From 7-10th September I was invited to take part in the Uncanny Valley event in Burbage Valley, Derbyshire. It’s a lovely place! The event was described as:
A two day hack in the rugged Burbage Valley in the Peak District, hacking in nature, exploring the role of sensors and data in responding to the environment. In collaboration with Lovebytes.
Responding to the environment was probably the biggest hack of the event! Aside om the midges, the gargantuan hills, the cold and the lack of wifi, the biggest challenge that faced us was the lack of electricity. Jon Harisson of Lovebytes was smart enough to bring a battery pack, but with a running time of two hours this placed restraints of what was achievable.
I can’t speak for the other participants but I felt this restriction affected me greatly. As a mostly visual and projection artist my usual setup consists of a laptop and a projector. Software for manipulating visuals (Pure Data, Processing etc) usually consumes more power than running audio software. In addition to this the biggest power drain of them all was the projector. Really inexpensive projectors and battery powered projectors exist but these would never have enough lumens to fill a space as big as the Burbage Valley. Rather than accept defeat I worked to respond to the environment. My situation – 2 hour battery, small projector, working in daylight daylight – meant I could only get any noticeable effects if I scaled down. And scale down is what I did!
The above pictures were made by simply pointing the Glass video piece onto small rocks and twigs. This was all during daylight, so I was quite surprised by how vibrant the colours were. Jon Harrison quite handily shot a video (edited by me)
Additional shaky footage and more photos are available in my Flickr stream.
This kind of experimentation piqued my interest. I could go down the route of projection mapping but I’ll resist for now. I’m less interested in mapping flat video footage to uneven surfaces and more interested in seeing how uneven surfaces affects both the surface and the video.
Look out for more work in this style in the future.
Edgar Gómez Cruz uploaded a nice video of our time in the valley