ISS Star Trails TRON-IZED

This is astronaut Don Pettit.  Don’s got a whole bunch of cameras on board the International Space Station, or at least he did on missions Expeditions 30 and Expedition 31 to the ISS.

Don took a whole bunch of awesome photos that were turned into one cool time lapse video, but given a crazy Tron-like twist.  Watch this, it’s well worth a few minutes:

ISS Startrails – TRONized from Christoph Malin on Vimeo.

Now this guy, this is Christoph Malin, he is responsible for the video above.  He’s also awesome.

From the video:

Do you remember 1982’s “TRON” movie? The plot: A computer programmer (epic: Jeff Bridges) is digitized inside the software world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with various programs in his attempt to get back out. I loved the light cycle races and strange solar wind ships…

Back in the real word the ISS is in a way one of these solar ships, constantly rotating around us. A tiny white spot, as it can be seen racing over the sky from time to time, when illuminated by the sunset (and sunrise ;).

This Video was achived by “stacking” image sequences provided by NASA from the Crew at International Space Station (see alsofragileoasis.org/blog/2012/3/on-the-trails-of-stars/). These “stacks” create the Star Trails, but furthermore make interesting patterns visible. For example lightning corridors within clouds, but they also show occasional satellite tracks (or Iridium Flashes) as well as meteors – patterns that interrupt the main Star Trails, and thus are immediately visible.

The many oversaturated hot pixels in some of the scenes are the inevitable result of ultrahigh ISO settings the Nikon D3s in ISS-use are pushed to for keeping exposure times short by all means (owed to the dramatic speed the ISS travels). As there are no dark frames or RAW data currently available, hot pixels are not easy to remove.

After the initial stacking, all images have been sequenced with Apple Motion and the Video cut and edited with Final Cut Pro X. Stacking done with StarStaX, get it here: markus-enzweiler.de/software/software.html

This Video would also not have been possible without that great minimal soundtrack “Eileen” by Lee Rosevere (members.shaw.ca/happypuppyrecords/index.html) that totally nailed the mood, as well as a short clip of “Window #3″ by Two Bicycles (freemusicarchive.org/music/Two_Bicycles/Beko_Crash_Symbols_1/07_Window_3). VIMEO MUSIC STORE ROCKS!

All sequences and images courtesy “The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth”, Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center, eol.jsc.nasa.gov/Videos/CrewEarthObservationsVideos/
Closing sequence © Christoph Malin / ESO.org / filmed at Cerro Paranal.

Thanks a lot to my favourite bad Astronomer, Phil Plait at BadAstronomy for first posting the film (blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/10/16/my-god-its-full-of-star-trails/) and many many thanks to Vimeo for the Staff Pick!

A truckload of thanks go out to NASA astronaut Don Pettit (petapixel.com/2012/06/25/astronaut-don-pettit-floating-with-his-huge-camera-collection-on-the-iss/) and his colleagues for taking these images, and making films like this one reality!

Finally, please also be aware of the growing issue of light pollution (plightwithlight.org/index.php?id=49&L=1) one can see in many of these scenes! Support IDA (darksky.org) on their challenge to preserve the night sky for us and our children, on reducing energy waste! And don’t forget, it is your tax money that lights up the sky!

Oh, and visit my friends at the UNESCO Project TWAN (twanight.org) for some of the coolest nightsky images and videos on our planet! One people, one sky!

Always believe in your dreams and make it possible!

All the best,
Christoph Malin
christophmalin.com

PS: At about 1:42 you see Comet “Lovejoy” rising…

PS2: Be sure to check out my other Movies:

“Astronomer’s Paradise”, vimeo.com/36972668 – featured on National Geographic
“The Island – Teaser”, vimeo.com/27539860 – featured on NG
“Urban Mountain Sky”, vimeo.com/40969904 – featured on Discovery Channel
“Black Hole Sun”, vimeo.com/24149087, featured on NG

facebook.com/christoph.malin
twitter.com/#!/christophmalin
twanight.org/cmalin

Indeed. I love the world, humans are awesome.

