[Remote Sense]

A live AV fulldome performance commissioned by Cryptic

Remote Sense is a live fulldome AV performance with visuals solely generated from Lidar (laser scanned) data and audio from collaborator and Ecuadorian sound designer Darien Britto.

Taking inspiration from prehistoric artists whom painted in 360 degrees, the work follows the shamanic/artistic process of entoptic phenomena, an altered state, universal, visual experience linked to the central nervous system which inspired mysterious yet familiar geometric and abstract Neolithic art.

The process of blurring reality to abstraction is really interesting to me; abstract expressionist Ashille Gorky said, "abstraction allows man to see with his mind what his eyes cant see".  We understand the world to be made up of atoms, we know this to be true, but cant see it .... or can we?  Entoptic phenomena appears to be a process of breaking down visual reality to its raw, primordial state, so what better way to express this than through Lidar data which, by nature, senses the world atom by atom.

An early development sketch, 'breaking form'

Journeying through an Irish woodland, Hang Boi cave in Vietnam, the Scottish brutalist masterpiece St. Peters Seminary, Beauvais Cathedral in France, a US industrial building and a 1950's Norwegian cinema,  the work is a continuous fluctuation between recognised and abstract with the audience's perception left to fill in the 'spaces in-between'.

In 2009 I first became aware of laser scanning, a 3D model yes, but untouched by human hands, a digital replica.  Beautiful, but such a cpu intensive medium, even opening a data set can be painful!  With some support from the amazing people at Derivative, I built a software system which converts table data to pixels and pixels to instanced geometry.  The user interface behaves much like a VJ platform where I lovingly overlay, merge and manipulate 8K images with a midi controller assigned to animations.

A section of the show headlined Friday night at FDUK 2016 with 2 full live performances at the Glasgow Science Centre planetarium for Cryptic Nights an internationally reknowned producing arthouse.  We're grateful to Cryptic Nights for believing in us and the GSC for allowing us to push the boundaries of what a planetarium can be!  Remote Sense will be developed for Sonica 2017.

Lidar contributions thanks to:  John Meneely, CyArk, Mollenhaeur Group and Landpoint.


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