UK - Light artist Philippe Morvan and programmer Émilien Guesnard relied on the power and feature set of Avolites’ Titan Mobile console to realise one of the highlight installations of this year’s Lumiere London Festival, which took place in January.
Morvan’s ‘DOT’ installation, which was located at St Pancras Square in London’s Kings Cross, was the latest in a series of light installations by the French designer, whose work has been seen across the world. Characterised by the synchronisation of light and music, Morvan’s designs engage the viewer with geometric, abstract patterns and pulses of movement.
As with all Morvan’s creations, DOT’s deceptively simple result masked a complex creative process, helped in no small measure by Avolites’ Titan Mobile.
“It was a long process,” confirms Morvan. “I wanted to create something organic, smooth and peaceful. I wanted the piece to look really simple – and it’s difficult to make something appear so simple! We don’t have any colour, or any other effects, remember - just traditional light and movement.”
DOT consisted of a 5 x 35 horizontal matrix of 40W lamps behind large, circular white diffusers. Patterns and chases swept and pulsed through the array of ‘dots’ in a six-minute light-show, which was meticulously programmed to accompany the music of electronica duo Solomon Grey. To translate his vision into light, Morvan worked closely with his frequent collaborator, programmer Émilien Guesnard, over a six-week period.
Guesnard, a long-term Avolites user, says, “Philippe gave me hisvision for the project, something organic and simple and I translated it into images. At the same time, I dived into Solomon Grey’s music and began testing ideas with pixel mapping, key frames and also the shape generator, previsualising with Capture Nexum. In the end, the pixel mapping did everything we needed.”
Guesnard adds, “I love how intuitive and ergonomic the Titan Mobile is for programming. The power of the pixel mapper keyframe is such an essential feature. In programming the structure of the DOT project, I was able to use the pixel mapper to create effects by importing images. The pixel mapper is a great tool for this project, we can edit, create, import . . . it’s really amazing and so intuitive, especially with timecode and the Winamp player.”
To incorporate the Winamp media player into the process, Guesnard called on the assistance of Avolites’ tech support team. He says, “I needed some help to integrate the timecode using Winamp. Avo’s support team, especially Steve Harris, spent time with me to make sure I had everything I needed.”
Onsite, the compact, portable Titan Mobile console gave Guesnard all the flexibility he needed. He says, “Due to the size of the installation, we couldn’t test the show. I knew that the basic programming was done, but I would need to make changes onsite. Once there, I was able to add effects and make any necessary changes. For this, it was essential to have the mobile desk with me.”
Lumiere London ran from 18-21 January and featured more than 50 light art installations in various locations across the city.