Thanks to PetaPixel for the Don Pettit photo!

Chris Fraser Has A Brilliant Mind

There is something about light emanating through a slit in a surface that just blows my mind.  As suggestive as that comment is, I ensure you it is not meant for that kind of thought, even though I know about half of you out there immediately went there.  What you’re seeing above is the genius of Chris Fraser, a light artist from San Francisco.  His work is definitely pretty awesome — this particular case above is a “line drawing” of his from Oakland, CA.  The one below is called Points, Lines, Planes from the Performance Art Institute:

Chris’ work is like a crazy slit spectroscope of whatever light source is in front of it — like in these below, he did them as on-site pieces of work, creating something magical at a given day and time, never repeatable again.  You have to see more of Chris’ work:

Excellent, and beautiful.  I have got to see some of this stuff up-close and personal.

PLEASE check out Chris Fraser’s portfolio site and his Experiments on Flickr — VERY cool stuff!

This is my Chris Fraser-esque work for the day, a la 2007:

light leaking through the main rag...

Thanks to Lost in e Minor and We Waste Time!

Tupac Martir’s Satore Studio is About to Rock Your Face

There are a very small group of people who live in our society who see things in the way that we all see things in our heads, but have the ability to take those brilliant, beautiful twilight thoughts and make them real for all to experience.  These people have the ability inside them to transform a location with art and light completely, or tell a story so vivid and so real that the lines between the production they design and the experience the audience has are blurred beyond reality.  My friend Ann Davis is one of those artists, Peter Morse and Jeff Waful are too; TJ Gerckens is one of those artists, as is Martin Kuhn from Moodbox in Switzerland.

This post is about one of those kinds of artists – the kind of person who sees a different color at night than most.  This post is about Tupac Martir of Satore Studio — so, JimOnLight readers, meet Tupac Martir — in this instance talking about one of his works, Nierka:

Now meet Tupac and his Satore Studio:

Show reel from Satore Studio on Vimeo.

It’s a rare occurrence when you meet someone whose ideas are so revolutionary, so different from mainstream thinking that they produce mainstream thinking.  It’s something that we all strive for, but you either have that talent or you do not have that talent.  No matter how much you pay on Yale, sometimes you just don’t have it.  Tupac has this talent; it always frankly just blows my mind when we talk about the projects he’s doing and the work that his firm is plotting.  An example of this would be one of his recent works, Nierka.  Or, if you happened to be at Coachella Music Festival this season back in April 2011, you would have seen Tupac’s work as well (in collaboration with another outstanding design firm, United Visual Artists):

Tupac does all kinds of design work with his firm all over the world.  His touch extends to artists like Beyonce, Elton John, Sting, Jon Bon Jovi — and to the fashion world, bringing his intimate knowledge of lighting to create overwhelmingly beautiful runway events during Fashion Week for designers from Vivienne Westwood to Alexander McQueen and everything in between.  Designers like Tupac Martir (in a small pool of creative visionaries of our day like Neil Austin, Ann Davis, definitely Kevin Adams) are what I see as the next round of Appia and Craig in our society — in other words, these are the kinds of people to bring about the next big change to the way we think about certain things in our lives.  And, if not everyone will see and experience these changes, at least those of us who see their works, experience their art, and perhaps get lucky enough to collaborate on a project can have that realization that comes with seeing the work of a committed visionary.  You have to get it how and while you can get it, right?  I mean, “eh?”

I met Tupac because Nierka is using the BlackTrax technology from CAST.  We met at the ProLight + Sound Show in Frankfurt, and became fast friends.  It’s the whole “brother from another mother” thing that happens in the Universe, you know how it goes.  The man has creativity falling out of his beard; it’s hard to tie it down to one or two brilliant things.  I recently gave a seminar at PLASA 2012 with Tupac on using the wysiwyg suite to solve production problems, and I’ll share some of that seminar soon — but it was a pleasure to share the stage with an artist who is as proficient technically as they are artistically.  That’s right — Satore Studio is known for having f%$#ing amazing production paperwork.  I’M IN LOVE!  Stage Managers across the world unite — an artist CAN have excellent paperwork AND create great designs!

