PROTOTYPE

DMX Installation

Background

The installation consisted in a custom software communicating with laser projectors and a fog machine. The software also used audio analysis to constantly extract values from a music file that would be used as parameters to control specific properties in the laser projectors, offering a diverse and nearly random reaction.

Sound was crucially important as a way to enhance the physical experience. In my view, one of the elements I wanted to bring to the experience was to challenge the viewer by creating some sort of discomfort.

The audience would enter the room and would experience the work for the duration of the ambient music, approximately 5 minutes. The opposing laser projections would move rapidly and following different patterns, reacting according to the music. The fog produced by the haze machine was dense and made the beams extremely bright, creating an asphyxiating and toxic atmosphere contrasting with rich dancing colours. 

In the final day of the performance, although all the safety measures were taken and alarms and equipments professionally tested, during the demonstration, the alarms were set off twice causing the building to be evacuated in both occasions. A formal apology for the event and the assessment of risks of the work were made. Luckily, no major incident or accidents happened during the building evacuation. During such traumatic event, some questions actually came to my mind in regards to the experience that the work caused.

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Details

The connection between the custom app, written in Cinder, was made possible with the Enttec DMX USB Pro. The Enttec DMX USB Pro is industry standard interface for connecting PCs and Macs to DMX512 lighting networks. Compatible with the broadest range of Commercial and Free software it is the fastest and most reliable interface available.

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