SAN FRANCISCO--For those interested in digital art, a trip to the city's Fort Mason was a must this weekend. That's because the Creators Project, a (slowly) traveling showcase of interactive art, films, panels, and music, put together by Intel and Vice, hit town for two days.
Visitors first encounter "Origin," by United Visual Artists. According to the Creators Project, "Origin" "features an original environmental score from experimental electronic musician Scanner and debuted at our New York City event in October. The towering 40-foot by 40-foot audiovisual cubic lattice of light, metal, and sound is painstakingly programmed using UVA’s bespoke D3 technology, controlling each individual LED pixel."
Those passing my filmmaker Chris Milk's "Treachery of Sanctuary" can't help but interact with it. The installation, designed for the Creators Project by Milk, who was behind Arcade Fire's "epic ball drop" at last year's Coachella, is an interactive triptych that lets "viewers power and control the installation with the help of motion-sensing [Microsoft] Kinects, making their way through three transformative experiences of flight," according to the Creators Project.
Another popular installation at the Creators Project was "OctoCloud," SuperUber's interactive sculpture and multi-player game. "Bringing mobile apps to life in a physical space," according to the Creators Project, "it allows users to control a virtual slingshot via mobile devices, flinging 'arrows' that activate the installation's designs. Up to eight players can compete to trigger the sculpture's projected animations."
"Overscan," from design studio Sosolimited, is video artwork that "is like Big Brother personified—perpetually watching, deconstructing, and transforming a live television broadcast," according to the Creators Project. "Composed of five screens, the leftmost screen displays the original TV footage, while the remaining four screens cycle through a series of visual and typographic transformations. Custom software searches for patterns in the video and the closed caption feed is extracted and analyzed with language processing software to reveal the emotional and thematic layers of the broadcast."
With "Six-Forty by Four-Eighty," by researchers at MIT Media Lab, the artists ask the question, "What if pixels could break free from the confines of the screen and enter into our physical environment?" The interactive lighting installation is built from magnetic, physical pixels and "explores the evolution of human-computer interaction and the physical properties of digital information," according to the Creators Project. "The brightly colored pixels are programmed using custom software to change color in response to touch and communicate with each other using the body as a conduit."
Another piece built specifically for the Creators Project, the interactive video installation "#Creators Live" "aggregates photos taken in real time at the event and presents two interaction paradigms, allowing visitors to engage with the ever-expanding photo set." Photos posted to Twitter using the hashtag "#Creators" show up on the board, allowing visitors to see them intermeshed with other imagery.
One of the most popular exhibits at the Creators Project this weekend was "Life on Mars Revisited," a collaboration between film director Barney Clay and rock photographer Mick Rock. Based on footage of David Bowie performing "Life on Mars" that spent "30 years...in a cookie tin stashed in the back of Mick Rock's garage," the project remixes the original 16mm footage and "completely reinterprets Bowie's visual world."