Posts tagged with "multimedia art":

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This Miami studio creates mesmerizing artworks of the city’s original architects: corals

This article appears in The Architect’s Newspaper’s April 2017 issue, which takes a deep dive into Florida to coincide with the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando (April 27 to 29). We’re publishing the issue online as the Conference approaches—click here to see the latest articles to be uploaded.

“Corals are the first architects on planet earth and the only organism besides humans to create things you can see from space,” said Colin Foord, marine biologist and cofounder of Coral Morphologic, a multimedia aquaculture studio and science lab out of Miami that is as focused on studying and growing corals as it is capturing and sharing their unique relationship to the city. “Miami has been submerged and emerged multiple times over recent and long-term geologic history,” explained Foord. “Coral keystone mined from the Florida Keys was used all over Miami—much of the city is made from marine calcium carbonate, some of which is the coral skeletons themselves. That is the baseline of our metaphors: the similarities between the city being like a coral reef and the coral reef being like a city. A reef is a 3-D ecosystem that is urban life on top of urban life; it’s fast and colorful and full of diversity.”

Coral Morphologic films the corals growing in its lab and then composes unique soundtracks for the videos to create mesmerizing artworks that are equal parts Planet Earth and Acid Test. The films are usually captured in a single shot using high resolution to capture the corals’ unique fluorescent qualities, and sped up to showcase the corals’ movements, which otherwise happen at a rate slower than humans want to watch.

In late February, Coral Morphologic teamed up with independent cinema nonprofit Borscht Corporation, music, arts, and technology festival III Points, and alternative band Animal Collective to create a site-specific performance at the Frank Gehry–designed New World Center in Miami Beach. Using multiple projectors, Foord and his cofounder, musician Jared McKay, screened their coral videos on all five of Gehry’s iconic sails while Animal Collective performed an hour of new music inspired by the reefs. According to Foord, the New World Center has one of the most advanced audio-visual systems in North America and the massive, swooping sails—the largest is 7,000 square feet—lend themselves well to the immersive experience. There are plans to adapt the performance to a planetarium setting in order to bring it to more audiences in the future.

This is the second performance on which Coral Morphologic, Animal Collective, and Borscht Corporation have collaborated: In 2012 they presented a film on the outside of the New World Center. Previously, Coral Morphologic has projected its coral videos on architecture around Miami and created a large-scale installation in 2009 at Miami’s Art Basel. “By projecting corals onto cement and limestone walls, we are sort of referencing the geologic path,” says Foord. “All of the city was once under water, so it’s a very pertinent reminder that the coastline is not a static thing. We are essentially creating artificial reefs because, when the sea level rises and the buildings go under water, the corals will recolonize the cement—essentially, the bones of their ancestors—and they will inherit the city.”

Foord and McKay believe that humans have much to learn from corals, from their slow timescale (there are corals alive in Florida that predate Columbus’s arrival to the New World) to their adaptability. For example, corals now inhabit Biscayne Bay, a formerly brackish, mostly freshwater site turned saltwater bay, and have even glommed onto manmade infrastructure, including highways and artificial islands. They have survived numerous climate shifts, an impressive feat considering that corals are cemented in place and cannot leave if an environment becomes uninhabitable. According to Ford, “Miami has sort of inadvertently become a coral laboratory funded by taxpayers, and if we can begin to understand how coral can adapt and respond to this environmental upheaval then perhaps Miami can be a glimmer of hope in adapting to these changing environmental conditions.”

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Stay up late to see Times Square turned into a massive visual art piece

Every night at midnight (or 11:57pm to be precise) for the month of June, Times Square’s fantastic array of video screens will stop blasting advertisements for luxury watches and television shows to display a three-minute short film by multimedia artist Saya Woolfalk. The film, titled Chimacloud, is made up of short digital videos from Woolfalk's ongoing project called ChimaTEK. Chimacloud found its way to Times Squareas part of the Midnight Moment series sponsored by Times Square Arts, which features a new show every month (Chimacloud will be on view through June 30). Past contributors include Yoko Ono, Bjork, and Laurie Anderson. Those who find themselves in Times Square at midnight can see one of these short visual art pieces or experimental films every night of the week. ChimaTEK and two of Woolfalk’s past multimedia projects center around the "Empathics," a fictional society of women who can change their genetics and meld with plants. Woolfalk’s work is filled with bright, kaleidoscopic visuals and deals with themes of hybridity, race, and sex. She has been featured in galleries and museums across the United States, including MOMA PS1. Check out the video below to see a previous Midnight Moment by Rafael Rozendaal:
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San Francisco City Hall light show proposal sparks anti-advertising controversy

