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Day for Night- Part II: Artists

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Situated in a 1.5 million square foot post office sorting facility, Day for Night orchestrated a two and a half day, all-you-can-handle festival full of music, live performances, and high quality digital art installations. In case you missed the first Day for Night post, check out my recap video here: www.gergwerk.com/day-for-night. In part II, lets explore some of the groundbreaking digital artists at Day for Night 2016. Although the line-up boosted a diverse collective of artists, I’m going to take a closer look at those that utilize technology in innovative ways.

ARCA:

ARCA hypnotizes. Blending heavy electronic sounds with dark hip hop vibes, ARCA co-produced seven tracks from Björk’s Vulnicura and contributed to Kanye’s Yeezus. Paired with ARCA’s tracks are astounding visuals by Jesse Kanda. Mirroring ARCA’s sound, Kanda’s visuals embrace the imperfect by presenting grotesque figures in order to question perception of beauty. The results are breathtaking.

Jesse Kanda:

Longtime friend and collaborator of ARCA, Kanda has created extraordinary visuals for FKA Twigs and Björk, as well as, exhibited at MoMA PS1 in 2013. A mix between Chris Cunningham and Phil Hale, Jesse’s hyper-real figures swell, twist, dance, and flux along ARCA’s unique sound.


Jesse’s latest project is a VR music video for Björk. After hearing her newest album, Vulnicura, Jesse Kanda wanted to “create something as intimate as possible because Vulnicura, the album, the whole album, is really one of the most intimate things that I’ve ever heard… The mouth, being Björk’s vessel from which she expresses her primary art, inspired me to try to do something with that.” – source. Here is the resulting video:


Jesse and his team built a 4 foot replica of Björk’s mouth and filmed inside it using 12 cameras to produce a 360º image. Meant to be viewed in VR, this larger-than-life immersive experience allows viewers to share an unsettling, intimate journey within Björk. See more behind the scenes photographs and read the full interview at Dazed Digital.

Bjork Mouth Montra process

Björk Digital:

If you were lucky enough to secure a spot, Björk Digital exhibited a series of VR music videos for select ticket holders. This installation was a one of the major draws for the festival. People without tickets waited in a standby line for over 5 hours in hopes to get a chance to view the exhibit. I was unable to obtain a ticket, but luckily most of the experiences have been released online. Four VR videos in total, these 360º experiences range from listening to Björk sing while crawling in caves, (Black Lake), perform on a beach in Iceland (Stonemilker VR), travel from the depths of her throat (Mouth Mantra VR), and fly through the air while interacting with a procedurally generated Björk (Notget VR).

Here is a teaser for the fourth VR experience, Notget VR:

Notget was Analog’s first attempt at VR. According to their team in an interview, they utilized their usual tools like Houdini, Maya, 3ds Max, vray, and Zbrush. Imaginarium recorded Björk’s movements with motion-capture software. That data was used to re-build her performance in 3d to match her movements. Unlike the other Björk experiences which are video, Notget‘s content is drawn in real time, often having to hit 90 frames per second for a smooth experience. Below are some of the designs created by Analog.




Björk Performance (photo by Roger Ho):

Björk’s live performance on Sunday polarized the audience as she curated a DJ set from behind a row of potted plants. The performance was less about being seen and more about experiencing the music. Regardless if you liked her set or not, there is no denying Björk defies industry standards. She consistently pushes technology to its limits and is a consistent (yet unpredictable) creative visionary when it comes to live performances. It is refreshing to hear the wide range of eccentric sounds included in a set. Here is a mix she DJed for a Tri-Angles record party:

At recent performances, Björk has been notably wearing 3d printed masks. Some of the more technologically elaborate masks were designed by The Mediated Matter Group. Their printed mask project, Rottlace, explores Material Ecology, the practice of “operating between machine and organism.” According to the creators, “the series originates with a mask that emulates Björk’s facial structure and concludes with a mask that reveals a new identity, independent of its origin. What originates as a form of portraiture culminates in reincarnation.” Read an in-depth article about Rottlace over at Creators Project.



