This project has gone from a possibility to a form of reality by doing the residency in Denver, CO with MORPHOS (in particular thank you to Ethan). The project has evolved and I have been on an incredibly steep learning curve. The realisation of the project has been a collaboration with Rich Clements, who I have learned a lot from in the last few weeks and couldn’t have made the piece without his help. I have two journals that also form part of this project – they are home to me trying to get my head around the 3D space and embryonic sequences, story boards, camera moves, timelines etc. I have also submitted a QT movie of the domemaster (a domemaster is the distorted circular image that we made that is then projected onto the dome, or half sphere, becoming flat and 3D when it hits the curves) and a QT movie explaining part of the process/relationship to other projects/narratives on a USB stick. Below will be a series of screenshots explaining parts of the process and a list of links to tutorials and sites we used.
Murmuration of Light, as an idea, first came into being near the start of the MA and research has taken one form or another over many months really. As I have said before I believe that we, as artists, cannot top the natural world when we represent it or respond to it…maybe very rarely. Or humans make something as beautiful as something in the natural world (maybe singing – Pavorotti singing Nessun Dorma is a good example – a voice, a sound made by an animal, a part of nature rather than an abstracted response to it – which maybe most drawings and words are?) but then we are the natural world. Need to do more research into Timothy Morton, James Turrell, immersive artists, digital ecology, science, AI, VR…long old list is growing but at the moment I keep finding myself in a world of making work at the moment.
I wanted to make a piece of digital nature with this project – there is no way I could top the experience of witnessing a murmuration or being in a cloud of phosphorescence but I wanted to try and create a piece of immersive work that might evoke the feeling of witnessing a piece of natural phenomena – to create a transient experience – to create a piece of digital phenomena. The invisible framework, or network that links everything in our solar system (and beyond) exists (I realise that I am writing this without referencing people who have said it before – this further research will come but at the moment I have found myself focusing on the making elements of my practice rather than the critical research – I know that I need to contextualise my work and place it within other practitioners – I hope that this will also allow me to push it further) – I wanted to create an invisible framework within the program Cinema4D (have included a diagram of the C4D workspace on the USB stick), to create an environment that the digital starlings/dinoflagellates interacted with, that contained them – a digital environment/a digital world/a digital solar system/digital weather systems/digital predators/digital forces. [I talk about how we did this in the Explanation on the USB stick]. As with some of my other projects I wanted to set something in motion and let the work create itself to a certain extent – to become an editor, an author-less observer.
The soundscape is borne out of the recording I made for my manifesto of a dawn chorus in Mabe, Cornwall. I have taken samples from it and changed their pitch and tempo – some of the samples are also found recordings or me whistling, I layered them in a program called audacity and separated them into different channels creating a 5.1 surround mix that filled the planetariums (the sound on the domemaster is a stereo mix so it works on laptops etc). I wanted to ground the digital images using aural elements of the found natural world – to use sound to link the abstract imagery with the fact that it’d taken it’s influence from murmurations and phosphorescence – to place what the audience were experiencing within an organic framework or environment.
SELECTION OF STILL FRAMES SHOWN SEQUENTIALLY (WITH EXPLANATORY CAPTIONS – IMPORTANT)
Here’s a link to an interactive version of a Murmuration of Light. If you haven’t seen the film before I would urge you to watch the domemaster file on the USB stick first – the link below is a version that you can navigate around using a mouse, or tipping your smart phone around or view by wearing a virtual reality headset – bonkers really – however you don’t see the whole composition at once which is a bit annoying…I can’t reduce the file size of the domemaster enough, without compromising the quality too much, to put it online.
