Team PixelLux, headed by Nina Dunn, have created a live artwork for The City of London and Culture Mile entitled “Dynamic Shift”.
The design formed part of a program of events in and around Barbican and the newly coined ‘Culture Mile’ intended to inspire and inform visitors about the vibrant cultural life in the area.
Culture Curve: Dynamic Shift
The piece underwent two development phases: one involving a traditional pre-made content approach and a subsequent phase where the piece was re-conceived to use live generative graphics.
Each of the five graphics was characterised according to sound samples taken from the area and then combined in a piece that reacted to these sounds live each night as a distilled, interpretive visual showing ‘an evening in the life’ of the Culture Mile.
Reactive graphics is no longer viewed as a wholly new use of technology, however the challenge came in harnessing this technology to create a harmonious, meaningful artwork rather than a rock and roll spectacle and one that related to the architecture and environment in a sophisticated way. As a result, the team were in dialogue with both software and hardware manufacturers for the platforms they were using who undertook bespoke software development as the piece evolved.
You can find out more about how the artwork evolved here:
Culture Curve: Dynamic Shift from Nina Dunn on Vimeo.
Aside from projectors, we also used lights that were driven by the content to embellish the architecture. In addition, the piece was linked to twitter allowing audience members to tweet a specific hashtag phrase and witness the display change before their eyes to reveal more information about how the graphics were created. As a skilled content-creator for Theatre and Opera, Nina had to open her processes up to the unknown, embracing graphics over which she could have only limited control to create a show that would never be the same each night. She also collaborated closely with sound designer, Sebastian Frost, who was responsible for ensuring the sound feeds worked as triggers for the graphics – both a creative and logistical challenge for him.
Images from the development phase:
Locating a vantage point for the equipment was also tricky given the site and the team had to tread very carefully due to the Grade II listed nature of the building. Architect firm, Benoy, kindly allowed the team to take up residence for the event and were extremely pleased with the results:
Thanks to the team for making it a very painless process and of course to Nina for sharing her great work, we were delighted we were able to host. Looking forward to seeing more Culture Mile activity in the near future.
Sarah Hubbard, Benoy The commissioners were also delighted:
Thank you Nina, Lucy and the team for all your work to get this installed. Was fantastic to see this architectural light, colour and interactivity on Aldersgate.
Rob Timmer, City of London / Culture Mile
The commissioners hope that the use of light in this location in such a dynamic way will inspire more boldness and creativity in future city lighting planning in the area. The creative team were honoured to be involved in the process of creating a splash that should send ripples into the future