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isadora

01 Mar

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Knitting RGB Disco at Whitworth – 5th March

March 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

6pm – 8pm, Thursday 5th March, Whitworth Art g/allery, Manchester

I will be showing a new machine knitting installation as part of Thursday lates. Come along and help me programme lights and sound using the punchcard mechanism.

more info here

web_knitRGB-studio-224 web_knitRGB-studio-223 web_knitRGB-studio-226

14 Nov

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Video Culture 1.1 @ Staro Riga Festival of Light 14 – 18 Nov

November 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

vid culture install testVideo Culture 1.1 installation at Staro Riga Festival of Light. A projection-mapped video installation developed using generative feedback systems, lasers and isadora and masks modelled on the Art Academy Lativa.

This is the first proper manifestation of an idea that’s been rattling around me head for 4/5 years, and that I began to prototype recently at Digital Media Labs in Barrow.

Video Culture 1.1 presents recordings of several experiments using live systems to ‘grow’ video feedback. Using a combination of lasers and colour tracking systems, the artist has cultivated 3 independent but competing strands of analogue video feedback, allowing them to evolve before our eyes. These feedback experiments have been modelled on the geometry of the facade of the Art Academy of Latvia, with the final recordings projected back on to the building itself.

08 Apr

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Through His Teeth – rehearsal images

April 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

The second of the show I’m currently working as video designer for is Through His Teeth at the Royal Opera House in London. Again the story is loosely based on Faust – read about  ‘The Crackle’ here, and both shows use designer Becs Andrews’s amazing forced perspective set.

Through His Teeth is directed by Bijan Shebani and tells the story of a woman who falls in love with a conman, and is drawn into his fantasy world of secret service operatives and high living. As a cost she loses her money, her family and her mind, becoming increasingly paranoid that their every move is being watched by secret agents. Remarkably it is based on a true story.

For the show I have decided to use live cctv cameras rigged around the set, to create a constant feeling of being watched. I switch between the 8 separate feeds, whilst also mixing in some pre-prepared location footage (shot as if on cctv) and replaying moments captured onstage from previous scenes. This is done using a number of tools, including cctv camera sna cabling, a video multiplexer and a switcher, two digitisers and Isadora, The result is a very raw video collage of real live action, replayed memory and locative ‘other’ spaces that provide a really interesting background texture to the performers and the story.

read a review here

below are some images from the rehearsal process.

see the full set on Flickr

web_THT_02-32 web_THT_02-06 web_THT_02-60 web_THT_02-167 web_THT_01-94 web_THT_02-152 web_THT_02-141 web_THT_02-80

08 Apr

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The Crackle – rehearsal images

April 8, 2014 | By | No Comments


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web_crackle_02-08

I’m currently video designer on two shows at the Royal Opera House in London, both loosely based on Faust. One of those shows is ‘The Crackle‘, by Matthew Herbert, an artist renowned for his work with live and recorded sound, and exploratory technology in a performance setting. It’s a very brave piece, expanding the context of opera to include live foley artists, reactive video projection, spatial sound mixing, unrestrained audience participation via a sonic barcoding app (Chrip), and a huge mechanical instrument called ‘The Dervish’ by MIT genius Andy Cavatorta.  Oh, and 47 children. It’s no small feat. It’s all contained within an amazing forced perspective set by designer Becs Andrews.

The show twists the Faustian story to present a cautionary tale about the possibilities and traps of working with digital media. I’ve been basing my designs around an 8-bit inspired aesthetic – running bespoke animation modules and prepared video through simple effects to give the images a very glitchy playful bitmap feel to them. It’s actually not a million miles away from my knitting work. As always I’m using Isadora, allowing me to utilise live cameras to generate imagery from movement onstage, and also to create some interesting  and dynamic compositing and displacement effects. I’ve also managed to sneak a few punchcard designs in there.

below are some images from the rehearsal process.

see the full set on Flickr

27 Oct

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Virgin40 exhibition projections

October 27, 2013 | By | One Comment


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Recently I’ve been working with my good friend and fellow Film Soup-er Chris Paul Daniels on some new projection works for the Virgin Record 40 exhibition, using media from the Virgin archives. Chris developed a 45 minute film presented as a large triptych, juxtaposing different eras and styles from across the archives, along with a cut-up soundtrack by Kelvin Brown. I created three dynamic mapping installations within the tiled alcoves nearby, and a separate piece using lyrics from 10 diverse songs to form a generative cut-up poem. As usual, bth of my works were created in Isadora. The tile mapping piece being a development of the Interlace installation from last October, but extremely scaled up.

final note – always, always use a remote login service like logmein incase something needs tweaking post-install, which it invariably will.

