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Sunday, June 18, 2006

NYC Remix Hotel June 23rd-25th

I will be working with Apple and Roland at Remix Hotel NYC. checkout
Daily demos (Around 5:00PM) on Motion Dive, FCP and tips and tricks for using Quartz Composer with Motion Dive.
Checkout all the gear by the music industry leaders.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

New content for an Immersive environment
For the Red Bull Ascension party I re-used some content from another installation I did about 5 years ago. In the top picture you see a women painted gold. She is rotating on a motorized table. I then built a cube that rotates and the same speed as the table she is sitting on. Then I use two projectors to project at perpendicular angles onto the screen. The material on the cube is translucent enough to give images on all four sides.
When the viewer walks underneath the cube the illusion of the cube rotating and the women rotating is a very interesting effect.

For Ascension I re-composed the video in After Effects and created 4 versions. Some of them are vertical. Each movie played on a DVD player at the same time on different screens around the room.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Beck Summer Tour Santa Cruz
Okay, I know my camera sucks. It's LCD screen is broken and it is the only preview on the camera. Not to mention low night shots are blurry.
Santa Cruz was the final stop on this leg of the tour. It was a full day setup. We had the time to really dial it in.
It was also our best show yet, at least for the video crew. We nailed, it was a very good feeling. Lighting was right, keith on camera got every shot and all the cues were nailed.
After the show the crew got on the bus and drove down to LA. I caught a ride back up to San Francisco with Sean Cooper.

The Big One
Sasquatch Music Festival
For those that don't know about this venue, it probably one of the most beautiful venues in the US. Yes, even better than Red Rocks. Situated on the cliff of a gorgeous gorge in the middle of Washington state.
The venue holds 20,000 people and on Sunday the venue was sold out. The 3 day festival hosts numerous bands all day and night. (check the lineup on the link above).

For us we arrived early in the morning. We got off the bus and immediately began setup. Then by 11:30 we had to strike everything, cover it with plastic and wait for the rest of the day until 10:00PM.
This is the one place that waiting all day couldn't be more pleasurable. Full catering all day with a view like this.
The weather was windy but pleasant. It was a scene backstage. All the bands were hanging out on the grass next to the edge of the cliff.
By showtime the crowd was probably burnt from being in the sun and wind and rain for 3 days but you wouldn't know it. They loved the puppets and Beck and Band rocked it. The crowd didn't want to leave at the end of the show.
Again it was challenge to setup 2 Barco projectors that weight 120lbs each, double stack them and then line them up during the day. All day the wind was blowing so strong that the truss and projectors were swaying by the wind.
As soon as beck came on the wind totally died down and we had a smooth show.
We left the gorge after striking the stage. Sometime around 2:30AM. We jumped on the bus and headed to Santa Cruz a 15 hour drive.

Beck Summer Tour Bend OR.
We arrived in Bend OR. a day before the event so we had an evening off. During the day there was hail the size of almonds.
The Bend venue is outside and it's freezing cold. There are kids at the gate that have been waiting since 9:00AM and it's cold and threatens to rain. Summertime outdoor events are a HUGE challenge for projection. The show starts before it's dark enough to focus and zoom the projectors. There isn't a projector out there that can compete with the sun. Few people realize this and when they expect to have a projector ready to roll when the sun goes down is not realistic.
Tonight we had projector issues. Maybe because it was cold, I don't know but the projector was not focusing. The show was held up due to the projector. We had to lower the truss in-between the opening act and Beck to fix the projector. Once we got it focused we had another issue. There appeared to be a menu of the projector burned into the screen. We were frantically try to fix it with no luck. We had to start the show with the image screwed up.
Somehow 4 songs into the show the image cleared up.
The Bend OR. crowd rocked. They were really into it. The band pulled off a great show.
Afterwards we had to go talk to management and the band about what happened. Honestly, we still don't know why the projector behaved the way it did. We had to take responsibility for it and it was a huge blow to the ego.

Beck Fillmore SF

This was my second show of the tour. From here out I'm on the bus. The setup today was easy since we didn't have to fly any projectors or screens. we used the house setup. Everything went according to plan. The puppet movie was a smashing hit.
After the show load out took forever. The Fillmore has a make-shift elevator for all the gear. I mean all of it. 2 semi-trucks full of gear. Once we were loaded we hit the road for Bend OR.
Reviews can be found here.

Beck Summer Tour
I was still wrapping up things in NYC when I got a call from Mike D-Fuse from London about touring with Beck. Mike just had a baby and couldn't make the tour. (Thanks Mike). Two days later I'm on tour with Beck. Our first gig was in Davis CA.

I drove up to Davis and joined the first show. Wow, Beck's show is diverse and really fun.

I'm mixing live cameras of puppets on a replica of the stage. The puppet stage has amazing details of the same stage the band is playing on. The Puppets are replicas of the band members. Everything the band does the puppets do...and sometimes the other way around.

Each show requires us to go around the city we are playing and shot footage of the puppets running around town. Then the video is edited, shown to the band and then they create voice over for the puppets. Then back to editing to drop in the voice over and burn it to DVD. So far each show has left Keith the editor and cameraman scrambling to get the video finished before the show starts.

Keith leaves the video to me to encode so he can get some dinner before we go on stage. Literally, the DVD finished burning minutes before the show starts. The results are fantastic. People love seeing the puppets running around their town and the commentary of the band is absolutely hilarious.
A great review can be found here.