You have to see the video of Nierka below — it shows what Tupac is doing with tracking, and it’s pretty cool:

More Tupac and Satore Studio eye porn:

If you’re trying to find out who’s hottest and who’s doing the most innovative work, make sure that Tupac Martir and Satore Studio is on the top of your list.  I’ll be posting more about Tupac Martir and Satore Studio’s work as the days grow on.  Have an awesome Monday, everyone!

Update, Monday, September 17, 2012 @ 0746:
New photos from Satore Studio’s lighting of London Fashion Week — Williamson, Westwood, and House of Holland!  Beautiful!  See below.

 

OMICRON. High Speed Architainment.

I’m not really sure that I have words for the excellence that this contains.

O (Omicron) from Romain Tardy (AntiVJ) on Vimeo.

Romain Tardy and Thomas Vaquié are the creating artists on this one — from the AntiVJ Blog:

Last year, we were approached to create our first permanent installation for the new museum of architecture of Hala Stulecia, in Wroclaw, Poland. The piece – that we called O (Omicron), is actually the last part of the visit, and a way to create a link between the rich history of the building and the present times, by turning this massive concrete structure into a lively architecture.

When opened, Hala Stulecia was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world. With a diameter of 65m it was home to the largest dome built since the Pantheon in Rome eighteen centuries earlier.
The Centennial Hall was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.

It is reasonable to think that when Hala Stulecia was built in 1913 Max Berg’s ambition for his construction was to pass the test of time. What could have been his vision of the monument in the distant future? How did he imagine the olding of the materials? The evolution of the surrounding urbanism and populations?

The piece proposed for the Centennial Hall of Wroclaw is based around the notion of timelessness in architecture, and the idea of what future has meant throughout the 20th century.

Taking the 1910’s as a starting point (the dome was erected in 1913), historical and artistic references were used to reveal the architecture of the space, its timeless and, more surprisingly, very modern dimension.

This building is called the Hala Stulecia (Centennial Hall); it’s a Max Berg structure, built when the German Empire was still owner of the city of Wrocław.  Here’s the structure in a way that makes us lighting designers more comfortable, with truss and chain motors in it:

This building is amazing:

When opened, Hala Stulecia was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world. With a diameter of 65m it was home to the largest dome built since the Pantheon in Rome eighteen centuries earlier. The Centennial Hall was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. Taking the 1910’s as a starting point (the dome was erected in 1913), historical and artistic references were used to reveal the architecture of the space, its timeless and, more surprisingly, very modern dimension.

A deliberately minimalist visual aesthetic allowed to highlight the very architecture of Hala Stulecia’s dome and re-affirm its place at the core of the piece.

Check out the “Making Of” video, too — below:

O (Omicron) / Making of from Romain Tardy (AntiVJ) on Vimeo.

Thanks, We Waste Time!  You guys are one of my favorite blogs lately!

Where in the World is Lumen Sandiego?

STORY TIME! Try to guess where in the world Lumen Sandiego is, and learn about some RE-DONK-U-LOUS-LY cool lighting art at the same time!

Some years ago, I travelled to an “Art Island,” which hosts work by some very spectacular artists, including Claude Monet, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Tadao Ando, Yves Klein, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and most importantly for this post, James Turrell between its public art, museums, and hotel.

One museum is located underground, lit via sky lights and windows. I had just taken my first ever lighting design class, and was seeing lighting design everywhere in so much depth it was a little ridiculous (see definition for: obsession). There I saw my first piece by James Turrell, his “Afrum, Pale Blue” (1968). Seeing a piece of art made entirely of light and location impacted me, its simplicity as its strength.

