“ScreenLab MediaCityUK 0x01” was the inaugural edition of this programme, bringing international media artists James George (USA) and Memo Akten (TUR/UK) to create unique responses to the theme “Future of Broadcast” during a week long intensive period of experimentation and innovation with students from the University of Salford.
The resulting code from the residency is available on GitHub and builds upon openFrameworks, three.js, VVVV and Python. The works were presented on the 120 micro tile, 8k resolution screen system in the Egg space.
James George's work, 'Spectacle of Change' investigates the new cinematic techniques by taking portraits of seven Salford based artists, pointing towards the influence of technology within their works. As each artist portrait occupies the space, varying virtual perspectives are taken from the wireframe video sculptures in each of the three monolith displays. Captured using a DSLR and a Kinect, the portraits display the artists as hybrid virtual and real forms. The centre screen provides an abstracted view into their studio room with the artist standing at human scale facing us. As the viewer moves in front of the centre screen, the virtual perspective shifts to create the illusion of a window into their space. The audio from their interview plays overhead, relating the artist discussing how digital culture is affecting the production, aesthetics, and distribution of their work.
Memo Akten's response to the open brief is a web based interactive visualisation, capturing and tracking the movement data of people in a space and streaming that data live onto the web where browsers receive and visualise it in realtime. While people are interacting in the installation space, viewers around the globe at home and on the internet are able to see a skeleton representation of the visitors to the physical space. As the visitors move, their actions are abstracted and they seem to paint in the air. Their hands and feet leave trails of simple shapes. Viewers on the internet are able to zoom & rotate the scene and paint further shapes in the air, interacting with the scene.
The artists were joined by a small team of students from the University of Salford who worked as part of the creation team.