It’s Red Bull Ascension time again.

This year Ascension will be held in NY. Williamsburg to be exact.
I arrived in NY on Sunday with a 4 day setup for a one night party.
It’s a celebration of electronic dance culture and all it’s art movements.
As the visual coordinator I was in charge of finding talent, setting up video suites and screens and projectors.
The Visual artists for the Event were
Honey Gun Labs
VJ Tek (OVT)
Reality Engine
VJ Moto
Livid Instruments
VJ Culture
Play Motion
W/ Screen support from Marco at
However, it was Pedro and Guillaume from Reality Engine that did most of the setup. They worked their asses off making setting everything up.
I had a palette full of gear shipped from San Francisco to NYC for this show.
This was about a 14 projector show with all projector and cabling in the ceiling.
My digital camera has a broken LCD screen so I don’t have any really good pictures of the show. I extracted a few still off my Sony PD-150 and my phone camera.
The venue is a new space that hasn’t opened yet. Red Bull likes going into a raw spaces and having control of what, where and how we can create an immersive environment.
On the flipside of this…Construction was still in process, which slowed our ability to setup. Plus, all the dust in the air was hazardous to the equipment.

We pulled some long nights. On Wed night before the show I was still setting up as the sun was rising. (I wasn’t the only one there. The guys from Freak Factory that put the rooftop together hadn’t been home in days).
Knowing that I had another 20 hour day in front of me, I got back to the apt. for a couple of hours of sleep.
Friday the following the day I woke up sick as a dog. Vomiting in the streets of New York with aches and pains. I don’t know what it was, but I was really hurting and I had to breakdown all the gear. Fortunately Pedro, Guillaume, and Brien from OVT were there to do most of the work. (I owe them one).
The outside deck was the gem of the venue. A city block long and 150’ wide. 3 domes and a large stage with a garden sat on top of the roof.
We had planned to setup a 2 screen installation for VJ Moto but due to rain we had to pull his installation.
Inside on the upper floor we had the main stage we had 8 projectors.

The VJ booth was built on top of a Red Bull Bar. It actually worked out perfectly for the equipment. I setup a small projector and sent all preview images through a real-time quad display and out to the projector that hit a translucent 2ftx2ft piece of light defuser for a screen. This way the audience could see our preview monitors and so could the VJ. This prevented people from asking us for a Red Bull Vodka.

Downstairs we had a challenge of setting up 3 screens and 4 projectors. Every angle and projector point was difficult. It worked in the end but we had to do some creative rigging.
(All this after the fact that the venue was still being built an hour before the doors opened.

Addictive TV in SF May 2nd

Last night's Eye of the Pilot cinema performance was well executed and put together.
Live Cinema is hard to execute well. Most people including myself find it hard to sit down and watch a video that is non-narrative. No matter how well it is done people fall asleep, leave, whatever. I think the general public doesn't understand what it is. They are curious and want to check it out but they don't know what to expect.
Then when they see a couple of guys on stage gazing into their laptops and don't understand the correlation between the video and the artist they loose interest. I've seen it with some of the best A/V artists in the world. Addictive, Light Surgeons, Peter Greenaway. I think the answer is allowing the viewer to mediate their experience. Meaning, let them mingle, go to the bar, move from room to room. I know it breaks from the traditional viewing experience, but until we as artists have a full theatrical performance few people will really be interested. But how can we as artists be more entertaining in a sit down performance environment?
Addictive TV's Wed night show is more of a club experience. VideoJon and Kevlar from Lightrhythm Visuals opened the set.
unfortunately, the promoter had booked Addictive to close the party. On a Wed night they should have been playing at 11:00PM not 1:00. A lot of people left just as it was getting good. The later half of Addictive TV's DJ/VJ set was amazing. Well executed, with tight moments of A/V and breaks where Graham was just VJing. The content was strong and the music and visual worked very well together.

Big props to Microcinmea for all the hardwork in bringing Addictive TV to San Francisco and hosting the VJ Soriee.
Don't get me wrong, "Eye of the Pilot" is brilliant and I encourage others to check it out if you get the chance.

Power Tool Drag Races

On that same day was the Power tool Drag races at Ace.
Imagine a post apocalyptic Mad Max world mixed with Burners and fairies. Oh and power tools converted into dragsters.
It’s a Sunday afternoon of jumping on cars stacked 3 high and watching power tools scream down a track. Ace is the same junkyard that I got my car side view mirrors from for my 4-mirror installation. See: Archive
Picture of the Goldie 2 installation with the mirrors

How Weird St. Faire May 7th

San Francisco had it’s 6th annual Howeird St. Faire on May 7th. Since Dimension 7 has been apart of this faire since it’s conception I came out to lend a hand. I ended up laying sod wet sod all morning. Muddy, Back-breaking work. This year’s faire was it’s most successful with 7 stages of underground sound.
Checkout and photos from last year at
This year they decided not to try video... a smart choice seeing that it's not dark until 20 minutes before the party ends.

Altmont Pass Windmill Video Project

I’m working on a new project for myself that is centered on windmills.
Xarene and I went out to Altmont pass (off HWY 5 by Pleasanton). There is a good reason there are windmill farms out here. The wind was so strong it was hard to get a steady shot. I hope I can finish this project by mid summer.
Like most of my projects I get inspired for a short period and then don’t end up finishing the project until something motivates me to complete it like a themed gig that needs content.