lagerstroemia at Digital Nature, october 21-22, 2016
the visuals for this installation were inspired a walk through the garden in late summer (2016). the Lagerstroemia indica were blooming and while looking up at trees, john was captivated by the light, color and movement of the flowers and leaves; and in particular, the foreground/background spatial ambiguity of the forms.
the software-based artwork uses real-time 3D sensor data from the viewers to recreate that visual sensation, and the underlying algorithm shifts and moves the data into new conformations. as viewers interact with the artwork, they are rendered out as abstractions of the Lagerstroemia flowers (panicles).
the site-specific public artwork was mapped onto two monumental walls at the entrance of the Arboretum*, and the calibration of the visuals to only the walls, caused the monoliths to emanate a living light in the garden -- simultaneously alien and native -- as they interpreted and reflected their surroundings.
lagerstroemia is the first artistic collaboration between john carpenter and justin shrake, though they work together at oblong industries on computing interfaces.
processing and shiffman's kinect library were used to read in point cloud data, and justin was able to get the software to calculate and upload close to 200K triangles per frame at 60fps on a mac book pro. the plan is to write up more about how that was accomplished and release some code in the next couple of weeks.
special thanks to Shirley Watts at Natural Discourse, and Robin Sease and Richard Schulhof from the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Digital Nature was a spectacular evening of animation, light and sound in the garden. A group of acclaimed contemporary artists explored the intersection of horticulture and technology on the rich canvas of the botanical garden. more info here...