The next piece of his I saw was “Open Field” (2000). There was a guide, who motioned for us to remove our shoes, and I filed in to a line with some other patrons. I felt ritual saturating the room, as we were asked to mount the stairs. We reached the top step, and stood facing the wall, and the flat expanse of uniform blue light directly in front of us. It was the flawless, the smoothest, most perfect panel of light I had seen.

Then my mind was blown.

The guide directed asked us to enter. I suppose he must have motioned, because I don’t believe I spoke the language quite good enough to have understood. I was baffled. I knew I was staring at what I could only assume is the most flawlessly backlit piece of frosted plexi ever. There was nothing to enter. If I stepped forward, I would hit the wall and have humiliated myself, and the polite people in line with me. However, we trusted the guide, and stepped in to the wall.

Wow.

It was not a wall, but a vast blue void.

Inside, to the camera, it looks like this:

But to human eyes, it looks like this:

I was in an entirely different plane, I was in flatland, I was up against a wall, I was in infinity…

Long story short, James Turrell’s work is CA-RAY-ZAY! We wandered the blue space, exploring its limits, exploring ours, before we finally walked down the steps and put our shoes back on.

 

***

 

This was my introduction to the Light and Space movement. This art movement originated in the 1960s in Southern California. It used light as an integral medium, and focused on creating “perceptual phenomena.”

Why does this matter to us as lighting designers, technicians, or light lovers? Well, let’s just ask trusty ol’ Wikipedia what the Light and Space movement involved, shall we?

Whether by directing the flow of natural light, embedding artificial light within objects or architecture, or by playing with light through the use of transparent, translucent or reflective materials, Light and Space artists made the spectator’s experience of light and other sensory phenomena under specific conditions the focus of their work.

BOOM. In that one sentence, light was referenced 5 times. That’s more than your average show review. So clearly, these artists have found a way to make one hell of an impact via light. I will speak more about Light and Space movement in the next “Where in the World is Lumen Sandiego?” and give more examples of how they expertly manipulate light, but let’s keep this first installation short… QUIZ TIME!

 

Where do you think I was? I kept it very easy as this is the first installation of “Where in the World is Lumen Sandiego,” so enjoy the feat of victory while you still can! Post a comment, or I’ll reveal next time. Have a tip for a spectacular location of light “Lumen Sandiego” should visit? Submit your tip to daphne (at) jimonlight.com or via the contact form.

 

Photographs from Mitsumasa Fujisuka

 

Luminous Field – A Projected Reality in Chicago

You might have been to Chicago, and you might have seen Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate.  But you’ve never seen Cloud Gate in Chicago like this before…

Luftwerk is the firm who designed and coordinated this work — a husband/wife team of Sean Gallero and Petra Bachmaier.  From Frame Mag’s website:

Luminous Field comprises of 10 video projectors mounted on four towers; the projectors are pointed onto and below Cloud Gate, a giant bean-shaped sculpture built by Anish Kapoor in 2006. 

A series of 5-minute-long video shows play on a loop, covering the sculpture and its surrounding territory (about 25-by-9m). Videos range from a funky disco dance floor to colourful geometric patterns.

‘We really perceive it as something that people can interact with,’ says Petra Bachmaier, who forms Luftwerk alongside husband Sean Gallero. ‘We really want people to go in and play with it. Like the whole concept of the video, we built it for people to move with the light.’

The result is a virtual ‘playground’ for people to follow and engage with light. Meanwhile, a special music soundtrack plays, as composed by Owen Clayton Condon of Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion.

From Luftwerk’s website:

Inspired and informed by Italian floor mosaics, the urban grid, pedestrian crosswalks and geometric tessellations.

