"How can we push the button at the exact millisecond the artist needs? Is there a way to do it with a robot?"

M. Benainous

Why custom hardware?

To create new types of experiences, we need to find ways to do the undoable. We are often brought to use software technologies for different purposes than they were initially designed for. Therefore we often need to conceive, build and manage custom hardware solutions. The DIY community has been a great source of inspiration for making quick explorations and fixes for on-the-fly creation since we first started working with artists in 2008. We learned a lot through hacking. We honed this knowledge, and know specific suppliers for our professional needs.

We are problem solvers. We look for the most secure and appropriate solution depending on time, space, artistic objectives, budget and context.

PROJECT: Audio reactive DJ stage

The concept was to control thousands of LEDs and 32 motorized LED strips in real time. We also needed to build a portable structure that can be taken apart, transported, set up again and plugged in less than 6 hours. Maintenance had to be done by the touring team, quickly, easily, and as the show was running. 

We ended up creating a custom structure that we couldn't have found in the market place within our budget constraints. We designed the structure with the most cost effective and reliable parts, supplied the parts separately and designed and made the PCB controllers. We are technology artisans.

The structure has been touring though France since January 2016, and without any downtime. We are always happy to hear from our clients that our work is providing lots of fun and late night partying.

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PROJECT: Organic orchestra

How can the performer become a live orchestra, controlling the music, the sound source and the stage lights? 

Over 5 years, we explored all kinds of media to trigger effects and allow for flexibility and intuitive use from the performer.  We designed a custom glove with the Atelier Arts Sciences in Grenoble. We played with WII controllers, Kinects, iPhones, infrared cameras. We connected these devices to control a live music sampler, sound spatialization and realtime projection mapping. 

Since 2008, the Bionic orchestra is using the technologies we designed with and for them in concerts and workshops around the world.

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PROJECT: Synchronized ferris wheel, light and sound show

We needed to control the ferris wheel but couldn't access the secured panel and software interface. We had a week to figure out a way to turn the ferris wheel on and off, and synchronize its light with music without human interaction and by pressing on buttons. We ended up designing a little robot with motors to turn the switches of the wheel. 

The show ran flawlessly for 3 days, looping continuously for 9 hours a day. 

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PROJECT: FCB Barcelona mind controlled cars

We collected the brain data and engagement levels from 8 individual users and used them to control the speed of skalexctrics cars on a giant track. We also did a real time projection mapping on the cars that go up to 40 km/h by tracking them using high frame rate infrared cameras. 

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PROJECT: Music and light performance using physical light structures

We designed and set up all the technical and electrical aspects  of the LED structures. We made technical recommendations in order to build the structures by hand and to make them controllable by Artnet. 

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