This september we worked with Aarhus Psych Fest to develop the piece Luna Constructs. Employing the LunaVDO-synthesizer, the installation used smoke as a canvas for projection, providing spatial depth to what is usually confined to a flat space.
Aarhus Psych Fest is a festival for psychedelic rock and experimental music in Aarhus. This year the festival took place at Radar, where Luna Constructs worked as the centerpiece for the outside bar and hangout area.
The theme of the festival was Construction. We chose to approach this concept as the act of physically manifesting abstract ideas. Wanting to capture the digital and abstract entering the real world as something tangible, we started experimenting with smoke to create a sort of between space.
Maintaining the smoke at a semi-constant level, and confining it to the projection space, required a container, which we were sketching out while working on getting the LunaVDO synth ready to be approached and controlled by the festival guests. The inner workings of LunaVDO are covered in more depth here, but working with the NabeRMC vgaOut library again, we found some pretty interesting easter eggs. Shown below alongside the early sketch of the box:
As a pop-up concert leading up to the festival, we performed at ARoS together with the electronic musician Helena Rebensdorff. Using a selection of samples from the synthesizer, we used a conventional VJ setup to present the material, to blend with her improvisational structure and somber aesthetic. A short video excerpt can be viewed below:
And then we built! The final installation took the shape of a 1m^3 cube of acrylic glass, with a podium containing the synthesizer and projector. The smoke machine was set up with an Arduino and a relay to balance the smoke throughout the nights.
As the festival began, the guests were invited to control the video synthesizer, and create the geometric patterns and color compositions that were manifested in the smoke canvas. It was a great experience to see how people approached the piece, creating graphics that we had not yet discovered ourselves. Between concerts and interacting with great people both in front of and behind the scenes, we were very happy to participate in the festival.
Thanks to Stine Kloster and Aarhus Kommune, hopefully we will be able to prop up Luna Constructs again at a later date. A bit more material of the final form here: