AMALGAM – my bachelor exam project

I can now finally reveal the full extent of my biggest project to date; my degree project of visual communications, from the design dept. of the Bergen national academy of the arts.

If you want to see the project right away, head over to my portfolio, where it is presented in its entirety.

The project has in many ways been going on in the back of my head for several years, as I have tried different small ways of working with electronic concerts. I have been an active DJ for more than 10 years, and have always had the belief that when we take to the stage, we take on ourselves a certain obligation to the audience.

The gist of the problem is that electronic instruments are not performative in their nature. Indeed, electronic music is not performative in its nature, since its basic form is the stored version, unlike acoustic music, which is the other way around (I talk about this in the presentation). So most electronic concerts are usually some dude on stage, hiding behind a big table and his laptop, looking like he’s checking his e-mail.
I started my project wanting to fix this, that was all I knew.
In extremely short words, my solution was to create a grid based on the physical stage, expand this perspective into projections, and populate the resulting virtual space with virtual artists, that are playing all the music that used to be invisible, inside the computer. Intrigued? Good. Now let’s look at some pictures, shall we?

Here is a quick visualisation of how the physicality of the project is laid out:

here is the crescendo of the project, an example of a song being performed with my system implemented:

Logotype sketches for the subsystems Virtual Artist and The Grid.

Visualisation and a screenshot of the workflow in both the audio and video. One of my ways of creating a seamless connection between music and visuals, were using the same ways of thinking about compositing dynamics over time. Sorry, this was the least pretentious way of describing it…

Some early inspiration; Tron. By the way, did you know my favourite artist of all time, Jean Giraud, helped make the film?

The project naturally involved a heckload of greenscreening. Good times indeed.

A peek inside the program, it’s box breakin’ time.

Expression variation.

My censors, Tone Bergan og Elise Sæle, which I totally love right now of course. They even called me “wise”, and put my project in the top three of my class. Big bottle of virtual champagne for you!

I strongly recommend you take a look at the portfolio page for the project, that way you should get a clearer idea of what this really is in a larger perspective.
I thank you all for following along while the project lasted, hope to keep seeing you around!
As some of you may know, I’m moving my whole operation to Copenhagen from this summer on, to find new creative endeavours and soak up all I can of the great city. If I have some Danish readers, get in touch!

EDIT: Peter Kirn from the magnificent blog Create Digital Music wrote up an article about the project. Read it here.

One thought on “AMALGAM – my bachelor exam project

  1. Pingback: Design to Address Visual Performance in Music, Explained by a Giant Robot Face

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