Teknopolis at BAM is one of the most fun and interactive ways to spend an afternoon! I’m a big tech junkie and am constantly reading about new innovations in an attempt to stay current with our ever rapidly evolving world of technology. Being able to interact hands on with current tech is crucial to inspiring innovation and the drive in continuing its advancement. I’m so thrilled that BAM Education curated this installation in an effort to get youth recognizing technology as something they can wield creatively and not just consume. It is an issue we all struggle with and working towards this goal at such a young age is crucial as we develop into an even more tech dominated future.
“Named for the Greek words Tekne (craft or art) and Polis (ideal city)—Teknopolis is an interactive digital art experience designed to inspire creativity, connect with the future, and imagine new possibilities with technology. This is the first digital arts playground of its kind in Brooklyn—and the first time a BAM facility has been dedicated to an interactive, multi-space digital arts showcase for both youth and adult audiences. Teknopolis came out of a desire to provide our BAMkids audiences a space to merge the arts and creative technology. We want to inspire the next generation of young people to push the boundaries of art and ideas. All of the experiences in Teknopolis have been selected because they evoke an immersive performing or visual arts experience for the participant, whether it’s becoming a character in Job Simulator, manipulating your reflection in XYZT, or using the Tilt Brush to draw in 3D. Art reflects life, and as digital technology becomes a bigger part of our lives, we need our young people to recognize it as something they can wield creatively and not just consume. Featuring local and international digital artists and technologists—including a Virtual Reality room curated and produced by Future of Story Telling (FoST)—the selected installations use technology to inspire the same exploratory and creative impulses we satisfy when we pick up a paintbrush, grab a musical instrument, or hear a beat that stirs us to move.” – BAM
Being able to interact with technology in a 3D space is something I love to do so much, especially when it involves the manipulation of light! Stage lighting was one of my all time favorite classes I took in college and it gave me an even deeper appreciation for how light is used to transform space and our perception of it. Whether it be the idea that a step you take ripples the floor in movement, a wave of your hand shifts an entire wall, or that your breath causes an image to be blown away. XYZT is all about this landscape of interactive technology melding the subject, light, and video as one. Watch the movie I made from recordings I took while walking around and interacting with the installation! I know it’s long so feel free to skip around, but each installation was just so cool I wanted to feature all the footage!
“XYZT, ABSTRACT LANDSCAPES Adrien M & Claire B | France XYZT is an exhibition route through the Fishman Space that consists of ten installations involving unique encounters with different digital landscapes. Four letters from mathematical language—X (horizontal), Y (vertical), Z (depth), and T (time) —can describe the motion of a point in space, and carry with it the essence of this imaginary territory. The course is designed as a dreamlike territory on the border between visual arts and performing arts. The walk offers a sensory experience to the visitor, who is invited to play with the light in a landscape of lines, dots, and letters; to engage with vibrant virtual materials; and to have fun with creative gestures and dance. All images are generated in real time, from physical behavior models. Run by Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, Adrien M & Claire B is a digital performing arts company that focuses on the blurring of lines between gesture and image with the human body as the focal point of the work. This installation allows the visitor to be an active participant in the ephemeral dance that took place between the performer and the technology in their dance performance of Hakanaï (BAMkids Winter/Spring 2015).” – BAM
Discrete Collisions (raining letters)
Kinetic Sand (grains of sand in motion)
Field of Vectors (moving images projected on a white Marley floor)
Abstract Landscape (abstract landscapes project a 360-degree world in a cube)
Shifting Clouds (shifting clouds take the shape of the visitor’s silhouette)
Anamorphosis in Space (visitor generated waves on water)
Anamorphosis In Time (transformed real-time video of visitors)
Letter Trees (tree made of letters of foliage)
Coincidence #1 (dark particles and light respond to visitors’ gestures)
Typographic Organisms (an aquarium of shapes resembling living organisms visible from either side of the aquarium)
