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An ‘Interspecies’ Music Interface Combines a Mask, Bacteria

Organum Vivum – a interspecies interface from Paul Seidler on Vimeo. Your next digital interface might be grown, not made. Organam Vivum drops the usual combinations of knobs and hard surfaces and wires for something organic – an “interspecies” interface. The sensors are grown from bacteria, formed into alien-looking, futuristic materials and a mask. The bio-interfacing project began as a collaboration between Aliisa Talja (who has a background in industrial design) with Paul Seidler at the CDM-hosted MusicMakers Hacklab at CTM Festival earlier this year. Not only are the materials literally organic, but in touching and breathing into these delicate …

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Push Pixels Harder: Open Hap Video Codec Now on Windows and Mac

So, you’ve got a laptop and you want to play multiple video streams. And maybe it’s not a super-fast laptop – maybe it’s just a kind-of normal laptop that you’ve upgraded to an SSD. Or, wait — you’ve actually just gotten the dream job media art gig you always wanted. And they’ve assembled 52 projectors in the budget, and want 26 layers of video. And you need to deliver that efficiently. And they didn’t budget for some high-end media server. Either way, Hap is for you. It’s an open-source, GPU-accelerated video codec. The idea: go easy on your CPU by …

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From Song to 3D Model to Augmented App: Visualizing Oneohtrix Point Never

One reason to use code, and the constellation of open source creative coding libraries, is the ability to express ideas across media. HoloDecks is a beautiful experiment in doing just that. The work translates invisible sound to three-dimensional form, and combines visualization in the physical and virtual domains. HoloDecks goes through multiple phases of expression, built entirely in the multi-platform, free and open source OpenFrameworks. Analysis of the song. First, there is a spectral analysis of the selected tune – in this example, it’s “Zebra,” by Oneohtrix Point Never. Virtual three-dimensional visualization. Next, the spectral data is plotted in a …

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Microsoft Embraces Open, Creative Coding: New Kinect openFrameworks, Cinder Integration

It’s not overstatement: the Kinect has changed vision on computers. It’s made a range of techniques more accessible and affordable, it’s spread what were once laboratory ideas into millions of homes, and it has gathered a swath of artists and inventors to using vision who never had before. But in the process, that open source world has changed Kinect – and Microsoft. No more do we need a bounty to hack Kinect. Now, Microsoft and the open source community can work together. Microsoft Open Tech is now embracing openFrameworks and Cinder, two fully open-source frameworks for creative coders and artists:

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Redefining Architecture, in a Dance of Lasers

We live in an age in which the art of architecture and the art of light have come into close duet. One such example is the 2012 project Blau, receipient of a 2013 Ars Electronic nod. As the creators describe it, time here enters three dimensional architectural space, lasers outlining a close choreography of sound as projected into spatial volume. Run by custom hardware, motors move the emitters and trace the space in beams of light, moments in the music cueing geometries. Blaus from Playmodes on Vimeo. But it isn’t just architecture responding to music. The creators say the dimensions …

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The Natural World, in Code: Dan Shiffman Talks Genetic Algorithms

Dan Shiffman @ Kickstarter HQ on Genetic Algorithms on April 2nd from Kickstarter on Vimeo. Creative code may, to most people, be as far from the natural world as possible. But in a purely aesthetic way, finding the connection between natural environment and code expression is the mission of Dan Shiffman’s recent tome. And in this talk, it’s the nature of the Nature of Code, as creative code guru Dan Shiffman goes into his approach. The setting is fitting: Dan is at the headquarters of Kickstarter, the platform that managed to fund his book. After mixed success with a conventional …

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From Light, Lasers, and Smoke, Solid-Looking Sculptures in the Air [OpenFrameworks]

Call it laser mapping. Melbourne-based artist Jayson Haebich has rendered in thin air, literally, architectural forms in color. He uses custom software to map lasers through particles to produce an ephemeral sculpture of air. The results are gorgeous – frozen digital motion. From his description: These are a series of static light sculptures that have been created using laser light, smoke, shadows, physical shapes and custom built software to create complex compositions of shadow and light that play with the sense of depth and perception. These pieces challenge the observers idea of perspective and ask them to consider what components …

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Responsive Kinect Dancing Goes Hip-Hop [Video, Tips]

Body mapping and dance/visual fusions are still explored only in fits and starts, compared to the extent of live music and visual performance in other media. So, it’s encouraging to see this latest experiment from dancer Christian Mio Loclair. Working with Microsoft’s Kinect, the slowly-undulating tendrils of visuals behind him create visual counterpoint for headstands and hip-hop dance techniques. Far from running up against latency, here there’s a sense of visuals that answer the moves with a slow sigh, creating a kind of living architectural space behind him. The tools: ofxOpenNI and ofxCV work with OpenFrameworks to analyze imagery from …

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Beyond Listening: Ninja Tune Launches Ninja Jamm, Opens Artists to Mobile Remix [CDM Exclusive]

What if you could do more than just consume music as a passive listener? It’s a question that has fascinated musicians ever since the dawn of digital technology. Now, a very big label is releasing an app that provides an answer to that question. Ninja Tune – and, crucially, founder Matt Black of Coldcut – are going to mobile platforms with an app that does far more than simple remixing. It can let you radically transform some of Ninja’s artists, even going in a direction that might be considered instrumentalism. CDM contributor Matt Earp has been quiet in these parts …

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Insane, Starship Control Panel Controls Sound Morphing-Synth in 3D: COSMOSƒ

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: manipulating sound presets should be as intuitive and powerful as regulating plasma coolant flow to the antimatter injector on a warp drive nacelle. I mean, knobs? How quaint. COSMOSƒ is a graphical morphing engine for sound, a standalone synthesizer with a wild, sci-fi interface. You can actually set up polar coordinates and navigate sounds through a sphere, in three dimensions. The sound engine is all internal, but looks like a lot of fun. (For more of this sort of thing, see the excellent, free and open source IanniX, which …

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