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Design, Mgmt, Development
Javascript, Node.js, DMX
Massive realtime generative visuals x Sónar Festival Reykjavik

> Watch 2016 Video

> Watch 2015 Video

Sónar is an international festival of progressive music and multimedia arts, originally out of Barcelona, but now taking place in several locations worldwide, including Reykjavik since 2013.

It is hosted in the landmark building Harpa, a beautiful structure with a unique interlocking cell-like front facade (designed by Olafur Eliasson) each containing an LED light fixture. Combined it forms a large outdoor screen that is visible across much of downtown Reykjavik.

Artist Atli Bollasson and I were lucky enough to be the first outside artists to do something on this facade in 2014, with the publicly-playable arcade game Harpa PONG at Reykjavík’s Culture night.

After the success of PONG, Harpa and the Sónar organisers invited Atli and myself to do a repeat installation on the lights of Harpa for the festival in 2015, and again in 2016.


HarpaPONG: site
Sónar Reykjavik: site
Harpa: site

We knew we wanted to do a bit more than simply re-run PONG, so instead we decided – in addition to running the game – we would turn the entire building into an audio-reactive light show, taking the music being played inside and use it to drive the visuals outside.

To do this we reached out to other creative developers, providing them with a code framework, brief, and challenge to do something amazing with only 36 x 11 pixels. We ended up with over 12 functioning visual responses from 8 developers from around Europe, which was way beyond our expectations.


Festival Insights: site
VjSpain: (Spanish) site
Yi-Wen Lin (visuals collaborator) process blog post : site

Owen Hindley 2016