Bjork mask series Rottlace
Aphex Twin (photo by Roger Ho):

“Unforgettable. Noise, jungle, acid, and a torrential downpour.”  These words perfectly encapsulate the experience that went down during Aphex Twin’s set. As if orchestrating a storm from behind his gear, Aphex’s tracks conjured a cold front that hit in the middle of his set. The temperature dropped 20 degrees, freezing rain cut through blankets of green lasers like a static on a tv, and violent winds forced the crew to lower the entire speaker setup. The crowd couldn’t get enough. As expected, someone recorded the entire performance from their phone. Not the best quality, but you can listen to Aphex Twin’s set here (starts around 10:30):

Internet sleuths put together the tracklist from Aphex Twin’s set before the weekend was over. Amongst all the madness, AFX released a mysterious 12″, specifically made for Day for Night. Only 500 were available. Someone uploaded the recordings from the special record within a day of its release:

Squarepusher:

It’s no surprise, Squarepusher’s performance was loud, fast, and highly energetic. His knack for combining epileptic visuals with pulsing audio is straight-up fun. In case you missed his Ufabulum tour, Squarepusher performed in front of a large LED wall while wearing a LED mask. I had the pleasure of experiencing this full performance at the Creators Project in San Francisco in 2012. Here is a clip from one of his tracks, Dark Steering:


LIMB & Eric Todd: OCTO (photo by Ismael Quintanilla)


Limb, local to Houston, performed a live set in the center of a compact room. OCTO utilized 8 full sized speakers placed in a circle around the perimeter of the room. This allowed the artists to sweep their energetic sound around the room at breakneck speed. While LIMB handled audio, Eric Todd managed audio reactive lights that hung above the audience. This performance was one of the highlights of the festival. If you’re still in HTX, keep an eye out for more shows. See below for a close look of the light panels.

LIMB + Eric Todd: OCTO

A video posted by Eric Todd (@erictodd) on

Shoplifter: Ghostbeast (Image by Poonehghana)

Shoplifter uses hair as a medium and projects mesmerizing patterns on top of it. Like grass swaying underwater, psychedelic patterns dance around static, fur-covered structures. This installation brought out smiles in everyone. It was reminiscent of hot summer days running around the playground, rolling in grass while the intensity of the Houston sun beams vibrant sunspots into the backs of my eyes.


AV&C and Houze: Phases

Phases is a new immersive environment that utilizes robotic mirror arrays to fold complex light patterns into an evolving dimensional kaleidoscope. Thin strips of mirror rotate in and out of sync while projectors blast streams of light onto the moving panels. The result is a beautiful array of light patterns that spiral around the room. Check below for video footage and process behind Phases.

A video posted by AV&C (@avcnyc) on

Michael Fullman of VT Pro: Bardo

Bardo is “an exploration of presence and absence in a non descript location, vectors of light track you through darkness.” One of the more popular installations, I felt as if I was experiencing digital divine intervention.


NONOTAK: Highline

“NONOTAK studio is the collaboration between the illustrator Noemi Schipfer and the architect/musician Takami Nakamoto. In early 2013, they start to work on light and sound installations, creating an ethereal, immersive and dreamlike environment meant to envelope the viewer, capitalizing on Takami Nakamoto’s approach of space & sound, and Noemi Schipfer’s experience in kinetic visual” – snippet from NONOTAK.com

Their new work, Highline, utilizes 12 mirrored panels (arranged in a V) that are dissected by long led bulbs. In the image below, you can see a detail of this ingenious setup. nonotak installation

NONOTAK: Shiro

Additionally, NONOTAK had a live audiovisual performance called Shiro. Debut in Montreal’s very own digital art festival, MUTEK, this show was an instant hit.