A brief outline on my contributions below:

 

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Imitate /  interchange / interlace – 2013
database video mapping installation by Sam Meech
Video using Archive footage courtesy of Virgin Records and the British Broadcasting Corporation

Again, these pieces use a structure and a set of content and then allow chance to create the final evolving composition.  I really liked the tiled alcoves in the space and wanted to create a projection that felt like it was made for the space, so the 3 pieces are all carefully mapped to the tiles. The images change as individual tiles are masked, sometimes obscuring the videos, so you sometimes have to work to decipher what it is you’re looking at, but there are some nice clips in there, from live performances to some extremely expressive and colourful experimental music videos. The installations were created using an interactive video tool called Isadora which allows you to treat the media as a database rather than a timeline. It creates a dynamic visual collage – its great to see what it throws up.

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Don’t dictate, Dictate to me – 2013
I was interested in foregrounding lyrics and playing with the form of the song – text is something that might not come across so directly in a visual-heavy show, but contains much of the attitude behind the artists and the catalogue. This piece simply selects lines at random from 10 diverse songs / artists (from Janet Jackson and Phil Collins to Peter Tosh and Penetration), to create an evolving 8 line verse. Beyond the songs and the 8 line structure there is no authorship from me, with chance dictating the outcome, leaving room for repetition, nonsense and the occasional powerful (or surreal) image. The favourite couplet that I’ve seen is “Lots of naked germans / Temptation” (mixing Faust / Heaven 17).

 

The list of lyrics within the database:

 

Penetration – Dont Dictate
OMD – Enola Gay
Faust – Giggy Smile
Phil Collins  – In  the air tonight
Emily Sande – Read all about it
Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer
Heaven 17 – Temptation
Janet Jackson – That’s The Way Love Goes
Bastille – The things we left in the fire
Peter Tosh – Legalize It

12 May

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Skype Advice Portal

May 12, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

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Skype Advice Portal is an interactive video installation, created for the ‘Can You Hear Me? I Can See You!’exhibition at FACT Liverpool.

=== SKYPE ADVICE PORTAL HAS NOW CLOSED ===

If you could send a message of advice to someone in the future or the past, what would you say?  To whom and to when would you send it? Send your 20 seconds of wisdom through space-time using Skype Advice Portal. All you need is a device with a webcam, mic, and of course, Skype. Here is a step by step guide:

  1. Sign into your own Skype account and make a video call to Advice Portal (username: adviceportal). ACCEPT incoming video.
  2. You will be greeted by a portal resident, and asked to leave your message
  3. make sure your head is in the oval frame
  4. Leave your message after the beep – you only have 20 seconds – so choose your words wisely
  5. watch your message back, then hang up

 

All messages sent through the Skype Advice Portal are collated and automatically (and randomly) re-presented within the FACT Connects exhibition space as a sci-fi inspired video installation.

Portal guardians reserve the right to remove or edit offensive or inappropriate messages, so please, respect this amazing space-time technology and use your words for good!

07 May

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Can You Hear Me? I Can See You!

May 7, 2013 | By | No Comments

17th May is the public launch of a new exhibition by Re-Dock, showcasing the Advice Portal project. “Can You See Me? I Can Hear You!” shares our working methodology through video documentation and digital works created with the sheltered housing residents, alongside three new commissions created in response to the project, and developed in consultation with the residents themselves. I’ve been developing a Skype Advice Portal installation for the show, and it’s fair to say I’m pretty excited about it all!

My dad even got roped into the project, and features at the beginning of the trailer below in a homage to the new Man of Steel ‘General Zod’ viral.

The exhibition runs until 2nd June 2013.

07 May

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Wondrous Place

May 7, 2013 | By | No Comments

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I’m currently designing projections for A Wondrous Place – a new touring theatre show by director Chris Meads (Northern Spirit). The show features four new pieces, each set in a different city in the North (Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield), and the creative team are also assembled from across the four cities. The stories all avoid the ‘grim up north’ cliches, instead portraying characters who creatively and imaginatively engage with their surroundings, which means there is some nice potential for clever uses of projection.

It’s already been an interesting process, working closely with set designer Lois Maskell to establish areas and surfaces for projection, and discussing with Chris about when, of and how it should be used. As well as developing my own video content, I’ve also been receiving short pieces from animator Kate Jessop, which lends another aesthetic to the projections. Beyond that my role becomes very technical, using Isadora to map images and cue transitions. I always enjoy working on the new challenges that a theatre show brings up, and this one is no different. As well as creating new custom user actors in Isadora, I’ve also been getting to grips with projecting across two screens using the Matrox tripleHead2Go.

The show opens on Wed 15th May at the Unity theatre, before touring the other 3 cities.

Liverpool Unity Theatre
15th-18th May
Box office

Sheffield Crucible Studio Theatre
23rd May – 1st June
Box office

Newcastle Northern Stage 2
4th-6th June
Box office

Manchester Royal Exchange Studio
11th-22nd June
Box office

 

 

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31 Jan

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Gillfoot No. 2 – test recording

January 31, 2013 | By | No Comments

Recording of test patch for Gillfoot No. 2 – a database video installation drawing upon 2 accounts of a recent mine collapse in Egremont, Cumbria. Each interview is split into 100+ clips which are called randomly and played back with realtime fx rendering using isadora. The final piece will be shown as part of a group exhibition in Florence Mine, Egremont.