Inspiring Videos 2015


Hi All,

Not blogged as much as usual. Work has been busy and so has my personal life. Been enjoying the great outdoors a litlte more; hiking, riding, camping, etc and preparing to be a dad early next year. I have still collected a few videos over the last few months that I knew I wanted to share. So here they are in no particular order:


XYZ tracking, before the kinect.

Shameless I know but this is one of my early experiments I had forgotten about. I remember wanting to track something in a 3D space; I could do the X and Y in Isadora and basically used scale to control the Z. The bigger something is t the camera the closer it is right? And vice-versa. Watching this made me think that often the basics are the best.


Interactive timeline/projection mapping for Education.

I love this. Simple playful and fun.


Listening to colour – Neil Harbisson.

I love this type of stuff. I am secret futurist at heart. I’d love to become a cyborg actually. This guy, in my eyes, is almost a cyborg because of his experiments. If you want to freak yourself out, check this out. If that’s not crazy enough then google Stelarc and Kevin Warwick


Watch all the videos at the end of this link. Amazing VFX! 

http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/news/interactive-design/game-of-thrones-season-5-vfx-breakdowns-emmy-winner/


David Gumbs – artist.

I have known of, but never me, David for a long time now. A polite, talented and friendly guy who is doing some incredible things with Isadora, motion tracking and more. He has inspire me recently in the video below. Working with children and interactive paintings. What is more rewarding than that? You should defiantly check out his work here:

https://www.facebook.com/DavidGumbsArtist

http://davidgumbs.tumblr.com/

https://vimeo.com/davidgumbs

I re-edited some of the dead links (sorry about that!) David also sent me to some more links on vimeo, etc.(see above).


Joe Hunt – projection using isadora for a piece called:’The Only Jealousy of Emer’

Great work here Joe. The video speaks for itself. Give it a watch.


Old and New. 

One of my favourite songs is Energy 52 – Cafe Del Mar. It’s an ibiza dance/trance classic. You will probably have heard it. I have always known that many classic trance/dance (and more) music takes chords, progressions and melodies from older classic music and the like. But this one really struck a chord when I hard the ‘original’ by Wim Mertnes. I just wanted to share this with you. Listen to the original and then the ‘remix’


One for the DJ’s! STEMS.

“This morning Native Instruments is launching the Traktor 2.9 update, which is the first software on the market to use their new Stems audio file format.”

I am very excited about this!

http://djtechtools.com/2015/08/03/traktor-2-9-stem-decks-launch-details-videos/


Modulations. A full feature film about the evolution of Electronica music as one of the most profound artistic developments of the 20th century!


That’s it for now. Comments welcome below.

Enjoy.

[A]ura Video


A nice 3 minute video from Aura here, it’s a bit late – i’ve been rather busy!

[A]ura – WYSIWYG
What You See Is What You Get

A performance-gallery with open-source-choreography
One day the internet will be as sacred as a giant ancient cathedral. And everybody will sacrifice their details to pay tribute to the digital gods.
In the interactive performance (A)ura, the user is transformed from spectator, to creator: during the weeks before the premiere they can find a unique feature at ChoreoMixer, with which they can design and remix the choreography and contents of (A)ura, by using the browser.
Walter Benjamin says that in modern art the aura of the work of art withers because of mechanical reproduction, and inaccessibility, due to too close a proximity to the observer.
At the same time, a completely different aura of amazement will be created by new technologies. Every user can be a choreographer, an innovative remixer and in that way create his own virtual memorial which perhaps will follow its own unexpected ways. Closeness and distance will join crosswise in a new way.
But what about the situation when the digital medium refuses to cooperate with the user?
What you see is what you get.
choreography/dance: Elke Pichler
music/video: Alexander Nantschev
stagedesign/costumes: Monika Biegler
programming: Stefan Lechner
interactive technical support: Graham Thorne
legal consulting: Clemens Lahner
pr: Stefan Eigenthaler
camera: Philipp Aichinger
Kindly supported by:
MA7, Kosmostheater and Ars Electronica Center”

Some of my work [video]


A good friend Dan Shorten from Anomic (Multi-Media Theatre) hired me for various projects in 2012 and January 2013. You can see a trail of these events in my past posts.