United Visual Artists (UVA): Musica Universalis

No lack of talent from this group. UVA creates memorable installations with light. Musica Universalis was described as “a spacial instrument that investigates the resonances from far away objects in our solar system. Musica Univeralis is a series of kinetic, physical sculptures and is inspired by Pythagoras’ theory ‘The Harmony of the Spheres’. The sculptures each contain a spherical form and a mechanism driving a rotating light source and speaker. Light is cast through the space creating interventions and interactions with the architecture.source


Tundra: Outlines

Hailing from Russia, the four members of Tundra used over a mile of wiring to power over 400 lasers. No small feat, these thin, red lasers dissected the room into segments. According to the creators, “the name [Outlines] has a strong meaning in Russian representing the idea of stepping out of an initial grid and rising above the fundamentals by trespassing your imaginary boundaries.” – source


Ezra Miller:

Ezra, WebGL rockstar, used TouchDesigner to create his latest work at Day for Night. Unlike his work that is normally viewed on computer screens, Stream was projected over an 80 foot wall. In an interview with Derivative, Ezra talks about his process creating the work: “The piece takes in a camera feed and performs an optical flow algorithm on the feed to detect the motion of objects in the feed. It uses this optical flow to control a few things. It goes into a shader feedback loop that creates a textural “painting,” mixing together about 100 image textures which I’ve taken over the course of a few months living in NYC. This textural composition is fed into another shader feedback loop that performs a sort-of reaction diffusion system on it, whose direction and flow is controlled by the optical flow shader. The camera feed controls the color and flow, allowing you to “paint” with your body. Super excited for people to see how it looks!

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Whoa. Did you just read that all? Thank you for your attention. This is the end of a very fun, long journey to experience some amazing, innovative artists. Blind tickets for 2017 are already for sale. Standing for over 48 hours, sore knees, ringing ears, and little to no sleep—yeah I would do it all over again.

Squarepusher

Day for Night: Festival of the Future

By | dj, dj culture, gergwerk, photo, photography, travel, Video | No Comments

What a way to end 2016. I had the opportunity to travel down to Houston, TX (HTX) for Day for Night: the festival of the future. Combining headlining musicians with immersive art installations, Day for Night transforms live music production by introducing new sensory experiences to the festival landscape. The festival consisted of dozens of music acts as well as multiple art installations. Here are some of the experiences I had:

aphex twin, day for night SquarepusherVT Pro: BardoLIMB + Eric Todd: OCTOshoplifternonotak installationNONOTAK: Highlinenonotak performanceAvac + Houzé installation gifunited visual artists installationJohn Durst: Axelradball zone_
Artists included in video:
(0:09 – 0:11) Marcel, Rami, and Bachar Khalife
(0:11 – 0:14) Guy with hat
(0:15 – 0:18) Lightening Bolt
(0:19 – 0:26) Squarepusher
(0:27 – 0:29) Blood Orange
(0:29 – 0:31) Tycho
(0:31 – 0:41) LIMB + Eric Todd: OCTO
(0:41 – 1:08) Michael Fullman of VT PRO: Bardo
(1:09 – 1:35) AV&C + Houzé: Phases
(1:36 – 1:56) NONOTAK: Highline
(1:57 – 2:13) NONOTAK: Shiro
(2:14 – 2:25) Tundra: Outlines
(2:26 – 2:50) Shoplifter: Ghostbeast

Audio: ARCA
Video & Post: Gerg Werk
Camera: Canon 60D
Lenses: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS & 50mm f/1.8 II

Stay tuned for a detailed write up about some of the groundbreaking artists at Day for Night!

Stimulant featured in Communication Arts

By | design, gergwerk, gui, multimedia expereince, portfolio, Stimulant, touch screen, Video | No Comments

I am very proud to say a handful of the projects I worked on over the last few years are being recognized in Communication Arts. Read the full eight-page article here: Stimulant: The San Francisco-based experimental studio brings dreams to life through digital interactions.

Here is sneak peak of the projects I worked on that are featured in the article:




Lusio: A Night to Awaken

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Lusio: A Night to Awaken was an immersive evening of light and sound. For one night only, pockets of Volunteer Park lit up with interactive installations, live performances, LED wearables, large scale projection walls, and ambient music. Lusio featured local PNW Seattle artists: Miguel Edwards / Jonathon Womack / Marcell Marias / Bryan Ressler / Scott K James / Kelly Fleek / Noble Neon / Mokedo / & many more.