SELECTION OF SCREEN SHOTS FROM C4D – FURTHER EXPLANATIONS ON THE USB STICK
TUTORIALS (HOURS OF RESEARCH TRYING TO UNDERSTAND A LOT OF THESE)
LINKS TO OTHER RESOURCES USED DURING THE RESEARCH OF THIS PROJECT
How to Build a Magnetic Levitating Top How the Science of Swarms Can Help Us Fight Cancer and Predict the Future | WIRED mariele neudecker tanks – Google Search Mythbusters Sonic Boom Myth – YouTube long exposure light kitchen – Google Search This is What Happens When You Put LEDs on a Roomba «TwistedSifter Flocking (behavior) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Sounds Of Living Coral Reefs Are Breathtaking And Important | Popular Science fungus web – Google Search mycelium – Google Search slime mould – Google Search Slime mould attacks simulates Tokyo rail network – Not Exactly Rocket Science : Not Exactly Rocket Science DOSITS: What are common underwater sounds? 5 Most Mysterious Underwater Sounds Ever Recorded – YouTube ML: Macaulay Library Coffee vs beer: Which makes you more creative? – Crew blog
SOME ARTISTS WORKING IN THE WORLD OF DOMES AND IMMERSIVE ART (NEED TO RESEARCH THIS MORE BUT KEEP FINDING MYSELF MAKING AT THE MOMENT)
“Biosphère Montréal” by Cédric THÉVENET. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biosph%C3%A8re_Montr%C3%A9al.jpg#/media/File:Biosph%C3%A8re_Montr%C3%A9al.jpg
“Géode V 3 1” by No machine-readable author provided. Papy77 assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims).. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%A9ode_V_3_1.gif#/media/File:G%C3%A9ode_V_3_1.gif
We were able to show the work in two of the few planetariums in the world that support art servers – the Denver museum of Nature and Science has a planetarium approximately 25 metres across (the biggest imax screen in the world is 29m). The other venue was the absolutely amazing Fort Collins Museum of Discovery ( I have to thank Ben and Sierra in particular at this point for their support, knowledge and hospitality). I have started looking into building my own geodesic dome (potentially 3m across so only one projector is needed) but as part of an installation (for example the viewer walks into a pitch black space – within it a Murmuration of Light would be playing appearing to hover in 3D space in part of the room) – potential fabric sculpture or dome – early days on this but have been talking to the workshop and other lines of enquiry.https://ravenectar.com/blog/8-immersive-art-installations-will-blow-mind …Kusama is in there, who I have referred to before – some of her work is magic! She likes circles too. Other examples of immersive work ( which I feel like some of my work is becoming part of) I want to explore further include Blind Light by Antony Gormley and further works by artists Olafur Eliasson and James Turrell both of whom I talked about in my first essay. The latter two using architecture to frame nature directly and Blind Light an example of creating an immersive space that the viewer enters. The same is true of Carlos Cruz-Diez – in particular his ongoing work Chromosaturation which I experienced at the Hayward Gallery a couple of years ago as part of the Light Show – it was an amazing space to be in, an example of a piece of digital phenomena in my opinion – I guess all artwork, when seen in real life, is a different experience to seeing a reproduction (Rothko jumps to mind) of it but a 3D space is harder to replicate (until virtual reality becomes more commonplace and that still won’t be the same) – watching a film of a humpback whale is very different to being next to one in a tiny boat – you see more on the television but experience less.
Projections and artificial light are another part of an artist’s materials that we should be adding to our collection of pencils, brushes, etching plates and other physical materials – composition and communication will remain fundamental to illustration and art (the most important elements really) – but this world of virtual reality, of composing pixels and light waves is simply another thing in the things we should be utilising more – this piece of work, maybe, is a sculpture but one made of light and sound (it is transient rather than physical, an experience – a digital piece of nature) – an attempt at a digital version of a stroll in the woods.
This project has been an incredibly steep learning curve – my brain feels pretty addled, and I’m knackered to be honest, but it’s been amazing to learn so much. I am (secretly) pretty chuffed with the end result and want to push it further. I want to learn more about digital projection and video mapping – I think that this aspect of creative production has a bigger role to play amongst the world of immersive installations. I also think that the digital mediums need to be applied to more environmental art (‘eco-art) with gusto – no more sticking leaves around puddles – audience exposure to images and sensory experiences, to immersion – to moving image where the viewer stops just being the viewer but becomes part of the image (research needed into people already doing this). I want to build on Chemical Archipelago with what I have learned, with more immersion. To highlight the fact we are part of the natural world and all the processes involved I think that one way we should do this is to embrace the rapidly evolving technology that exists – don’t just leave it with the guys who’ll use it to sell cars, or disappear totally into alternate reality role playing games – that stuff isn’t going to help what’s occurring. Artistic communication. 3D projection could be combined with more and more layers of light, of data, of atmosphere – entire artificial digital ecosystems built/grown in internal spaces – digital ecosystems built to remind you to go outside. I hope that Murmuration of Light is another step in the right direction – part of some kind of digital ecology – part of some kind of framework.
Work on screenprints for the crowdfunder/explore ways of working with some of the stills from the piece in print (laser cuts, etchings etc)
Immersive installation plans/Geodesic dome construction possibilities/locations
More dome pieces/ dome festivals to enter: http://fulldome-festival.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/FDF2016_SubmissionGuidelines_v1.pdf and http://starrylab.cz/ips-ffb2016/?page_id=174
Learn more about video mapping
Venice collaboration with Bram
Meeting with Eden Project