Breaking the Surface – Kinetic Architectural Awesomesauce

ctrl+NScandinavian Design Group, Kontur, Abida, and Intek, and Lundin Norway all got together and made this amazing kinetic, interactive being called Breaking the Surface, or otherwise known as the booth design for Lundin Norway’s ONS 2014 conference presence.  Lundin Norway does oil and gas exploration, so of course they would have the tons of bread that goes into making something this amazing!  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we ALL had this kind of design budget?  Holy crap!



Project Leader:
Scandinavian Design Group

Interior Architect:


Robotic and Programming Engineer:


Installation and Fabrication Engineer:



Lundin Norway

Breaking the Surface – Lundin visit at Raufoss from SDG Oslo on Vimeo.

Breaking the Surface – filmed by Bjorn Gunnar Staal from Ctrl+N on Vimeo.

P&O Cruises Ship, The Pacific Pearl, is Twice as Amazing with Projections!

Vivid Sydney 2013 just wrapped up in Sydney, Australia – I mean like on the tenth of June wrapped up.  Vivid Sydney 2013 is a celebration of light around the Sydney Operahouse, and really all around the city!

This year, P&O Cruises took their beauty of a sea vessel, the Pacific Pearl, out for a spin with one small exception — projections all over the boat.  You have GOT to see this!

First, some video:

P&O Cruises – Vivid Sydney 2013 from Romina on Vimeo.


Then, from Alice at MyModernMet, who was apparently in attendance for this amazing visual occasion and makes me very jealous, posted some awesome shots from photog Craig Jewell.  Peep these photos:







Here’s the Pacific Pearl without any lumen interference:

Flickr user FlashFlyGuy —

Awesome.  Stay tuned for more from Vivid Sydney 2013! 


Aron Altmark Painted the Town Red, and It Was Good


On April 20, Aron Altmark Painted the Town of Birmingham, Alabama Red.  It was good.

From the videos I got from Aron, it was really good.  Since the first post about Aron’s IndieGogo funding campaign, I’ve been excited to post about what he did, and that it benefitted the American Red Cross, which is also excellent.  Light for Enjoyment AND helping people in the process is what I am all about lately.  Sometimes you just have to use photons for happiness.

I emailed Aron and asked him about this adventure, links and bolding are mine:

All of this was for Paint the Town Red, an annual digital arts festival that turns downtown Birmingham into a giant media canvas for digital artists. We had a projection-mapped dome with a silent rave in it, many small installations featuring local light artists, a projection-mapped Mini Cooper, fire dancers, trapeze artists, and of course my two large installations. I was the featured artist this year and flew in from LA to do the show.

My main work was a Kinect hack utilizing a video camera, depth sensor, and custom applications — this setup allowed any of the festival attendees to walk into a “stage” area and interact with their digital proxy, projected thirty feet high via a 10K HD projector. It was a bit of an interactive painting game (with a healthy does of DanceDanceRevolution), with realtime input of up to six users. In addition to this, about every half hour my good friend and amazingly talented dancer Erica Thornton put on a performance for the crowd. For the performances, I ran a different custom application that tracked Erica’s left and right hands and created particle systems based on speed and motion, with audio-reactive elements built in as well. Both applications were controlled by a custom UI on an iPad.

Of course, we also had a giant laser graffiti setup going — this one five stories high and about 100 feet wide using a 15K projector + 50mW laser pointer. The citizens of Birmingham came out and made their mark on the city, with messages ranging from the ever-present “Roll Tide” to “I Believe in Birmingham”. The entire event was put on to raise money for the Birmingham-Jefferson Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Aron, you’re awesome.  Let’s check out some videos!

The Multi-user Kinect station:

Paint The Town Red – Kinect Station Multi-User from aronaltmark on Vimeo.

The Single-user Kinect Station, with a dancer:

Paint The Town Red – Kinect Station from aronaltmark on Vimeo.

The Single-user Kinect station, again:

Paint The Town Red – Kinect Station from aronaltmark on Vimeo.

