Category: Design

Broken camera

I’ve just been digging around some old hard drives and came across this screenshot from a project I did for Krieder O’Leary back in 2012. It was an experimental camera that moved back and forth along an aluminium track, writing small changes in the space over the top of its existing images. Unfortunately the prototype suffered an electrical malfunction when I installed it in the Tate Britain (entirely my fault) and so it never got a change to take slow pictures of people moving around space.

It’s funny how ideas ricochet around inside one’s own head, morphing over time and through practice – nine years later, I’m mid-way through a project that collates audio in a similar way, with an almost identical tendency to fail at the critical moment.

All the Worlds

All the Worlds

About

Through the use of a special headset, a member of the public is transported into a parallel cinematic world, where the familiar urban landscape, people and landmarks still seem to be there, but are now part of an immersive film plot. The player become a central figure in a dramatic story – but what is real and what is not? And who is pulling the strings?

Three parallel filmic worlds exist simultaneously.

Posters for the three worlds featured in the All the Worlds project: Death Wears a Red Tie, Eyes for You, and Steamship Frankietown

Immersive reality theatrical experience; live. Project in development.

Sign up for updates on this project (find out when we’re testing, etc).

Performance / testing

Tryday
V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media
Rotterdam, NL
10 April 2020
Cancelled due to Coronavirus lockdowns, to be rescheduled soon.

NaNoGenMo 2019: Directory Directory

I decided to participate in NaNoGenMo (National Novel Generation Month) this year with a project called Directory Directory – an online directory of fictional companies, all located within the Alphaville-Zulutown region. It’s organised like an old phone book, by service type, and each company has a name, slogan, address, and phone number.

Some day in the future I’ll update the directory to have more information, and use more advanced grammar, and maybe even be printable. But the project was a nice excuse to learn some new things (the Tracery library for python is fun to play with; it’s also the first time I’ve built a workflow to build a whole generative website).

Some services
Companies offering Anemic Sling services

You can see the project at directory.olliepalmer.com, and play with the code that wrote it at GitHub. Enjoy!

Scriptych

Scriptych

About

A couple attempt to communicate from afar using an interface which translates their movements into words.

Structured across three micro-acts, Scriptych takes precision in choreography to an extreme, embedding sensors on dancers which measure their movements and control both the music and the words spoken aloud, in real time. The couples’ communication becomes increasingly fragmented as the piece develops, posing questions about the location of meaning in messages and movements, and the impossibility of communicating true intent.

3 x 3-minute choreographed sequences for 2 dancers.
Custom computer interface with machine-learnt three-dimensional word database.

Prints

A limited number of signed prints of this performance are available for purchase. Please get in touch for details.

Making of

Ina, the French Audiovisual Institute, made a video about the collaboration between myself and Simon Valastro:

Pavillon Neuflize OBC / INA #9 Scriptych / Ollie Palmer – Simon Valastro – VA from Institut national audiovisuel on Vimeo.

Photo © copyright Justine Emard / Pavillon 2016.

Performance

La Rumeur des Naufrages
Opera Garnier, Paris
18 June 2016

Film screenings

Arctic Moving Image and Film Festival
Harstad, Norway
October 2017

Architecture Film Festival London
Institute of Contemporary Arts / Oxo Bargehouse
June 2017

Film | Making | Space
Royal Academy, London
February 2017

Credits

Concept, script

  • Ollie Palmer
  • Simon Valastro

Choreography

  • Simon Valastro

Design, technology

  • Ollie Palmer

Dancers

  • Eve Grinsztajn
  • Mathieu Contat

Thanks

  • Thanks to the Opera National de Paris
  • Director Stéphane Lissner
  • Dance director Benjamin Millepied

Commissioning

 

  • Project realised under the Pavillon Neuflize OBC programme 2015-16 (research lab of the Palais de Tokyo), during its collaboration with the Opera National de Paris, the Institut national de l’audiovisuel and the Groupe de recherches musicales (INA – GRM).

24fps Psycho

24fps Psycho

About

A performance visually remixing and reinterpreting Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho (1960).

Working with footage from the Institute National Audiovisuel (France), the Prelinger Archives (USA) and my own material, I have built software to analyse the visual and audio content of each frame in Psycho. The frames are then compared to a database of archival footage, and replaced with ‘matching’ stills and video clips.

The rate of frame-replacement varies according to the volume of the film’s iconic soundtrack – so that the audial freneticism is reflected on the screen. The result is a mesmerising, chaotic experience, and a reworking of a highly memorable film.

This is part of an ongoing body of work examining the technology of cinema.

Process

L’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel made a short film about the making of 24fps Psycho:

Pavillon Neuflize OBC / INA #2 Taking “Psycho” to Pieces from Institut national audiovisuel on Vimeo.

