Technology

W3rkH0f media arts will rapidly prototype and develop custom software products tailored directly to meet their current artistic vision. With an ever growing repository of software and hardware technology, W3rkH0f media arts regularly deploys and maintains site specific hardware / software components of their art works.

W3rkH0f media arts work with proprietary, self- designed and self- developed software. Our artistic aesthetic centers around the invention of the tools and instruments we use to create our works.

 

Hurricane – Realtime Video Synthesis

Kent Clelland has designed and implemented interactive media technology solutions for two decades, some of which have become commercially available through Native Instruments. Recently, Clelland turned his audio coding know-how towards generative video processing and creating visual instruments.

 

The instruments developed by W3rkH0f media arts place an emphasis on their ability to be performed live

 

Leveraging Apple’s CoreVideo, CoreImage, and OpenGL technologies, the Hurricane is a highly advanced, extremely flexible, MIDI controlled light organ. Being 100% MIDI controllable allows an intrinsic flow of musical information between computers generating music and video simultaneously (RandenSonate or terms&conditions).

 

 

 

 

 

A portion of the user interface for the proprietary Video Synthesizer "Hurricane":

 

An example of the video synthesizer Hurricane developed by Kent Clelland, visual design by Jana Honegger:

 

Deep Integration

Behind the scenes there are many programs and algorithms handling various tasks such as

  • submission harvesting
  • image analysis and compositing
  • live audio processing
  • event sequencing
  • realtime score generation.
  • show control

Beside the MIDI controlled triggers, an artificial life simulation is also used to drive the Hurricane video synthesizer. Based on Conway’s game of life, the ant-colony-simulation brings naturally occurring phenomena from the biological, organic world into the digital, technical realm of media art:

Ant Colony Simulator

ant colony simulation as pattern sequencer

 

Utilizing custom software products, W3rkH0f media arts is capable of achieving deep integration between realtime audio and reatime visual performances, while retaining stability independent of commercial software vendors’ release cycles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LiveBetter

For the last ten years, Kent has been working on a collection of musical performance tools for his MacBook which he refers to as the “LiveBetter Suite.” These tools started out as prototypes in Reaktor and Max and have been upgraded, refactored, modified and adjusted over countless iterations. Much of the LiveBetter Suite has reached final implementation in native objective-C. For example the pattern sequencing facilities have been fully optimized and reached deployment as 64bit mach-o binaries as can be seen here in the RandenSonate show control interface:

The LiveBetter Pattern Sequencer, Customized for performing the Randensonate live on stage.

The LiveBetter Pattern Sequencer, Customized for performing the Randensonate live on stage.

 

Kent and jana° frequently use crucial elements of LiveBetter, also running in the latest releases of Native Instruments’ Reaktor:

Reaktor implementation of the LiveCell sampler from the LiveBetter Suite.

Reaktor implementation of the LiveCell sampler from the LiveBetter Suite.

Site Specific

Because of the Site Specific nature of the W3rkH0f media arts installations, we often work with technology that has the ability to ‘disappear.’ For example flat-screen displays are made to resemble furniture, and micro-computers are easily hidden on-site to provide the computational and networking requirements of the artwort, as in the Telepräsenz Lounge. RaspberryPI units are deployed for remote capture and display duties, and custom OSX server software processes, archives and distributes images (and sounds) to remote stations.  Entire systems are scriptable and can be safely run remotely on-site, for example; for Erna’s Rückkehr the projection and control hardware was placed inside of the local bank, where neither physical access nor external LAN connection could be provided during exhibition hours. In this case remote control software became “autopilot” to completely automate every aspect of the exhibition.

Prototypes and short term installations are often built using the Cycling74 Max graphical programming language or Processing (from Processing.org).  In this case W3rkH0f benefits greatly from Kent Clelland’s many years of developing Max/MSP software professionally.