To see more artists and track upcoming events, visit lusiolight.com

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Audio: Nosaj Thing
Video & Post: Gerg Werk
Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: 50mm f/1.8 II

Looking back at 2015

By | after effects, design, gergwerk, multi touch, multi touch interface, portfolio, Seattle, Stimulant, touch screen, typography, Video, website, website design | No Comments

2015 was a very challenging year. There were many experiences that took me out of my comfort zone. Although difficult, these milestones have allowed me to challenge myself and grow in new ways. Lets take a look back at 2015!

This first project is one I am very honored and proud to have had the opportunity to work on. It was my privilege to design a projection-mapped real-time data visualization for The One World Trade Center in NYC. This 65ft x 16ft (20m x 5m) projection is the first thing visitors see when they walk into the building. This was the first time I utilized Cinema4D to create the visuals. In case you missed it, take a look at my visual and motion design process.
Image by Edward Blake.
One World Observatory lobby projectionone world trade center lobby wall designIt wasn’t long until the Millionth visitor arrived!_
Genentech Lobby Wall: Stimulant built an interactive system for the lobbies of Genentech buildings that would increase employee engagement and feature a wide variety of content. The system blends content from Genentech’s intranet, social media feeds, and building energy statistics. I produced many of the visual designs early on this project.
Image by Stimulant.Genentech Interactive Lobby Display_
AM / PM design: making back ends pretty.  This dashboard allows us to easily manage apps.   gergwerk ampm design gergwerk ampm designHere is what AM / PM used to look like:ampm-screenshot-oldLogo design Process gergwerk ampm logo process_
This year I did a major re-haul of the Gerg Werk branding and website design (although it’s safe to say you’ve already gazed upon it if you’re reading this). View the process post here.mackbook-mockup-02 gergwerk type card Gerg Werk Resume_
Save the date and wedding invites design. View the full work here. gergwerk-savethedate-2015 gergwerk-savethedate02-2015 gergwerk-savethedate03-2015_
World Famous: Produced a range of animation-ready illustration elements. Here is a small snippet of the styles I created:gergwerk style framesDigital Kitchen: I had to opportunity to work with Digital Kitchen as a freelance creative for a few months. Unfortunately due to Non Disclosure Agreements I can’t show any of the work I completed. While here, I brainstormed and conceptualized many innovative ideas for interactive installations, worked on high-profile projects, produced detailed graphic designs, and composited designs in real-world environments. Additionally, I assisted creating client-ready presentations.

Tectonic: While working here, I collaborated closely with the team to rebrand a high-profile company. Our design system scales between television, web, and mobile devices. Due to NDA, I’m unable to show this work.

One World Observatory lobby projection

One World Observatory Process Post

By | after effects, design, gergwerk, graphic user interface, gui, information architecture, photoshop, portfolio, process, Stimulant, Uncategorized | No Comments

Now that the One World Trade Center is officially open, I can talk a little about my process for creating the designs! This project marks the first time I used Cinema 4D to create the visuals. The look of the water, map, globe, lighting, and pins were all created in C4D, while the typography and stat designs were created in Photoshop. Below is the breakdown of my process.
one world observatory, one world trade center, dataviz, infographic, design, nyc_
Process Design:
Experimenting using Cinema 4D to create a quick topography. cinema 4d pin test_
Depth Maps:
Once narrowing down a good thickness and spacing for the pins, I used two depth maps to create the continents and ripples. A depth map is an informational image that changes the height between planes, all based on black, white, and grey values. White areas indicate where sections of the image will be raised up and black areas will remain lower. The ‘depth map for continents’ raises areas to create continents and the ‘depth map for pin ripples’ lifts elevations around Brazil, Europe, and Japan. Pro Tip: any area that is not 100% black or 100% white will cause the elevation in that area to be somewhere in between the highest and lowest point. In this case, our ‘pin ripple’ depth map is smooth gradient so the elevation falls off smoothly, causing cone-like shapes. depth map explination examples_
Visual Design:
Starting to add color, creating a low poly texture for the faceted oceans, and testing out placement of lights. In this rendering I’m using powerful lighting techniques called global illumination and ambient occlusion. This brings me to a very important point. If your graphics are going to be built to run in real time by a developer, work with them early in the project to make sure designs can be replicated in code. Cinema 4D is capable of very complex lighting, but there are a lot of cases when you can’t replicate it in code due to hardware and software constraints. In some instances, these effects can be replicated but it will drastically cut the frame rate in the build. Always consult your developers! After making these renders and talking with our developer Joel, I learned some of these lighting techniques aren’t practical for apps that are generated in real time. cinema 4d render of the worldcinema 4d render detail cropLighting and camera setup. High school photography classes for the win!gergwerk-One World Observatory process lightingGlobe view. The mountainous areas represent where most guests are visiting from since the opening of One World Observatory. To get this effect, I went back to using our good ol’ depth map technique.globe depth mapLastly, I created a nebula-like background using Trapcode Form in After Effects. This will be tweaked and placed behind the globe for the big transition reveal.nebula test after effects using trapcode form_
Final Design (black space represents a hallway). Graphics were created in Cinema 4d, After Effects, and composited in Photoshop. Click images for larger detail:
01-oww-map-render-full-r403 gergwerk-oneWorld-06_
Motion Graphic studies: Now that the designs are signed off from the client, it’s time to give the visuals some movement.

