SOLUNA Festival – Array

Submitted by Menza Art Studio

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Client: Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Location: Dallas, TX, United States

Completion date: 2018

Project Team

Artist

Carmen Menza

Menza Art Studio

Artist

Mattheiu Brooks

Public Art Agent

Erica Felicella

Cella Arts

Industry Resource

Mark Menza

Menza Music

Overview

Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s – SOLUNA Festival – Array

HD projected animation, original music score and multi channel soundscape, Two 14k projectors, Kinect system for interactivity, 2 PC systems, Multi speaker (4) full spectrum sound system, false wall

Goals

Artists were asked to propose “works that incorporated art and technology for the SOLUNA Festival as part of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's effort to join new music and visual art. The event was titled "Array" and the work proposed was a multi-sensory, "Sun" that brought the aesthetic force of kaleidoscopic beauty to the viewer in this immersive experience. Its intrinsic nature is a euphoric abundance of colors and forms that elevate perception in our sensory dimensions.

An origami inspired sculpture serves as the projection surface for animated sequences of geometric shapes and particle animation that are ever changing. Initially a bespoke musical soundscape serves as the prompt to continually trigger images on screen. Geometric patterns and dynamic fractal tessellations are algorithmically generated in real-time through the soundscape and with the help of viewers also. A Kinect camera faces centrally downwards from above while translating the viewer’s movements to the “Sun”. When stimulated by the presence of bodies and motion the speed and duration of images shift and transform. Every gesture of the viewer acts as energy that transforms the visualized patterns. A multi channel sound system integral to this installation and provides a heightened sensory experience.

Process

Initial proposal requested by curator Erica Felicella, concept and proposal for “Staring at The Sun"’ submitted by Menza Art Studio. A main component of vision was to utilize software that would interactively generate visuals through audio input and gestures from viewers. Menza created a musical score that triggered visual kaleidoscopic elements that were coded by Mattheiu Brooks utilizing Unity Game Engine. Pentagon templates were fabricated with local plastics supplier Allied Plastics to source material for sculpture. All collaborators on project worked jointly on technical specifications to bring the final concept to life.

Additional Information

This kaleidoscopic sun serves as metaphor for our individual lives and the world at large. Each of us extraordinary and singular but ultimately connected through human experience. "Staring at the Sun" was a great success for the 3000 attendees of Array Dallas. Visitors to our installation were engaged by the continually changing visuals, interactivity and music composition. We experienced many favorable articles from the media and comments from the sponsors and patrons in the days that followed.