12:00 pm



Art with a Purpose

The ‘Prime Directive’ of art (shamelessly borrowing this term from Star Trek) is to inspire, to shock, to disrupt,and to create an emotional connection and response unachievable by any other means.


That’s it. Nothing more.


But what if art could help materialize data or educational concepts to create a deeper and more visceral understanding of them that would go beyond our simple interpretation of charts? What if these concepts could be forever associated in one’s mind with a particular artwork or installation?


That is one of the many things we are trying to do in OVVO Live Art Studio. The concept of ‘purpose’ and the question of ‘why’sound very old-fashioned, but we’ll be the first to admit to absolutely loving the answer ‘just because’, scientifically named the ‘beauty paradox of evolution’. Working in a commercial environment, we’re constantly confronted with justifying our choices in order to crystallize concepts front and center.


As an example for this special talk, I will betaking two of our latest projects that illustrate this idea of applied arts:  


·        Le Grand Paris Showroom – This is a very futuristic and sophisticated data visualization installation, heavily stylized to ‘transport’ the visitors into the Paris Metropole of 2030 and beyond. It was conceived as a mix of high-level concepts, key data and opportunities analysis aimed at inspiring suburban city authorities and key players around Paris to join the Metropole expansion. For this project, we developed a hybrid playback system that combines projection mapping, pixel mapping for pixel LED tapes, rings and underbelly lighting, as well as ambient light scenarios. All the data are encoded in one single movie file. Everything is controlled by our custom-made web app with a custom back-end CMS (content management system).


·        Recycling Education Project – This is a small, one-day project that uses whimsical props and objects to introduce children to the concept of recycling. It is presented as six barcode machines with special cards containing a picture and a QR code. When the card is scanned over a recycling bin, light and sound will indicate if it is the correct, corresponding bin or not. And before you ask, yes, we used the round-robin sound sampling method to make sure the same sound is not repeated many times in a row, driving children (and us) insane. Kudos to the TouchDesigner team, especially Markus, for helping us fix a special case that used lots of Serial DATs.