These first animations are tests for the stat ribbon. Stats update in real time based on live data being collected when tickets are scanned. While creating motion studies, I like to produce one direction with lots of complex movement and a second that is much more restrained. This allows our developers to start building the simpler version and add in additional flair if there is time.

Once tickets are scanned, country of origin labels will populate on the map. Some of these animations transition on at a harsh angle as a way to continue the faceted design language.

This is the Welcome Wall animation (area above the hallway) that greets visitors in a variety of foreign languages. These languages update in real time based on where people are visiting from. To continue with the OWO faceted design language, angular shapes and sharp shines reveal and hide images as a transitional approach.

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And that’s it! I feel honored to have been a part of such a grand experience. I will leave you with an image taken by a visitor of the One World Observatory.  To see the portfolio page for this project visit: http://gergwerk.com/portfolio/one-world-observatory/. Au revoir!One World Observatory data wall by Edward BlakeImage by Edward Blake
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Client:  Hettama Group // Legends
Agency: Stimulant

Stimulant credit list:
Design Director: Nathan Moody
Art Director: Jules Konig
Design Lead // Motion Designer: Gregory Kaufman
Technical Lead: Joel Pryde

Project Manager: Julie Yamato
Quality Assurance Lead: Aron Schoppert

GERG WERK Redesign

By | brand, brand identity, design, gergwerk, portfolio, process, typography, website, website design | No Comments

gergwerk tablet redesignGerg Werk Resumegergwerk type card Over the last few months I have dedicated myself to revitalizing the Gerg Werk identity. As a large portion of my design practice utilizes motion and video, I wanted to give homage to these aspects in the redesign. I have done this by visualizing the new Gerg Werk logo as a modified keyframe icon. In animation, keyframes mark the start and end of any transition by moving objects at a steady, constant rate. If you want to give the audience a little razzle dazzle, Easing Keyframes will allow objects to move with inertia, style, and elegance. One type of Easing Keyframe is visualized as a hourglass shape. This ‘Bezier’ Keyframe not only represents style and personality, but also resembles a lowercase ‘g’.types of keyframesIn case you were wondering how these keyframe types effect how objects move, I’ve created a short animation below.
Keyframe – the movement is linear, lacks variety in speed by moving objects in a constant rate
Ease Out – will start the animation slowly, and finish at full speed
Ease In – will start the animation at full speed, then finish slowly
Bezier – shares attributes from both easing keyframes. It is this extra style and attention to detail that I hope to continue to include throughout my work.
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Design elements using the Bezier Keyframe as inspiration for the letter ‘g’. After lots of sketching, I was able to create a larger mark that also utilizes the Bezier Keyframe into the initials GWK – Gerg Werk.gergwerk logomark design_
Process sketch variations:gergwerk-test-pattern gergwerk-test-pattern-detail gergwerk-letterforms