We are three-dimensional beings living in four dimensional spacetime. While we can travel freely through space, we only experience a single moment of time: the specious present. Our perception only extends to this slice of the timeline as we are propelled forward through it. We remember the past with memory and simulate the future in our thoughts, but these instruments are entirely subjective. Our minds struggle with accurate time measurement and reliable data collection.
To address this limitation, we have developed various tools such as clocks and calendars.
Clocks point you to the present, the “you are here” sign for the fourth dimension. Calendars mark points of interest on the timeline. Alarms tell you when a future point of interest becomes the present.
These tools generally focus on the present and future, but our picture of the past remains fuzzy. If I ask you when your next doctor’s appointment is, you can look it up in a calendar instantly with minimal mental exertion. If I ask you how long it’s been since your last visit to the doctor, it will take more effort to answer. Maybe you can look up the date, but to answer the question of “how long has it been” will require another mental calculation on top of that.
Hindsight is an app I made for iPhone and Apple Watch that remembers past events and calculates time intervals. By unburdening your mind from these calculations and making the information readily accessible, it gives you a new sense of awareness and perception of the past.
It helps you stay on top of anything that needs doing regularly, without requiring you to plan ahead.
Awareness can also be a powerful motivator for changing behaviour, to reign in vices or encourage good habits.
A histogram exposes patterns in the frequencies and intervals of occurrences to give you new insights at a glance. Alerts notify you when a certain amount of time has passed.
And being a timekeeping tool, of course you can access it from your wrist.
It’s a simple tool to make navigating the fourth dimension a little easier. I hope you find it useful as I do.
This was cross-posted on Medium
After a summer hiatus, I joined forces with Diagraf to perform visuals at Bacchanale Story w/ RØDHÅD, Groj & Adam Solomon b2b Alessandroid. The elephant screen is the work of AV Exciters. Another great underground event organized by La Bacchanale Montréal. More photos here.
This year the MUTEK and ELEKTRA festivals joined forces as EM15. It was a week-long audio-visual extravaganza, and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate. I performed four separate shows, which really pushed my limits. On Friday, May 30, SWACK took us to the moon and beyond the stars and Alicia Hush got all the juices flowing to close the night. Saturday night at the MAC, Fake_Electronics took us on a mind-bending journey; I particularly enjoyed playing this set. Later that evening I accompanied the ambient soundscapes of Chat Noir.
I thoroughly enjoyed all the music I got to work with, and most importantly, I had the chance to perform alongside friends. A big thanks to SWACK, Alicia Hush, and Fake_Electronics for meeting up for practice and working with me as we all prepared for the festival. This helped me create some new material for each artist, to match their music and give each show a different feel. This year’s MUTEK was quite a treat.
Here’s a small glimpse of found footage. You had to be there.
On May 23, continuing our collaboration from MUTEK_IMG, I performed visuals for Mateo Murphy‘s live set at the Nocturne Numérique at the Musée d’art Contemporain in Montréal. This was a special opening event for various digital arts festivals and exhibits taking place at the MAC, including BIAN and EM15. These events are part of the Printemps Numérique digital arts season taking place in the city.
This winter I played visuals at Montreal’s infamous Igloofest outdoor music festival, one night with Alex from Tokyo and another with Mayssam. The new Videotron stage was a giant enclosure made up of stacked cargo containers, creating the largest projection surface I’ve worked with to date. It was loads of fun and I got to showcase some all new material.
And here’s a video retrospective of the event:
MUTEK_IMG 2013 was the first edition of a new visuals-centric festival in Montreal. I had the opportunity to participate by giving a talk at a VJ showcase featuring many of Montreal’s talented visual artists. I also performed visuals live along with Mateo Murphy for the closing night of the event. This was definitely my most high-profile performance as I was up on stage instead of in the back of the room where the VJ usually resides. We setup OSC communication between Mateo’s Ableton Live setup and Oculon for better synchronization. This was also one of the first major performances I did using only real-time rendered content.
I am very happy to see a festival with more focus on visuals, it was a great opportunity to see the work of other visual artists and get technical with talks and workshops. Big thanks to MUTEK_IMG and Centre PHI for putting on an excellent event. I look forward to future editions of MUTEK_IMG.
Update: Video of the VJ showcase was posted (my talk starts at 31:30):
In November 2013, I was invited to play visuals at the opening night of Festival Nemo in Paris with Laurel Halo and Electric Indigo. This was my first international gig, and also the most technically challenging. I had to output at 3840×1080 resolution to two projectors. Even with a recent computer upgrade, my machine was barely able to handle running both Resolume and Oculon at this resolution, so I had to keep layers and effects to a minimum. The video was output using a Matrox DualHead2Go, which creates a virtual monitor but outputs separately to the 2 projectors.
I followed Ryoichi Kurokawa, who performed one of the most striking audio-visual shows I have ever seen. I prepared material to fit Laurel Halo’s latest album, Chance of Rain, sticking to monochrome colors and minimalistic patterns. For Electric Indigo I let loose a bit more. As my hardware could barely keep up with rendering in real-time at such high resolutions, I commissioned some help from Diagraf, who generated some high-resolution video content to use along with Oculon.
The rest of the festival was also very interesting, showcasing many new media artworks and installations at the impressive Cent Quatre arts venue. It was a privilege to take part in this event, and getting flown to Paris to VJ wasn’t too shabby either.
I had the opportunity to play visuals along with some amazing artists this summer at MUTEK Montreal. At Metropolis, the stage was setup with a large screen with triangle-shaped layers. For the SAT I coded a custom module in Oculon to play on The Grid light wall created by Iregular.
NOCTURNE 4: Cloudface at Metropolis
NOCTURNE 4: Laurel Halo at Metropolis
I’ve been spending a lot of time writing code, which hasn’t left a lot of time for writing blog posts, so now it’s time for a sweeping update to cover all the work I’ve done in the past few months. I continue to develop my visualization engine, Oculon, using cinder. The focus has shifted from generating video content to creating a live performance system. In collaboration with Diagraf, we’ve created a hybrid setup that combines the output of Oculon with Resolume, allowing us to mix real-time generative content with video. We’ve used this setup to perform at several shows, most recently at Metropolis for MUTEK. I also used it solo for the first time to provide visuals for an RTS.FM podcast featuring Orbital Mechanics. This is a continual work in progress, with efforts divided between creating new visuals, improving the tech under the hood, and streamlining the user interface for live performance. Following is a summary of some of the work in these areas. Continue Reading →