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Colony

How to get there.

May 11th, 2010

Colony map

Colony: An Urban Art Environment

December 13th, 2009

Article published in Second Nature: International journal of creative media, Vol 1, No 2 (2009)

‘This paper examines Colony a recent urban art project developed by the author in Digital Harbour precinct within the Melbourne Docklands. The work and connected practice is explored in relation to three main themes: contemplative forms of subtle interaction; defining an urban art environment; and embodying artificial ecosystems in physical space. Following a description of the project and its related systems, these themes are explored in more detail using Colony as an example of them in practice.’

Check it here ::: [-:-] and the rest of this ace journal online…

Colony ::: iPhone—how to play.

May 20th, 2009

Over the past two decades interactive art has developed its own particular language and aesthetics. This counteracts many of the more popular forms of interaction common in digital entertainment that are typically predictable or tied to binary operations of on or off; true or false. In contrast, more contemplative forms of interaction are desirable; unpredictable zones of interaction that comprise a balance between environments that are responsive and consistent but rather change or alter their behaviour.

This colony needs people, the more people the better. For the colony to reach its maximum level of energy it requires human presence to stimulate it into action. In this way, the community that resides in Life.lab become a part of it via a symbiotic relationship—the colony receives energy from humans, the humans receive an aesthetic experience in return. There are three levels of interaction within the colony: firstly, the autonomous interaction that the totems have with themselves via the meshwork; secondly, the stimulus received from human motion sensed within the space; and thirdly, via the direct input received from an iPhone (or iPod touch). This third form of interaction allows the play of individual totems as audiovisual instruments; directly triggering light and sound events, and in turn feeding energy into the system. Thirty-six people, each with an iPhone, may play the colony as an electronic light and sound orchestra.

Download the free Colony iPhone app to play.

Goto Digital Harbour in the Melbourne Docklands.

Then…

Colony Iphone app

[1]::: Start the iPhone app and select your location within the Colony.

Colony iPhone app

[2]::: Select the totem you wish to play. Decode the glyphs on the totem and match them in the iPhone app. Alternately, tap the orange, blue or green totem buttons onscreen to see the totems in the garden change colour and make sounds. Follow the sounds until you find your totem…

Colony iPhone app

[3]::: Tap the screen while green to feed your totem green energy. This will play melodic tones that alter their pitch and timbre based on where you tap the iPhone screen. Play some recognisable tunes or make up your own.

Colony iPhone app

[4]::: Rotate your iPhone to make it turn orange. Now tapping the screen will trigger droning ambient tones…

Colony iPhone app

[5]::: Turn it over once again. Now tapping the screen turns your totem blue. Sonically, it functions like a drumpad with four different sounds…

Playing on your own is fun, but join the facebook group to receive announcements on multiplayer events later this year.

Colony ::: replay

March 8th, 2009

This time the evening was clear and the weather perfect. People began to gather in the space and learn to play. Most of the play centred around the two middle clusters between 8.35pm and 9.00pm when the work became dormant. Socially mediated play rules did not emerge spontaneously as everyone wanted to do their own thing. Largely, collaborative play formed around groups of two or three people who shared an iPhone. Next time we need more iPhones!

Five of the totems were assigned short rhythmic loops that were switched on and off by play. (This was active only on the night as the loops may be left to continue indefinitely which is fine unless you happen to be living in Life.lab…) Orange and blue instruments were upgraded for this event. The orange instrument plays soft droning tones and blue functions like a drumpad with four different sounds.

Another event will be held in late Autumn.

starting up

electronic light and sound flash mob

Colony ::: replay

playing in the Colony

Colony ::: replay - electronic light + sound flash mob

February 19th, 2009

We are restaging the multiplayer performance within Colony, an interactive urban art environment. Bring your iPhone, borrow a friends or steal one and download the free Colony app from the App Store. Up to thirty people may simultaneously play the urban art environment and feed energy the media creatures that inhabit it. Each of the totems in the networked sculpture may be played like a musical instrument responding to touch with light and sound. People without iPhones are welcome too as the artwork responds to your presence as you walk along the forested path.

The event will proceed rain or shine so bring an umbrella (again) if it looks like we will play in wet conditions!

A demonstration and workshop on how to play shall take place from 8pm onwards.

At dusk we will commence the performance. Pick a totem and begin to play!
Rules of play announced on the night.

Register for the event via colony [at] iconica [dot] org by sending your name and email address. You need to bring an iPhone or iPod touch loaded with the Colony app to participate.

More information and how-to-play at iconica.org/colony/

Start Time: February 26 at 8:00pm
End Time: February 26 at 9:00pm

Location: Colony at Life.Lab, Digital Harbour
Street: Corner of La Trobe Street and Harbour Esplanade
City/Town: Melbourne Docklands

See the facebook event ::: here :::

Video from the last event ::: here :::

Rainy light + sound flash mob

December 16th, 2008

Despite the event occurring during the largest rainfall within a 24 hour period for the entire year, a number of people turned up with iPhones to participate in the first Colony event. This was somewhat scaled down given the rainy conditions but served as a test for the next event in January. This time we will distribute invitations five days before - after checking the five day weather forecast.

Last Friday night, after familiarising themselves with the software and developing a style of play the audience based themselves around the two central clusters of totems and started improvising. Play continued for about 30 minutes before the totems went to sleep at 9pm. Images from the event are included below, with video to follow…

Colony: electronic light + sound flash mob

Colony: electronic light + sound flash mob

Colony: electronic light + sound flash mob

Colony: electronic light + sound flash mob

Symbiosis - electronic light + sound flash mob

December 2nd, 2008

colony - urban art environment

We are staging a multiplayer performance within Colony, an interactive urban art environment. Bring your iPhone, borrow a friends or steal one and download the free Colony app from the App Store. Up to thirty people may simultaneously play the urban art environment and feed energy the media creatures that inhabit it. Each of the totems in the networked sculpture may be played like a musical instrument responding to touch with light and sound. People without iPhones are welcome too as the artwork responds to your presence as you walk along the forested path.

The event will proceed rain or shine so bring an umbrella if it looks like we will play in wet conditions!

A demonstration and workshop on how to play shall take place from 8pm onwards.

At dusk we will commence the performance. Pick a totem and begin to play!
Rules of play announced on the night.

Register for the event via colony [at] iconica [dot] org by sending your name and email address. You need to bring an iPhone or iPod touch loaded with the Colony app to participate.

More information and how-to-play at iconica.org/colony/

Start Time: December 12 at 8:00pm
End Time: December 12 at 9:00pm

Location: Colony at Life.Lab, Digital Harbour
Street: Corner of La Trobe Street and Harbour Esplanade
City/Town: Melbourne Docklands
See the facebook event ::: here :::

Launch

September 18th, 2008

Colony ::: Troy Innocent 2008
weathering steel, acrylic, computer-controlled light, 12-channel sound, interactive installation, iPhone web app

Colony is part artificial lifeform, part icon of a digital media landscape. The weathered totems use light and sound to communicate with one another in response to human presence. Affect the colour and sound patterns of the artwork by walking through the environment or playing the totems with your iPhone.

The work draws upon Innocent’s digital media arts practice that explores the connections between artificial systems such as language and natural processes abundant in life.

launch :::
Colony was launched on September 18th, 2008.

download :::
Version 1.0 of the Colony software may be downloaded here.

location :::
Colony is located in the garden behind Life.lab on Harbour Esplanade in the Melbourne Docklands

Troy Innocent is Senior Lecturer in Multimedia & Digital Arts
Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University

Max/MSP software developed by Casey Rice with Troy Innocent

iPhone app developed by Stewart Haines