“If anything could possibly top the interactive experience of Anish Kapoor’s monumental Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park – then this could be it. This stunning site-specific video and sound installation brought more than 65,000 Chicagoans and out-of-town visitors to the Park over a ten day period in the middle of the winter. Luminous Field by Luftwerk became a viral sensation and photos of the beautiful lights and geometrical forms that enveloped ‘the Bean’ were seen throughout the world.” – Dorothy Coyle, Executive Director – Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture

“Playground” projection field dimension 80′ by 30′ consisting of 384 tiles, underneath projection reflecting within the sculpture.

This piece of mastery of light closed February 20 — but if you saw it, please drop a comment below and give me the skinny!

Interactive Light at Miami-Dade Government Center

Ivan Toth Depeña has made some pretty incredible displays in his career thus far.  One beautiful and fun example would be the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places commission that Ivan did for the Miami0Dade Government Center.  Check this out:

From Ivan’s Vimeo page on the installation:

MIAMI, FL – Ivan Toth Depeña’s light-based installation “Reflect” was permanently installed in the Stephen Clark Government Center Lobby in Miami on November 18, 2011. Commissioned by the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places initiative, the work illuminates the dynamism of the lobby space and encourages a sense of discovery in the visitors.

This dynamic art work is designed by the artist with the idea of welcoming visitors and employees to Government Center in a fun and interactive way,” said Michael Spring, Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs. “It will energize the lobby and symbolize the County’s commitment to be informative and responsive to our citizens.”

As a main stop in Miami’s MetroRail system, the space serves as a hub for commuters; incorporating the notion of daily circulation into his piece, Depeña uses sensors and light to focus on the communal nature and circulatory qualities of the lobby. The project engages the building’s visitors and references the idea of community through various means of reflection, group interactivity and high-tech playfulness.

For more information please visit: ivandepena.com

Commissioned by: Miami-Dade Art in Public Places:

Additional Project Support:

Lighting Consultant and Programming Support: Focus Lighting

With generous support by: Color Kinetics

Music: Duster

Isn’t it amazing that this kind of art can be made in the same place that bands of neo-Nazis are patrolling the streets?  Blows the mind.

Lamps That You Shoot On and Off

My dad would love this.

HEY DAD!  CHECK THIS OUT!

Also, this:

This is from a company called bitplay, INC from Japan.  About the lamp:

BANG! is a desk lamp with a gun-shaped remote controller. User can fire the “gun” to turn the light off. The light goes out and the lampshade knocks to the side, showing that it’s been hit. To turn it back on, simply shot it again, and the lampshade will raise up slowly and turn the light back on at the same time.

So obviously you know now that it’s called BANG! – I’m guessing.

PHISH in Live Design

So, if you haven’t seen the piece that Marian Sandberg wrote in Live Design about Phish’s New Years’ Eve 2012 bash, you’re missing out, it’s a great piece.  If you’ve never been to a jam band New Years Eve show, you’re missing out, too.  Phish is kind of known for doing absolutely crazy stuff for the NYE show runs, as are other bands in the genre.  Typically across space and time it’s Auld Lang Syne and a huge bunch of balloons that fall from the ceiling at midnight, but depending on the band and the venue, it’s a pretty great experience.  I mean come on – hundreds of ten foot balloons falling from the ceiling of an arena with a bunch of people having a great time?  How could that NOT be fun?!

Check out Marian’s article, and check out this video of the midnight transition at Madison Square with Phish – pretty awesome!!!  There’s a part two coming up about the lighting design with Chris Kuroda, so stay tuned – and if you haven’t seen the Jam Cruise 10 lighting seminar with Chris Kuroda from Phish and Jeff Waful of Umphrey’s McGee, that’s something you should check out too!

I was at the NYE run in St. Louis at the Pageant with Jeff Waful and Umphrey’s McGee for the New Years run this year, and a very prominent music writer said, on the night of the December 31 show, “I just came from Madison Square last night from Phish, and this [Umphrey’s McGee] is the better show here in St. Louis.”  My face WAS IN FACT ROCKED over the four days I spent with Umphrey’s McGee.  Stay tuned for that footage, I have tons and tons.

Photo Credit – American Songwriter