In 1915, when San Francisco’s City Hall, designed by Bakewell & Brown, opened to the public after the Great Earthquake destroyed an earlier edifice, architect Arthur Brown, Jr. couldn’t have predicted that a digital light show would grace the Beaux-Arts building a century later. But, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee recently proposed just that—his plan would allow for corporations and city events to use the east façade for projected light and multimedia displays. https://youtu.be/u8fY585emEM The San Francisco Examiner reported that the proposal immediately opened up a debate about whether civic structures should be used for commercial purpose and calls attention to the blurry boundaries of public-private partnerships, especially between the city and tech companies. In a text message to the paper, supervisor John Avalos expressed his concern that the display is an advertising opportunity for local companies. The mayor’s office contends it is an expression of creativity to enhance special events held on Civic Center Plaza. “Like City Hall brought to you by Facebook, Salesforce, Big Brother of Public Private Partnerships Ron Conway?” he wrote, referencing one of Mayor Lee’s most prominent backers. “What’s next, selling naming rights for City Hall and all the other Civic Center buildings?” he continued. John Updike, San Francisco’s director of Real Estate, countered that there would be tight controls on the displays. A July 27 letter to the Board of Supervisors spelled out the limitations:
The content of displays shall be City-approved government speech. This ordinance does not open the east facade of City Hall as a public forum, or non-public forum, for nongovernmental speech, nor shall it be open to general advertising signs.
The rooftop installation of two projectors on Asian Arts Museum and the Main Public Library comes with $1.5 million price tag. The cost would be covered by a private fund related to San Francisco’s Centennial Celebration. All aspects of the installation on the historic buildings require review by the Historic Preservation Commission.
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This Week is SCI-Arc’s Viennese Week in Los Angeles

Austria comes to Los Angeles with a lecture series dubbed “Viennese Week in LA.” The talks will take place at SCI-Arc as part of the Wolf D. Prix/COOP HIMMELB(L)AU design studio. Prix himself is the headliner, with a lecture on Raimund Abraham happening on March 5 at 7:00p.m. In “Visions in Exile or: Before we were so rudely interrupted,” Prix will talk about his mentor and friend’s influence on the early works of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU. He will also probe the digitization of architecture practice, asking how architects like Abraham would have designed using the tools available today. On Monday, March 3 at 7:00p.m., architect Gregor Eichinger will talk on “Remembering the Future.” Eichinger co-founded Eichinger oder Knechtl in Vienna in 1985 after studying architecture at the Technical University in Vienna. He has been design principal and CEO of Eichinger Offices, also in Vienna, since 2005. Eichinger has taught at a number of international schools of architecture, including SCI-Arc, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the ETH Zurich, and, most recently, the Academy of Applied Arts in Munich, Germany. Also tonight at 7:00p.m., multimedia artist Peter Kogler will present “Light and Flat.” Educated at the HTL Bau + Kunst in Innsburck and the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Kogler has taught in France, Austria, and Germany. His work has been exhibited around the globe. Friday, March 7 at 7:00p.m., structural engineer Klaus Bollinger will speak on “Open Systems and Structural Design.” Bollinger received both his undergraduate degree and his PhD in Germany before establishing Bollinger + Grohmann, now with offices in Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Oslo, and Melbourne. The firm provides structural design services on both architectural and civil engineering projects, often collaborating with internationally-renowned architects. Bollinger, who has taught in Vienna and Frankfurt, is a member of the European Academy of the Sciences and Arts. For more information, see the SCI-Arc website. Lectures are free and are broadcast live here.