I’ve had the chance to experience Virtual Reality (VR) back when I visited 29Rooms by Refinery29. It was such a cool experience and Teknopolis took the immersion to the next level! The entire 4th floor is dedicated to VR with multiple installations for you to explore. The team at BAM recommended starting there, but I did this room last in an attempt to avoid the mass of people in my time slot. I did a decent job at this but there were definitely lines to wait in to use the VR spaces. There were multiple little films you could watch that placed you in a 3D world, and there were three installations that were complete interactive virtual realities. I only did one and waited a good while for my turn, but getting the chance to use the Google Tilt Brush was so stupidly awesome! It was really cool to watch all the people in front of me learn how to use the controllers and paint in a 3D space as we followed along on the television display. It is a whole other situation once you’re in there yourself though! I went in with the plan to build a small island with a palm tree and crashing waves (and I say build because you’re constructing objects in space even though you’re painting. It’s an odd feeling!) The guy running the installation though put me in a ‘space’ environment and once I was in the VR I quickly lost the island intent, embraced the space landscape, and began constructing the solar system. I started with the sun and worked on the planets outwardly. Building in a 3D space was soooo surreal. And I used ‘light’ pulsating paint for the sun so it really felt ‘alive’ and the guy running the installation added a moon while I was in there. It was so funny, while building I kept walking around all the objects as if they were really there, like I kept accidentally ‘bumping’ into the moon and feeling bad. My mind really accepted the things I was creating as actual 3D physical objects with which I could interact. Then I got a little carried away and drew a black hole with a spaceship flying into it, blah blah blah. The 5min time window goes by so quick! I really understand how artists who are visual thinkers like me could benefit from creating work in this space as their medium or even as a way to work through problem solving other projects before actually making them.
“VIRTUAL ADVENTURE ROOM with installations curated and produced by Future of Storytelling: THE FUTURE OF STORYTELLING (FoST) is a passionate community of people from the worlds of media, technology, and communications who are exploring how storytelling is evolving in the digital age. At the heart of FoST are two signature events. The two-day, invitation-only FoST Summit gathers top thinkers and practitioners from diverse fields to share ideas and experiences shaping the storytelling landscape. FoST FEST, open to the public, features VR and AR experiences, tech demos, a multiperson VR theater, panel conversations, live performances, interactive games, and much more. In addition to the Summit and FEST, FoST also produces a wide range of content and programming, such as curated exhibitions; an annual series of short films; regular influencer salons, tech tastings, and storytelling workshops; and a popular newsletter and other social media content aimed at FoST’s network of over half a million enthusiastic followers.” – BAM
“GOOGLE TILT BRUSH by Google with Tilt Brush, you can paint the space all around you in three dimensions. A virtual reality tool for artists, dreamers, and doodlers, Tilt Brush lets you use fire, ink, stars, snow, and even light to bring your wildest ideas to life in this entirely new medium. This amalgamation of arts, technology, and VR is fun for the whole family.” – BAM
Teknopolis Your Digital Playground
BAM Fisher (321 Ashland Pl)
Sat, Feb 25 & Sun, Feb 26;
Fri, Mar 3 — Sun, Mar 5;
and Fri, Mar 10 — Sun, Mar 12
Curated by BAM Education
VIRTUAL ADVENTURE ROOM: (Future of Storytelling) Take a virtual reality dive into fantasy forests, office cubicles, artist’s studios, and two original VR films in this room full of immersive technology, where paintings come to 3D life and everyone’s the hero of their own story. Featuring Google Tilt Brush, Job Simulator, Quiver, Wuwu, Rain or Shine, Turning Forest and INVASION!
XYZT ABSTRACT LANDSCAPES: (Adrien M & Claire B) Letters blow like leaves off trees, shifting sands respond to your lightest touch, and clouds mold to your shadow in this series of 10 dreamlike installations, each a unique encounter with a different digital landscape.
LUMARCA: (Matt Parker & Josh Holtsford) With just a computer, a projector, some strands of string, and a Microsoft Kinect system, this deceptively simple installation creates your digital avatar and launches it into 3D space.
POP N’ LOCK DANCE MACHINE: (Catshrine) Karaoke for the movement-inclined. This fun-filled installation allows participants to select their dance, choose some animated backup performers, and put on a show to the hottest tunes.
EXP. INST. RAIN.: (Balam Soto) Part instrument and part installation, this tactile experience gives users an opportunity to “play” sound and light together by touching different points on a wireless cube.