The Autonomous Video Hut at the 2013 Lucidity Festival in Santa Barbara was a solar powered structure and a series of interactive video art installations headed by Ethan Turpin and Alan Macy. Part of the intent was to create a cycle where the day’s sunlight is collected and the energy is beamed back out at night in the form of video art. Kyle Ruddick and I developed a piece for the system using Kinect, Ryan Challinor’s Synapse, Quartz Composer and Ableton Live. It was a powerful feeling watching people interact with and add to the piece.
The hut also featured various combinations of video feedback and primitive objects such as a large triangular kaleidoscope and colored lights which often combined to create stunning results. One of the most interesting pieces was Ethan’s Video Feedbackteria, where video feedback combined with a moire pattern caused by the intersecting planes of the video camera and projector creating a beautiful swirling piece that people could ‘paint’ on with illuminated objects and light sources (cell phones worked really well) and erase the image by blocking the projection and selectively stopping the feedback. When left alone, the feedback would resemble cell growth and patterns found in nature. More on Video Feedbackteria here.
Like so many of the installations, locations and events at Lucidity, people wandering up to the structure were encouraged to participate in various ways and in the hands of the highly creative folks at the festival, emergent temporal performance pieces were created. The projections and interactions existed both inside and outside of the structure and the material of the screen walls could be pushed on creating yet another dimension of interactivity. Above is a short video I stitched together using the small bits of footage I caught with my iPhone at various points in the evening. The hut was rocking all night on Saturday and well into a sunny Sunday. Good times.
The entire festival was a super rad and well run event. I met brilliant and talented artists, hung out with good peoples and felt like I was making a meaningful contribution to a worthwhile endeavor.. and saw one of my current favorite beatmakers, ill.Gates, perform live. What a weekend. Thank you to Lucidity festival and all who contributed to it and super thanks to Ethan and Kyle for inviting me to participate! – jm