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Local collaboration of art and science features at global festival

A creative team from the University of Auckland will be heading off to Austria next month to take part in a world-leading digital art and technology festival.

The team, led by Associate Professor Uwe Rieger from the arc/sec Lab for Digital Spatial Operations at the School of Architecture and Planning, and Associate Professor Carol Brown from Dance Studies, have been invited by the organisers of the Ars Electronica Festival to present two interdisciplinary works - LightScale II and SINGULARITY.

Founded in 1979, for more than three decades the annual Ars Electronica Festival has provided a platform for artistic and scientific encounters with technology, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from across the globe. This year’s theme is Artificial iNtelligence – The Other I.

As part of the festival, the Ars Electronica Centre hosts exhibitions and presentations by artists associated with international tertiary institutions whose curriculum takes an innovative approach to research and teaching media art and culture.

The team from the arc/sec Lab at the University of Auckland have been developing leading-edge high-tech media projects for nine years. Their latest work is their most ambitious.

LightScale II employs 3D projections on a 20-metre long kinetic structure. Like a giant whale the work floats through a virtual ocean, oscillating freely through space. A motion tracking system combined with ultra sound sensors recognises touch, position and movement and a live-render program overlays the physical construction with interactive digital information. Equipped with latest digital spatial technologies LightScale II performs as a responsive navigation tool for augmented spaces.

SINGULARITY blends data, dance, music and architecture in an immersive performance designed to transport audiences into spaces of awe and delight. Large 3D holographic constructions are interactively drawn and moved by three dancers in a space defined by a live-render program, motion-tracking cameras, projection, and haze particles. Created through a collaboration between the arc/sec Lab, Carol Brown Dances and French techno composer Jerome Soudan, the work was premiered at Q Theatre in 2016 and its tour to Austria is supported by a Creative New Zealand Grant for the Arts.

Associate Professor Uwe Rieger, Associate Professor Carol Brown, Yinan Liu

Co-ordinator of The Open Media Lab, dancers Zahra Killeen-Chance, Adam Naughton, Solomon Holly-Massey and lighting designer Margie Medlin will travel to Linz to present the work at the festival’s official opening on 7 September.

University of Auckland to present at Ars Electronica Festival

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