Microsoft Interactive Artist Portraits Capture Innovators in Music and Technology
A new interactive photography project, curated by Microsoft, profiles forward-thinking musicians who have created compelling performances and innovative work using Microsoft technology. Shot by Satellite Lab founder and artist Carlo Van de Roer, the portraits are a homage to Microsoft’s recent creative collaborations with critically acclaimed DJ/producer Matthew Dear, electronic pop duo Phantogram, and electronic music band Neon Indian.
“We wanted to think about the relationship between these musicians and an audience… and technology as a conduit for that relationship,” explains Van de Roer. Van de Roer created the visual portraits using a highspeed cinema camera to freeze a moment of time with light sources moving at over 10,000 feet per second. This technology creates the ability to control the movement of light sources and the movement of the scene as independent variables.
The result of the project is a series of interactive portraits in which the viewer can become participant by controlling and moving light sources within the image—enabling them to explore and discover the content, context and details of a moment in music performance. The featured artists all have used Microsoft’s Kinect technology in creative ways to transform the music experience:
● Working closely with New Museum’s NEW INC team, Matthew Dear created DELQA, an interactive installation in which visitors’ movements could transform the music environment, blurring the lines between creator and audience.
● Neon Indian used the Kinect to add a new dimension to the band’s show at last year’s CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. For their performance of “The Glitzy Hive,” five Kinect sensors were used to capture the movement of band members, resulting in a dynamic light show.
● Phantogram, whose name was inspired by an optical illusion that makes two-dimensional objects appear three-dimensional, most recently used the Kinect in a midnight show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. Creative technologist Blair Neal used custom technology to generate images onto the band’s bodies while simultaneously showing a real-time projection map of their moving silhouettes on the stage background.
The project was produced by Listen, who worked with Microsoft and Satellite Lab to conceptualize the unique vision for each artist. Steve Milton, a founding partner of Listen, said: “Microsoft is empowering musicians with technology as a means for creative expression. This innovation helps musicians evolve as artists while giving fans new experiences.”
The innovative photography collaboration marks the launch of MUSIC x TECHNOLOGY, an online destination for new ideas at the intersection of music and technology, curated by Microsoft at microsoft.com/musicxtech. Monthly content will feature new artist collaborations with behind-the-scenes access on how the music experiences came to life through technology. For more information visit microsoft.com/musicxtech.
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