Here is the full 15 minute piece of ‘This Particular Universe’ by Bas Bouma, with interactive visuals by FRONT404! Enjoy!
Last weekend was the opening of Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam. At the opening a new version of our installation ‘Citytrip’ was shown to the public. Citytrip will be exposed there until the end of this year, take a trip if you are in the neighbourhood! Video coming soon!
Put on your Oculus Rift VR-goggles and jump on the bike, it’s time to go on a Citytrip!
With Citytrip you can explore a fantastical, alien city by riding a bike. By pedaling and steering you navigate through the virtual reality as if you are really there. Fly through the air by pedaling like a mad-man and hitting the ramps, or use the bicycle bell to jump from building to building. Explore the city on the ground or navigate the twisting aerial pathways and cycle along the top floors of skyscrapers. Set your own goals, create your own challenges and have fun!
The idea for this project came to us when we were trying the already existing demos and games with the Oculus Rift. While the virtual reality of the Oculus Rift is very immersive, moving around using mouse and keyboard doesn’t feel natural, and breaks that immersion quickly. We wanted to create a project with an interface simulating a more realistic motion control, further reducing the barrier between user and the virtual environment. After brainstorming for a bit we decided on using a bicycle as the way to interact with the world. A bicycle removes most of the disconnect of using a keyboard/mouse because it is a familiar way of moving for most people, resulting in a more intuitive and fun experience.
This project was a collaboration between FRONT404 and Andrius Sta. Thanks to David Menting of Nut & Bolt for advice on the electronics.
Watch Citytrip being enjoyed at the New Institute in Rotterdam:
We showed the first version of the installation at Bring Your Own Beamer in Amsterdam.
We had a great time at Stockholm Fringe Festival this past week. Many thanks to all the awesome people in the organisation, the volunteers and the great artists we met who made our time in Sweden unforgettable!
We put our bird cage installation at the top of the escalator to the main floor of Kulturhuset, so everyone who came up to see the art or performances got stared in the face by our bird first thing. The other birds were spread out across all the other floors to look at the people walking through. They were a big hit, and we got a lot of great reactions from visitors.
On saturday the 27th of July we hid our plantmines at the Vredeskermis in Utrecht to ambush unsuspecting passersby with an explosion of flower confetti!
While walking peacefully in the park or along the sidewalk, enjoying the weather, you’re suddenly blasted by a multicolor explosion of flowers! You’re surrounded by a cloud of flower confetti, gently floating down around you. This can only mean one thing: you’ve stepped on a Plantmine!
The plantmines are a new form of militant guerrilla gardening. Instead of the usual tactics of just planting flowers and plants at night, the plantmines have taken a page from guerrilla warfare. Using mines, boobytraps and roadside bombs they spread flowers, colour and happiness throughout the city, by any means necessary.
When you trigger one of these plantmines they shoot a cloud of flower confetti at you. The flower confetti contains flower seeds, to create a permanent happy and colourful spot in the place of the plantmine explosion. The explosion of flower confetti also serves as an instant party to celebrate that you live in a country where you don’t have to worry about stepping on a real landmine.
On tuesday the 25th of June, to celebrate the 110th birthday of George Orwell, surveillance cameras in the center of the city of Utrecht were decorated with colorful party hats!
George Orwell is best known for his book ‘1984’, in which he describes a dystopian future society where the populace is constantly watched by the surveillance state of Big Brother.
By putting these happy party hats on the surveillance cameras we don’t just celebrate Orwell’s birthday. By making these inconspicuous cameras that we ignore in our daily lives catch the eye again we also create awareness of how many cameras really watch us nowadays, and that the surveillance state described by Orwell is getting closer and closer to reality.
Here is a little video fragment from the Pale Blue Dot concert, for this part we provided the visuals.
The panoptICONS got a brand new website! Complete with new upcoming events at the ‘expo’ section.
Check it out here!
On February 2nd we took part in the multi-medial Pale Blue Dot concert in Utrecht. The Pale Blue Dot concert consisted of a series of pieces written by young Dutch composers and performed by an acoustic ensemble of musicians. The pieces were all inspired by the famous photograph of the Earth, taken by the Voyager 1 space probe in 1990 from 6 billion kilometres away. These compositions were accompanied by artists from different disciplines.
We were invited by Bas Bouma to create visuals to accompany his piece “This Particular Universe”. His piece explores the life of the Universe and the patterns within it, from the Big Bang to the formation of the solar system to the appearance of the first tiny life forms on Earth and finally to the moment when human beings take a picture of themselves from six billion kilometres away. We were happy to accept and created a fifteen minute interactive live performance based on “This Particular Universe” to accompany the musicians.
Below are a few pictures and stills of the performance:
Refined new camera crows, randomly looking around
Here are a few pictures from Sphere and panoptICONS in Brussels:
Our projects Sphere and panoptICONS will be exposed at the exhibition ‘A Look Inside’; An art exhibition reflecting upon privacy and technology.
Come check out our interactive video-installation Sphere at Bring Your Own Beamer!
Friday December 14th, SETUP, Liefhebber and FIBER will join forces for a combined Bring Your Own Beamer in Utrecht. Experienced in both Amsterdam and Utrecht the three will push this one-night-exhibition into a visual extravaganza. This collaboration will take place in the old, beautiful industrial hangar of NUtrecht at the Cartesiusweg in Utrecht, right next to trainstation ‘Zuilen’, making it easily accessible by train. Click here to see the event on Facebook.
Here is a clip from Sphere during Museumnacht Amsterdam.
Here is a short clip of our Citylights project
Here’s a short impression of the Plantmines making a happy mess during Kleurenblind festival.
Here’s one of the first tests for our upcoming interactive installation: Citylights. We’ll be generating audio effects based on light drawings.
For the French documentary series Streetosphere we were invited to be filmed while we placed a few camerabirds in Amsterdam. The video below is a preview for the episode about Amsterdam. You can see a very short preview of our part of the episode at 0:27, hopefully we can show you the whole thing soon.
FRONT404 will show their Lost & Found installation at the historic First Class Grand-Cafe at Amsterdam Central Station for the Rocket Cinema Festival. This will take place Saturday the 19th of November, come check it out!
On Saturday November 12th FRONT404 showed their new interactive video-installation at the Rocket Cinema Festival 2011. The festival took place at the beautiful location of the Railway museum in Utrecht.
Yay! Our panoptICONS project was one of the winners in the Memefest 2011 friendly competition in the category Beyond…. As their website says ‘The “Beyond…” category hopes to bring out new visual and conceptual forms of communication which catalyze social change while engaging people as something more than mere consumers.’
From 13 December till 27 December 2010 Helden are infiltrating in Paradiso Amsterdam with our panoptICONS project. More information about the Infiltration Series can be found here.
Wednesday the 24th of November FRONT404 will be presenting at the Ignite evening in Mediamatic Amsterdam. The evening is about sensors and FRONT404 will be talking about the Chemistree. Awesome! More info about the Ignite night can be found on here.
Today (wednesday 13 October) FRONT404 will be speaking at the PechaKucha night in Amsterdam. We’ll give a short presentation about the projects we’ve done together. There will be 11 other speakers, drinks and music, so it should be pretty cool!
We were interviewed for the Spanish news by Antena 3. Click here to watch the video.
From 19th through 27th of May our panoptICONS project will be a part of the Re:Visie exposition in the CBKU (center for visual arts Utrecht). For the first time ever people can watch a camerabird in captivity as she feeds her camerachicks with the privacy of the visitors!