A 3D visual deconstruction of time and space. Work in progress.

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A camera feed is passed through physical space over time, creating imagery that contains fragments from a range of times simultaneously. Unlike a 2D image taken over a long duration – which would essentially be a blur – the time is ordered in the third dimension, as if time was flowing in a particular direction.

Seen from ahead, the image is superimposed on itself, similar to its 2D counterpart, but from other angles, the flow of time through space can clearly be seen. And from behind, time slowly fades away into the distance.

The project builds on ideas first implemented in squidsoup’s Freq2 – www.squidsoup.org/freq2

Discontinuum is a Squidsoup project, in collaboration with ETHZ and horao GmbH.

www.squidsoup.org www.nova.ethz.ch www.horao.biz

The website is live at www.squidsoup.org/stealth – it includes this video documentation:

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The Stealth Project, a 3 dimensional take on the classic game Connect 4 and inspired by the Cold War Modern exhibition, was premiered on 31 October at the Gamble Room, V&A, London. The project is a Squidsoup collaboration with Horao GmbH / ETHZ and uses the NOVA 3D LED grid.

Flickr slideshow here.


Our latest project, a collaboration with ETH Zurich and horao GmbH and featuring their wonderful NOVA 3D LED grid, will be premiered at the French Connection Friday Late at the V&A museum in London on 31 October 2008.

Planes, missiles and other hardware that deflect or otherwise avoid radar detection were key in the race for world supremacy. Detection avoidance, or stealth technology, was one of many ‘developments’ to emerge from the Cold War.

In the Stealth project, two grids of triggers target and launch missiles across an abstracted 3D space at each other, attempting to avoid radar detection and annihilate the opposition.

However, in contrast to the Mutually Assured Destruction madness of the arms race, the piece acts as a collaborative spatial musical instrument – each ‘missile’ emits sounds based on its relative position and the conditions it encounters along its trajectory.

The Stealth Project developed from research into the creative possibilities of volumetric, or 3D, visualisation techniques. Recent Squidsoup experiments using a Baby NOVA (the physical centrepiece of this project) suggested that this kind of three-dimensional light grid has considerable potential for abstract gaming applications.

Full press release here: stealth-text-final

NOVA links: 1 2 3

The piece also uses 2x Monome 64 devices as control interfaces. These are handmade, beautiful and sustainably built.

The unique ecology of Blackpool was augmented yesterday by the addition of a few very rare Glowing Pathfinder Bugs. Their presence was noted by many passersby at the Solaris Centre on 28th September, where Folly staged the latest installment of their Portable Pixel Playground tour.

Future Portable Pixel Playgrounds, featuring Glowing Pathfinder Bugs:

18 October (Lanternhouse, Ulverston)
15 November (Carnforth Station)
6 December (Tullie House, Carlisle)
24 January 2009 (St Nicholas Arcades, Lancaster)

And as an afterthought – a glimpse of the magical Blackpool trams at night:


Three days in Zurich experimenting with NOVA, a 3D LED grid system developed by ETHZ (Swiss Institute of Technology). Very interesting to see what works and what doesn’t. These images do not do the system justice: beside being 2D representations of a 3D visual, they don’t fully convey the shimmering beauty of NOVA, especially in the dark.

The ‘Baby NOVA’ is a 10x10x10 grid; this one was at Technopark, Zurich. The large one is a 50x50x10 grid, and is publicly viewable at Zurich Central Station.

Preliminary video rushes:

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more about “The NOVA trials on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

Fullscreen version available here.

More images and slideshow available here.

NOVA websites: www.nova.ethz.ch and www.horao.biz

We tried out a range of effects and ideas; mainly randomness, dynamic 3D geometry, and a combination of 2D and 3D imagery; using the 3D grid to represent 2D imagery (mainly from a webcam in these experiments), but using all of the voxels/LEDs,and focusing on a single ‘sweet-spot’. The image is surprisingly clear from one viewpoint, but abstracted from any other position.

The large NOVA at the Central Station is relatively flat, and too high up for best results, but sweet-spot visuals and 3D geometries do still work, and have an extraordinary not-quite-there effect, as though they inhabit physical space yet are not there…

Our man in Carlisle reports bad weather but enthusiasm never-the-less for the fascinating behaviour of the Glowing Pathfinder Bug. 6th July saw the first Portable Pixel Playground which was a success despite torrential rain and gale force winds.

Clear sighting of the pathfinder in two stages of metamorphosis

The first stages of domestication?

(image courtesy of Folly)

More details at squidsoup.org/bugs

Preliminary reports from our researchers in Faroffistan confirm rumours of the discovery of a hitherto unknown creature – the Glowing Pathfinder Bug (Lat: Luminosis Flattus Virtua). The following footage has been dispatched from the field showing these strange creatures in their natural habitat. Our researchers are attempting to bring a few examples back home with them sometime in early August.

More information to follow.

… exploring the magnificent light properties of Aerogel (see earlier post here). This is a weird and wonderful substance. Projecting through it is akin to projecting in a smoke-filled environment, but it’s a solid space. These images don’t do the physical reality justice. More soon.

First pass at the bugs here