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Aron Altmark Painted the Town Red, and It Was Good

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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 (www.facebook.com/asherkrellphoto/), who is Asher Krell from Birmingham, Alabama.  Great work, AK!

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Thanks to Aron for letting me know about the work!

Help Aron Altmark Make Laser Graffiti for The American Red Cross

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There’s this guy I know named Aron Altmark. You guys all know him too, I’ve featured him on JOL before. He’s a lighting designer, programmer, light artist, and cool dude.

Aron is doing a large Laser Graffiti installation to benefit the American Red Cross on April 20, 2013 in Birmingham, Alabama, and he needs our financial support. The event, called Paint The Town Red 2013, will feature digital art of all kinds — if Light Graffiti will be there, it will be awesome. I will be donating too — and furthermore, I trust in Aron, and I guarantee that Aron will be fiscally responsible with any of the funds that you donate. I have nothing to do with this event whatsoever, but I know Aron is a stand-up guy, and I trust him to be as such. Aron only needs to raise $1000, let’s help him knock it out of the park!

Click HERE to help Aron Altmark take Laser Graffiti to Birmingham for Paint the Town Red 2013!

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Aron Altmark Rocks TheDailyCity.com’s Mobile Art Show

You see, Aron Altmark is a young guy I know – a lighting designer, student, and artist.  Aron is doing something right now that a pretty small handful of really talented young people are doing.  Aron is turning light, art, and his big geek brain into something that he can feel good about – and he’s involving the public in his exploits so that the world can see how great it is to be a geek.

It’s a shame – there are fewer true “geeks” in the world right now, and today’s college-age people as a majority are becoming less geekified.  What’s with that, people?

Aron just turned TheDailyCity.com’s “Mobile Art Show” into an interactive piece of art.  The Mobile Art Show is a pretty cool thing that The Daily City is doing around Orlando.  Think of it as a portable studio so that artists can sell their work – a U-Haul bobtail truck, parked in different places in the city.  Aron thought totally differently than the norm on this – instead of thinking inside the box[truck], Aron decided to literally go outside the box – turning the truck’s exterior into a projection surface for his real-time “Laser Graffiti.”  Aron’s work is an interactive light projection that tracks the movement of a laser on a surface.  That’s right.  What did you do today?

Aron’s work is forging himself a place in the future – this is what happens when you apply yourself.  Aron, we’re expecting pretty big stuff outta you, kid!  Great work.  I wanna see you conquer OpenFrameworks and Processing.

Check out the rest of Aron’s work on his Picasa account.  Thanks, Aron!