The 3 photos here and all of the videography in this post comes from AK Photo (, who is Asher Krell from Birmingham, Alabama.  Great work, AK!



Thanks to Aron for letting me know about the work!

El Molino Burlesque’s Beautiful Video Facade — Barcelona, Spain

I was in Barcelona back in November of 2012; I posted some photos of that very busy trip, but I didn’t really have time to go out and do some sightseeing because of the show schedule.

There is one thing I did get though, I filmed it on the last night I was there.  We were staying at a hotel called Hotel Barcelona Universal, and from my room, I had a great view across the Paral Lel, the street out in front.  Across the street was this beautiful building facade, all made of video, that had a big windmill attached to the front of it.  The name?  El Molino, or “the Mill.”   Check it out:


Not really much to look at from the outside, right?  I mean, it’s fun and all, and obviously there is something happening of fun inside of the building.  However, El Molino has an enormous video wall outside that is pretty beautiful, and there is some very fun content that is displayed on the video wall.  It’s huge in comparison of the other parts of the facade!


This building underwent a major renovation after a 1997 closing of the theatre, which from what I found was the first time it was ever actually closed.  The venue has a pretty interesting history; from the El Molino website, translated from Catalan:

The story of the Mill began in 1898, when the owner of the task The Aviary, a modest cabin located in Vila Vila Rosal corner, sold his business to 100 pesetas. The new owner will change its name to The Aviary Catalan and mount a small empostissat. After three years with a musical program stable, the local had already found its place in the world of entertainment Parallel.

After a brief flirtation with the movies under the name Grand Salon Siglo XX, in 1908 there was another change of owner and renamed Petit Moulin Rouge, in imitation of the famous Moulin Rouge in the Montmartre district of Paris.The new business is designed to bring the nightly entertainment cabarets of Paris “in Spanish”. It is the time of the Music Hall, which appropriates the same time, he sees as his fame avenue that the highest number of shows in Europe grows.


So the entire point of this post was to show the video I recorded of the video content of the video wall outside of El Molino.  Check it out, this is some fun architainment!

LEDs, Lady Gaga Smell-Well, and Projections at Nuit Blanche 2012

Did you go to Nuit Blanche 2012 in Toronto in October?  Laura and I did, and we took some photos that I’m just now able to get to after the trade show season.  I spoke with lots of people on the street at Nuit Blanche this year, and everyone seemed to have a great time — the only thing that was a bit hard to manage was the influx of people that were present downtown for this event.  There were some awesome exhibits and light installations — but anything interactive was pretty much mobbed with people and hard to really get a sense of the artists’ messages.  Regardless, it was a lot of fun!  Check out some photos below, and experience my entire trip with the photo gallery at the bottom!

There were some fun words at the top of this post that describe how f*cked up some of the Nuit Blanche-goers got, it’s worth a quick peek.  It’s totally true — lack of organization, and a real lack of general community.  Read the post.

As we walked by the Hudson’s Bay Company in Toronto we noticed this freaky storefront window scene that we had to stop and check out — and it was Lady Gaga’s perfume on display.  That’s some pretty crazy perfume marketing, huh!  I definitely liked the design enough to take photos…

Lady Gaga's Smellwell


Apparently this perfume makes you smell like a psycho mad scientist:

Lady Gaga Does Window Displays

Oh, officially of course Lady Gaga had nothing to do with Nuit Blanche, but her display was part of MY Nuit Blanche, so that’s why it’s here!

Something that we saw but didn’t really get a chance to experience was Beam of Underground Sun by Arezoo Talebzadeh and Kaveh Ashourinia — ostensibly, they had taken some very bright LED sources and put them down under the street at several meters down.  Arezoo and Kaveh also added some powerful fans and some silk cloth under the street to give the effect of waves of light being cast up through the grate they chose in the street.  Check this one out, it is beautiful, especially with the photos of no people around it:


This, however, is what the real Nuit Blanche Beam of Underground Sun experience was, which was different than intended I assume but had its own jua de vive, if you will:

It was still beautiful, just mobbed with people standing directly in the way of the beam and the overall everything of the piece.




