Get ready for Saturday’s White Night Melbourne! Located in the heart of the Northern Lights precinct, the façade of Storey Hall (RMIT Gallery’s home) will come alive Architectonics, a high tech light show that morphs throughout the night thanks to a custom projection mapping technology by MindBuffer.
This amazing software will create a constantly changing light canvas on RMIT’s iconic building, borrowing influences from 1960s op-art enhanced for the digital age.
Playing with 40,000 lumens of light like big kids in a software sandbox, MindBuffer work the magic that made them a hit at the Burning Man festival in Nevada.
Storey Hall’s grand Victorian façade will seemingly fragment before your eyes and reassemble again as MindBuffer constantly improvise various combinations of patterns and colors whilst highlighting specific architectural features.
You can watch from dawn to dusk and never get bored, this is 12 hours of relentless creativity in action. Guaranteed – no repetitions.
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RMIT Gallery caught up with Joshua Batty from MindBuffer for his tips at staying the distance at an all night event. After all, MindBuffer have performed at a number of prestigious national and international festivals including the Solar Eclipse festival in Cairns and at Burning Man in Nevada.
RMIT GALLERY What are your strategies for performing for 12 hours at White Night?
JOSHUA BATTY Lots of caffeinated beverages! I find performing and engaging with visual stimulus pretty energising. Taking a long nap before hand to offset your body clock definitely helps too!
RMIT GALLERY We’d love an insider’s view of the famous Burning Man festival – tell all!
JOSHUA BATTY Burning Man is like nowhere I’ve ever been before. It’s in a really barren location with around 50,000 people in attendance over an area that seems to be the size of a medium city. Everywhere you go you’ll see mutant vehicles transformed into ships and huge robotic sculptures that would surely not pass the first round of health and safety checks in Australia.
Oh yeah, pretty much everything has flames erupting out of it! It’s kind of refreshing being in a place that has it’s own rules and feels a tad dangerous, especially coming from Australia that at times feels like a highly sanitised safety bubble of PG rated fun.
We played three different shows while we there over the course of eight days. Performing at Burning Man had it’s own unique challenges. Specifically, the environment is made up of really fine alkaline dust that gets into EVERYTHING. Alkaline is a corrosive compound so if it gets inside your gear it will eat away at the circuits and eventually kill your equipment. That along with frequent dust storms of the stuff makes it a bit more challenging that your normal gig.
Aside from that we had a great time playing our shows and will be heading over again in 2017 to perform there again.
RMIT GALLERY Take home message for a successful Burning Man performance?
JOSHUA BATTY If you can’t blow people’s minds purely through manipulating sound and light whilst at the same time getting them to dance – then you’ve failed.
RMIT GALLERY Let’s travel back in time….how did you and Mitchell Nordine meet and form MindBuffer?
JOSHUA BATTY We met six years ago at RMIT at the first class I taught. Three days after putting a track we wrote together up on Soundcloud, we were approached and signed to Enig’matik records alongside some of their biggest musical influences. It all happened very quickly!
RMIT GALLERY When did you decide to add the visuals to the music?
JOSHUA BATTY We had grand visions of tightly synchronised visuals that would enhance the music, so we taught themselves how to program software so we could create something that didn’t already exist.
RMIT GALLERY What’s next after White Night Melbourne?
JOSHUA BATTY We are currently in the process of building the world’s first Artificial Intelligent generative audiovisual composition software for upcoming performances.
We get a lot of inspiration from projection artists such as 1024 architecture, Universal Everything and Playmodes to name a few. Those guys are really pushing the boundaries. Our friends Eloi and Santi from Playmodes in particular just did a show where they mapped the 300 meter wide façade of the Lichtspiele Castle in Karlsruhe, Germany.
For that work they needed to use 24 x 21,000 lumen projectors outputting a resolution of 10800 x 1080 pixels!! So for use there is still room to grow. We have been talking recently with Playmodes and we both hope that somehow the universe will allow a MindBuffer + Playmodes collaboration in the near future!
RMIT GALLERY This is fascinating for many reasons – not the least the fact that all of this has come out of your PhD research at RMIT. Can you talk about that a bit?
JOSHUA BATTY My research was in Audiovisual Granular Synthesis which basically involves dissecting audio and visual media into tiny fragments just long enough to active the sensory input system. I showcased an earlier version of the custom software at RMIT Gallery’s Music, Melbourne + Me exhibition in 2013, creating The Morphos, a large cubic projection-mapped sculpture that delighted crowds at White Night Melbourne in 2014.
I developed software that does this slicing process for me and then reassembles these fragments in new and novel ways leading to an almost hallucinatory perceptual effect. My software, called Kortex, also has functionality for doing projection mapping, generating procedural computer graphics and controlling DMX lighting fixtures and laser projectors all in real-time.
As such, I don’t have the need now to use anyone else’s software anymore which is a pretty liberating feeling when you get there. Still, Kortex is always in constant development and I’ll most likely continue to keep adding features to it.
Don’t miss RMIT Gallery at White Night Melbourne! Watch the 1980s sub culture film festival, dress up print booth and see the popular summer exhibition Geniale Dilletanten: Subculture in Germany in the 1980s – AND ride the thrilling Einstürzende Neubauten Klangbewegung Maschine by (((20Hz))) to really feel like you are in a 1980s Berlin club.