Location: Lima, Peru
Completion date: 2010
DJ Light is an immersive public sound and light installation that gives visitors the power to orchestrate an awe-inspiring performance of light and sound across a large public space. It was created for energy company Endesa as the cornerstone of their Christmas celebrations in Lima, Peru.
The installation consists of 85 giant globes of light, each capable of displaying millions of colours. As the “guest DJ” assumes their position on the podium, they can use their arms to point and gesture. These movements are translated in real-time into beautiful movements of light and generative sound across the space.
Cinimod Studio are known for their innovative use of technologies, and ‘DJ Light’ is no exception. The main controlling hardware and software utilised for DJ Light was made especially for the project, and combines years of on-going research and development. The goal was to create visual impact through sound, colour and form.
Each of the inflatable globes contain custom LED lighting, designed, and fabricated for maximum controllability and energy efficiency. Each globe has a unique identity that allows the colour to be controlled from the main DJ podium. Suspended above the podium is a high accuracy thermal tracking camera that has been developed by Cinimod to allow for live tracking of the “guest DJ”. By tracking every movement of the person below, this camera communicates control signals to the main software programme that is responsible for the live sound and light generation.
With over 400 channels of lighting control and a multi-directional sound system, DJ Light is comprised of a technically advanced set-up. However, it is the intention and desire of Cinimod Studio that the focus of the public should be on the beautiful and ephemeral effect of the artwork, rather than on the technology that underlies it.
Using a range of 3D software to thoroughly test the visual impact of the artwork ensured that Cinimod could quantify the design with accurate visual results. Similarly, by physical testing and prototyping at 1:1 enabled the durability and quality of the inflatable globes as well as assess the quality of the lighting and control products set within the globes.
All hardware and software onsite was installed by Cinimod Studio, including the floor based globes populating the event space and the raised podium allowing the user to orchestrate the light show.
Software was created as a series of inter-connected modules. A thermal camera feed established hot and cold zones of movement. An interaction module took the live feed of body movement and processed into a series of behaviours, moods, and scene settings. A highly complex audio system generated a real-time 8 channel sound track to the installation. Lastly, a globe lighting mapper controlled the generations of the colour behaviours for each globe, sent by standard DMX to the large array of globes. The lighting control was itself generative, taking not only the direct movement of the 'dj' but also accepted recursive feeds from the audio and animation subsystems.
DJ Light is about the exhilaration of one person taking control over a massive space and manipulating the incredible array of light and sound within it using nothing more than their own body. It is an empowering experience where the public is invited to be the artist.