Basically I worked in all of the development stages and then worked in the background as a sort of’ technical supervision’ role for all three of the projects in the video. If Isadora had any hick-ups I could jump in and solve and problems; especially in Helsinki were the conditions were so extreme.

This professional video from Polymath films did a fantastic job as they followed Dan and the various projects from start to finish.  I was lucky enough to be interviewed at the Heslinki Event at LUX too; you can find my section from 7:10 (but watch it all its well worth it!)

Some Inspiring Videos


Some recent videos from my bookmarks, some are old some are new. Some are Isadora based, some are not…. just enjoy!

 

M BOX – M WALL

 

BEYOND THE BODY 

 

ETHNO TEKH

 

Projection Mapping thoughts. Telenoika Mapping Workshop

 

Partituira – Ligeti – {Excerpts}

Beyond the Body [full video]


Isadora user dbini (John Collingswood) has recently being touring with his team with a piece called Beyond the Body.

From: http://writingaboutdance.files.wordpress.com

Beyond the Body

The piece consists of 5 dancers, 2 musicians and Isadora (software from TroikaTronix)

John was happy to inform the Isadora community that ‘Isadora behaved impeccably and the audience loved it.’

Full Video here (well worth a watch!):

Website here: http://goingbeyondthebody.wordpress.com/

Configuring an Apple Mac for commercial/instillation use. [UPDATED]


So for the last 12 weeks I have been working as a Digital Creator at York Museums Trust. This has meant I have had to totally rethink the way in which I use and implement technology. I have not found any forums, Facebook pages or anything for us creative bunch of ‘Digital Creators’ and I feel a little bit on my own in this delicate but creative role. So I decided to use my blog and maybe people will find me along the way!

Forethought 

In some areas of the museum and art gallery spaces there are already a lot of DVD players, TV monitors, projectors, etc that need turning on each morning and off again at night. The tour guides and volunteers already have enough to do of a morning so one important aspect to consider was the starting up and shutting down of the systems. Might sound quite simple… but not necessarily. How do you make sure that a computer is going to behave? Let’s discuss….

Hardware

We use Mac Mini (mostly) for the systems as they are small, quiet, cheap(ish) and have good overall performance. There are enough USB ports and most screens and projectors have HDMI/DVI-D now so its a good choice.

Configuring the OS (tame the lion!)
The first things I did when the machines came where:

  1. Auto-Sign in. So that when a machine stats up there is no password. All of our machines are locked in secure spaces and are trackable anyway.
  2. Disable all energy-saving features. We do not want the HD to go to sleep.
  3. Turn off screen savers. (it might be ok to allow the screen saver now and again – up to you)
  4. Change the wallpaper to something appropriate. Remove icons from off desktop so that if the system does crash then it doesn’t look a mess.
  5. Disable all notifications (note: for Mountain Lion (10.8). This will show you how…[LINK] Even if you disable notifications manually in System Preferences the Apple Software update still show up. It can really get annoying.
  6. Turn on restart if power cut. This is really handy for the rare occasion that a power cut may occur! Obviously.
  7. Turn off all your software automatic updates. Go through all the menus in preferences to make sure!
  8. install VNC or another similar screen sharing software. It’s handy, trust me.

Other things to consider

If like me you are running the machine to power  kiosk style interaction then you need to make sure that the software if going to keep running and running. Obviously testing is the best way to do this. Self testing is ok but you know the system and unconsciously are ‘nice’ to it. Ask a few people from various departments, ages, etc to try it out. Make sure everyone can work the system. See if any other problems occur.

But I decided to create something to make sure the software stayed live and even if the software did crash it would re-open within seconds, it’s all automated and can select precise files to open. I did this using automator (with the help of Mark Conilgio) and posted a link on the Isadora forum (this is the software I use for interactive AV design) The discussion can be found [HERE] You need a little bit of knowledge but if I can figure it out you sure can!

