Generative motion graphics agency Stout Studio launched last October, with the opening of experiential installation An Exercise in Vulnerability. The brainchild of studio founders Lewis Kyle White and Pod Bluman, the interactive installation explored technology’s effect on human relationships.
Collaborating with multidisciplinary artist Kate Tiernan, the immersive audio-visual experience shone a spotlight on our increasingly virtual existence, and challenged visitors to be open and vulnerable with a stranger. Participants were lead into darkened room, where they were connected to gestural leap motion sensors, traditionally used in VR, and asked a series of questions. Leveraging Notch generative content technology and surrounding users in a 3D volumetric projection environment, users controlled and influenced both the audio and visuals of the experience - manipulating the images to communicate in a visual language with the stranger on the other side of the room.
The process provided each participant with a unique and individual experience. ‘It’s been wonderful to see how visitors have understood and interpreted the visual language’ reflects Pod Bluman ‘One of the overriding themes we discovered when speaking to participants was that the experience made them feel special, as if they were part of an experience created only for them. As they had such a tangible influence over their environment, it made the individual feel unique.’
The installation was created using Leap Motion technology – a platform developed for the gestural control of VR. By leveraging this, Stout Studios developed a process path to generative content software Notch. The data sent from the users movements was then translated to create the interactive visuals. This was then sent back to the screen via a disguise (formerly d3 technologies) media server with very little latency. Generative sound was created using MAX MSP – which triggered electronic synths to create a soundtrack generated by the user data collected. It connected the audio and visuals, and married the tangible field of interactivity.
While An Exercise in Vulnerability was deliberately more psychological in it’s nature – it does mark the introduction of disruptive motion graphics technology to brand and experiential events. Having already made it’s mark on the live music industry, generative content can be seen on some of worlds biggest tours, favored by artists including Beyoncé, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2.