Thursday, 14 October 2010

Ocean of Light at Ars Electronica

Ocean of Light : A Squidsoup Project
Ocean of Light was a joint research project with the IOCT , funded through two TSB grants. It was shown this year at Ars Electronica and then moved to an extended display at the centre until January 2011. This year’s Ars Electronica festival took place in a massive old tobacco factory, much of it with an art deco feel, and all of it with the strong smells of tobacco still lingering in the air. It made for an interesting event. The enormous available floor area meant that each project and event on show could live and breathe in its own space; projects were generally unencumbered by anything else nearby. This, combined with the labyrinthine structure of the layout and warehouses meant that the overall experience was more like a treasure hunt – you wander around, usually hopelessly lost, down long corridors and empty spaces and then suddenly come across an unexpected gleaming treasure of media art.

Images of some of the projects on show HERE
More images of Ocean of Light HERE
Ocean of Light moves to the main gallery at the Ars Electronica Centre itself in the next week, where it will be on show until 9th January 2010.

The Ocean of Light project explores the creative and immersive possibilities of light-based visualisation in physical space. It uses bespoke hardware to create dynamic, interactive and three-dimensional sculptures from light.

Surface is the first artwork to be exhibited using the Ocean of Light hardware. It uses minimal visuals and sound to evoke the essence of character and movement. Autonomous entities engage in a playful dance, negotiating the material properties of a fluid surface.


The Ocean of Light project is a collaborative research venture, led by Squidsoup and supported by the Technology Strategy Board (UK). Partners include Excled Ltd and IOCT (Martin Rieser) at De Montfort University. Additional support and resources have been provided by Oslo School of Architecture and Design (Norway), Massey University, Wellington (New Zealand) and Centre for Electronic Media Art, Monash University (Aus).

Squidsoup is a digital arts group specialising in immersive interactive installations within physical 3D space. Their work combines sound, light, physical space and virtual worlds to produce immersive and emotive headspaces. They explore the modes and effects of interactivity, looking to make digital experiences where meaningful and creative interaction can occur. 

Contributors: Anthony Rowe, Chris Bennewith, Gareth Bushell, Liam Birtles, Ollie Brown.