Auto Start/Auto Shut Down
Some of you will know what Apple Macs have a function that ‘Schedule’ the machine to turn off and on each day…
You will find this in Energy Saving in System Preferences

This can solve a big problem already… but what if you need something more advanced? Well I found a brilliant website called If This Then That, also known as IFTTT (I prefer the abbreviation!) And as you can see in this link for the Date & Time channel it can do quite a lot of stuff, and its web-based… BUT it works even better with a WiFi enabled plug! The Belkin Wemo Switch. The two companies have joined forces and API’s to allow each to talk to each other. So you can set the plug to turn on at 8:30 every morning and thus the machine will turn on. This saves energy and also works like a normal plug. [I must warn you at this point that we have had issues with the plug and our WiFi, it works best with ‘normal’ home WiFi and not advanced ultra secure networks like ours at the trust!]

There are other softwares and techniques but for now… the above should help some of you. Next…

How to check it all systems are online?
I can’t walk around all the various sites each morning to check to see if all the machines have turned on and are running. Of course I can ring and ask each site but not very efficient. So I decided to automate something that would let me know. The keyword here is automate and the little app called Automator on Mac is a godsend. I created an app that you can add to your log in items (more detail here) so that as each machine starts up it can either; run a quick and basic terminal command and save it to a drop box folder. So each morning I have a Dropbox folder which I can glance over and see that I have a new system report for each machine (including other system details such as RAM, wi-fi, etc) and if I do not have a report for machine…. then I can investigate! You can change this to take screenshots or anything you fancy really. Oh; and type “last” into terminal for a basic idea of the info I get.

Using my good friend IFTTT (look above if you don’t know what that stands for!) Dropbox is also useable; so a file added to Dropbox can A)email me B)tweet me c)SMS text me D)anything else I can think of that is IFTTT activated! It’s really neat.

So, By 9:00 every morning I already know that my machines are turned on and running. If not I get straight off the train and go and investigate. Most of the time the Internet is down and it just hasn’t synced the file in Dropbox.

I know people will say just use VNC and log into each machine but I really don’t have the time and this was it automatic and I can do it on the train via my iPhone or iPad. I set up a bog standard but hidden twitter account and it tweets my personal twitter account once each file from each machine has loaded before I even get to work. Depending on my 3G signal I receive all the tweets at the same time within a 10 minute period; again its simple and effective.

Final thoughts

Once the system is working then hold off for as looooooooooooooong as you can before updating. If it ain’t broke dont fix it! Even a simple update might change a file or directory that handles video, images, audio, etc. it might take you hours or even weeks to figure it out and that means a lot of down time for the system.

Keep a back up and save it in two or three places. The software files and media need to be backed up. it’s boring but do it! If files are small then email them to yourself or buy a cheap USB hard drive and drop them on there. Put it in a draw and forget about it – hopefully you wont need it.

I would really like to get some dialogue going between other AV creators in this sector. Please drop me a message!

UPDATE JUNE 2015

I have decided to re-visit this post. Two years on and the apple mac’s are still going strong. I had a few teething problems but all went well. My first issue was internet – the Wifi was not strong enough to cope so I do not use IFTTT now. I just have to live and hope! But; I will leave it in my blog as it’s handy for others.

I also use a lot of apple scripts now. I found that they are handy for automating tasks. I then export all scripts and automator workflows as apps and put them in login/start up. Here is a basic one I use to quit all apps and then just open my Isadora patch.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 14.51.17

Once you get into Automator it’s really handy! it can run terminal commands and all sorts.

I also have a few handy links for you:

http://vormplus.be/blog/article/configuring-mac-os-x-for-interactive-installations (a blog similar to this one!)

http://www.interpretationshop.co.uk/product-category/software/ (really cool software and hardware)

https://www.peterborgapps.com/lingon/ (some advanced start up scripts and stuff to make apps re-open on crashes, etc Ive not used it but may do one day for the small fee)

I hope this helps. Comments welcome!

Thanks,

Graham