I shot and edited the above footage after seeing STOP THE VIRGENS. I didn’t dislike STOP THE VIRGENS, I guess I felt a little letdown, maybe a little bit underwhelmed. I was however impressed with the UVA light installation across the street.
"For several nights, cars driving over the Brooklyn Bridge at night have likely noticed a bright red glow emanating from the waterfront.
Origin, a totemic audiovisual installation by London-based United Visual Artists, is a forty foot by forty foot grid comprised of LED-laced stackable cubes, directional speakers and algorithms meant to simulate a machine that has a mind of its own.
On Saturday night, the first of Vice and Intel’s Creators Project weekend, crowds lined up at sunset to step inside the glowing cube. One of Saturday’s last performances, a DJ set by Justice, played just feet from the cube, which throbbed to the music and responded to the changes in tempo and rhythm. At first, people would stand inside the cube and snap a photo or two. By the end of the night, during the music set, entire crowds lay down on the floor, staring up at the swirling light patterns.
“It’s designed to be a mystical object,” UVA co-director Ashraf Nehru said. “It’s a huge massive thing but it’s also very beautiful, with lights and sound. We wanted to make something that is aggressively technical.”
UVA has been designing spectacles for bands like Massive Attack and the Red Hot Chili Peppers since 2005, and versions of the glowing cubes have been on display at Coachella and other concert venues. This is the largest installation to date.
“We have a little camera in there that monitors people,” Mr. Nehru said. “It knows how many people there are and how much they’re moving. That gets fed into the decisions that it makes but it’s not a slave to those things. The main thing we wanted was to make you feel is that it’s alive.” Origin also features the sound design work of Scanner, an artist who (legally, we’re told) recorded analog cell phone conversations taken in New York City.
Origin, whose name references the beginning point of a grid as well as that of the beginning of things, is powered by Intel’s Sandy Bridge chips. The chips are now out on the market in the newest Macs and PCs, but UVA was given access to the chips, as well as the expertise of an Intel engineer, for about six months before the technology came to market.
“Our software engineer is thrilled with the way they’re writing their code,” John Galvin, Intel’s director of sales said of working with UVA. “They’re writing 3-D gaming code to do a real 3-D project.” (Most game designers write code in two-dimensional space to create the illusion of 3-D.)
Intel had three of their top engineers on site during the installations of the Creators Project art pieces, asking artists about any issues they ran into, with an eye towards future collaborations. “The UVA guys and the Intel engineers were having a nerdfest over what they’re going to do the next year,” Vice co-founder Shane Smith said. “So that’s pretty exciting.”
Origin will be on view at the Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge park through Oct. 23.” - Elva Ramirez