3D printing, augmented reality, video projections, and LED overload marked this year one celebration.
Taking the annual festival into the digital realm for a new generation of art junkies flying south, IAF was a much needed future-forward slap in the face after more of the usual at the Convention Center. A five day exhibition, the IAF featured the work of new and established artists toiling at the intersection of technology and education.
Essentially, think: 3D printing, augmented reality, video projections, and LED overload.
Under the umbrella theme–“Of Landscapes”–three artists took similar paths using divergent tools.
1. Virtual world landscapes – Motion sensors
To create a virtual space with the peaks and valleys that are the trademark of a real-world landscape, the Brooklyn-based incubator Floating Point Collective created an interactive projection installation. When visitors approached the wall-sized projection it would slowly, progressively alter its landscape based on the gestures made.
The data was displayed as points and lines by the artists/programmers/creative technologists: Catherine McCurry, Jack Kalish, and Gabriella Levine. This formed a virtual landscape from the way we interacted with our physical landscape.
2. Iceberg landscapes – Video
In another generative projection that represented space–this one smaller, but projected on a 48” slab of glass suspended five feet in the air–multimedia artist Melissa F. Clarke explored how icebergs melt and shape shift. Based on an algorithm, the single-channel video would wash over the glass and along the edges of shards vertically cutting the plane.
The mash-up of video and tactile material took the piece and the theme of glacial terrain to a higher, more engaging level.
3. Lightening landscapes – Light/Sound
From the glaciers of Antartica, IAF visitors moved on to the landscape of light. As an encore to her Eyebeam exhibit in NYC, interactive visual artist Chika adapted Shikaku 08 into what appeared to be a lightening storm. Every five seconds–or upon visitor gesture–a booming storm sound went off and three six-foot LED poles blinked 2-4x in a randomized order. The addition of a two-way mirror box housing LED lights further created new and unexpected patterns that formed a custom digital landscape.
Other Notable work:
ANDREA WOLF, Weather has been nice, 2013, video-sculpture, variable dimensions.
The curator Andrea Wolf of Reverse Gallery in Brooklyn defined a landscape as a frame and a form.
By tapping into technology for a supercharge, her artists used artificial images and unstable data to re-frame the intersection of art and tech. Just the dose of emergent thought that Art Basel needed–here’s hoping the Interactive Art Fair comes back for year two.