You can kind of see down into the shaft with the fan, the fabric, and the LED units:


It was pretty cool to be standing in an intersection of Bloor Street with no one trying to honk at me or run me down!



Probably one of the coolest things I saw this year at Nuit Blanche was the installation called Planes by Tricia Brown Dance Company — and it was awesome!




…and behind the walls you can see a little behind-the-scenes action!  I almost didn’t want to see this — the movement of the dancers and the projections themselves were so riveting that seeing the how-to took away from it for me.  Ah, the life of making mystery for the audience!


Check out the Gallery View below of the Nuit Blanche event in Toronto — and check out the official Scotiabank page on Nuit Blanche so you can see the intended (and actual) views of the art from this year’s show!

Late Night Excellent: Rain Room at The Barbican, 2012

This is absolutely great.  Before I say sh*t, watch this:

Rain Room at the Barbican, 2012 from rAndom International on Vimeo.

OK, no, wait, watch another video, it’s late anyway:

GAH!  This is too awesome!

First and foremost, THIS IS STILL GOING ON at the Barbican Gallery, and WILL BE until MARCH 3, 2013.  SO, this means you need to get out there and see it!  If you live in the London metro or are going to be there between now and March 3, 2013, you need to check this out.  Go to the Barbican Gallery visitor’s page and get some info on the what, when, where, how, by clicking here!

Rain Room was created by rAndom International –

From the Barbican Gallery’s page on rAndom International‘s Rain Room exhibit:

Random International invites you to experience what it’s like to control the rain. Visitors can choose to simply watch the spectacle or find their way carefully through the rain, putting their trust in the work to the test.

More than the technical virtuosity necessary for its success, the piece relies on a sculptural rigour, with the entire Curve transformed by the monumental proportions of this carefully choreographed downpour and the sound of water.

Random International are known for their distinctive approach to digital-based contemporary art. Their experimental artworks come alive through audience interaction and staged performance.

Random International are represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London and Paris.

In order for visitors to enjoy the sensory experience of Rain Room, there is a limited capacity of 5 people at a time in the rain.

Please be aware that due to the popularity of Rain Room, the queue time currently stands at around two hours, at peak times including evenings and weekends up to three hours.

We advise visitors to arrive as early in the day as possible, a minimum of two hours before closing time. Entry to the queue is subject to the number of visitors already waiting. Anyone arriving later may not be allowed to join the queue as we are unable to admit visitors after the gallery closes. Thank you for your patience.

Sun 18 Nov, 2 Dec, 20 Jan, 24 Feb
12-5pm, The Curve
Wayne McGregor Random Dance, with a score by Max Richter

Experience a unique fusion of art and movement on four Sundays during the exhibition as dancers respond to Rain Room.

Admission is free and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis from the queue. Please arrive early to allow for long queues due to a very limited capacity inside the Curve.

I also think this text from rAndom International’s website on Rain Room is pretty awesome too — but please check out the rAndom International website, it is absolutely a eye-stroking experience!

Water, injection moulded tiles, solenoid valves, pressure regulators, custom software, 3D tracking cameras, wooden frames, steel beams, hydraulic management system, grated floor 

Rain Room has been made possible through the generous support of the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art.

Video by Gramafilm, music by Max Richter

Rain Room is a hundred square metre field of falling water through which it is possible to walk, trusting that a path can be navigated, without being drenched in the process.

As you progress through The Curve, the sound of water and a suggestion of moisture fill the air, before you are confronted by this carefully choreographed downpour that responds to your movements and presence.


All of these images are directly from the rAndom International website, and I thank them for it!

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!

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!

A 4D Theme Park?! Oh Yes.

It’s too bad we can’t buy tickets to one of THESE kind of parks at the gas station like you can places like King’s Island and Six Flags Over, uh, Wherever:


This place is called Live Park, and it was on some kind of a “world tour” for three months in South Korea recently:

Live Park was created by a firm called d’Strict — who has some pretty huge projects under their belt, check them out!