Fracture

Submitted by Chandler Ahrens

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Client: Cortex, Inc.

Location: Saint Louis, MO, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $3,000

Project Team

Artist

Chandler Ahrens

Open Source Architecture

Artist

John Carpenter

Overview

Fracture was a collaboration between John Carpenter, media artist, and Open Source Architecture to create an immersive, interactive environment for the Murmuration Festival in 2016. Housed within a black mass that is both familiar and strange, real-time interactive media senses and responds to the visitor’s body movement, creating a digitally generated projection in real space that is multiplied through a series of physical translucent fabric scrims to spatialize the kinetic image so that it can be simultaneously perceived and occupied.

Goals

Fracture explores the parallel conditions of the real and abstract mediated through technology. The way we perceive our environment is intimately associated with the way we use information technologies to visualize torrents of information. Image and experience are bound together through technology that enables the coexistence of parallel states between abstract and physical environments. The abstract environment consists of real-time interactive media that senses the visitor’s body movement, processes the information, and then responds through a digital projection in the physical space.

The Murmuration Festival celebrated the overlap between art, technology, entrepreneurship and music. Simultaneous to TED style talks and international music acts, were a select group of five artists exploring the intersection of art, technology and culture. The festival attracted a range of people from young tech entrepreneurs to families to music enthusiasts. The goal of my art piece was to create an work that encouraged engagement form this broad audience through play and movement of the participant’s body to generate an illusionistic space. The juxtaposition of physical and abstract challenged the nature of image and object, generating a physical responsive and immersive environment while allowing them both to coexist simultaneously as composite image and object, abstract and real.

Process

2016 was the inaugural event for the Murmuration Festival, which was an intersection of art, technology, entrepreneurship and music. Located in the Cortex Innovation District in St. Louis, Missouri, which was developed as the tech startup incubator area of the city, the festival was geared toward young tech entrepreneurs, families and electronica music lovers. Brian Cohen, festival organizer, envisioned the inclusion of technology focused artists in the dialog of the impact of technology on culture. Cortex, Inc. hired Via Partnership, a public art consultancy located in New York and St. Louis to coordinate the artists. Meridith McKinley, founding partner at Via Partnership, coordinated the competition and managed the artists. Meridith was quite helpful in communications between Cortex, Inc. and myself as one of the selected artists as well as coordinating the schedule and budget. She was very professional and effective and I would be happy to work with her again.