper and a pen, a telescope, and his own imagination, can be able to reach. The act of re-adjusting the core of the world is a truly dynamic and exciting experience, but only in the conceptional phase. This concept made me named this artwork “plaything”. (Norimichi Hirakawa)

For more information you should just visit this page on the installation. Or if you want to find out more about other projects of this artist visit the website.