Public performance

Do Disturb Festival
Palais de Tokyo
9 + 10 April 2016 (full performance)

Lundi du Pavillon
Palais de Tokyo
18 April 2016 (short performance and talk)

Credits

Footage provided for experimental purposes by L’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel
Made during my residency at Pavillon Neuflize OBC, the Research Lab of the Palais de Tokyo 2015-16

86400

86400

About

A real-time film composed of images that show up in a Google Image Search for the exact time at that moment (e.g. 11:41:14). The film plays in real-time, and takes a full day to watch.

Images do not necessarily bear a relationship to each other, besides a similar metadata tag. Thus, it is the audience who read meaning into the assemblage of images, creating stories and hypotheses about the images.

The images were gathered using the Google Image Search API, using masked IP addresses so that a search would appear to be from a random global location. As an unconnected string of images, the film forms a visceral snapshot of the US-indexed internet in late 2015.

This piece is a digital homage to Christian Marcklay’s The Clock (2010).

Video: ten minutes of 86400, at 22:00:00

Viewer version

A limited edition of ten specially-made film viewers is available to purchase (they also function as clocks); please contact me for details

Public display

Do Disturb Festival
Palais de Tokyo
8-10 April 2016

AIADO Hallway Gallery
School of the Art Institute Chicago
27 March – 6 April 2017

Publications

Film as resonance
4 minute excerpt from 86400 published by Film + Place + Architecture, 2017

Credits

Made during my residency at Pavillon, the Research Lab of the Palais de Tokyo

Nybble

Nybble

About

In 1984, philosopher John Searle asserted that there can be no such thing as “hard” artificial intelligence through the now-famous Chinese Room argument. Searle asked whether a non-Chinese speaker, locked in a room with nothing but a book with instructions for translating one Chinese symbol into another – and given the task of translating Chinese symbols passed to him on slips of paper – could ever truly learn Chinese.

The answer, according to Searle, is “no”. There is no difference between the process that the person in the Chinese room is following (i.e. manipulating symbols according to a pre-fixed routine) and the information transfer in computer systems. Thus, Searle argues, if the man in the Chinese room could never learn the meaning of the symbols he is changing, no computer could truly learn the meaning of the symbols it is manipulating, and thus, there can be no “hard” artificial intelligence.
More about the Chinese Room

This installation is a diagram of Searle’s argument; a human-computer, comprised of four dancers and an unseen controller, parse a coded message. Only the public, who are given code-sheets, can read the message over the course of a 45-minute dance. In computing terms a “Nybble” is half a byte of information – that is, four bits (or dancers).

The Nybble codebase

Public performance

Nybble was commissioned for the V&A Museum’s Digital Design Weekend 2013, part of London Design Festival. It was funded by Design With Heritage, an AHRC Creative Economies Project between the V&A Museum and University College London.

Credits

Project

Production

Costume Design

  • Magdalena Gustafsson

Dancers

  • Anastassia Bezerko
  • Maria Fonseca
  • Raimu Itfum
  • Olamide James
  • Alexandra Katana
  • Roberto Leo
  • Monica Nicolaides
  • Ughetta Pratesi
  • Prisca Pugnetti
  • Rudi Salpietra
  • Kathryn Spence

Casting

  • Andrea Mongenie

Photography

Thanks

  • Amy Thomas
  • The staff at the V&A Museum

More

Nybble at the V&A Museum

This weekend (20-21 September 2013) the garden of V&A Museum will be transformed into a large computing device by Ollie Palmer – and a troupe of “human-computers”.

In 1948 Alan Turing designed the first chess computer programme.

The only problem was that he didn’t have a computer to play it on.

He wrote all of the instructions onto pieces of paper, and played a game of chess as if he were the computer himself. Each move took over half an hour. What’s more, his human-powered computer programme didn’t win the game.

Nybble takes Turing’s human computer and combines it with a sense of theatricality in an immersive architectural-scale installation. Four performers, each representing a different part of a computing CPU, will be parsing a message into the V&A’s John Madjeski Garden. The display is playful, silly and fun – and possibly the most analogue computer to have graced the V&A’s Digital Design Weekend.

Nybble_tests

Where

John Madjeski Garden, V&A Museum
21-22 September 2013
12.00, 14.00 and 16.00 daily (performances last 45 minutes)
Admission free

Part of the V&A Digital Design Weekend.

Funded by Design with Heritage, an AHRC Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange between V&A and UCL. www.designwithheritage.org

CRM-114

Consumer Response Mechanism v1.14

About

The Algorithmic Surveillance Systems CRM v1.14 is one of a suite of web-enabled cameras which enable consumer recognition, data capture, metadata analysis and profiling, all without the users’ knowledge.

The friendly, playful and anthropomorphic nature of the CCTV camera ensures that consumers engage with the product without realising that by being in the cameras’ range, they are giving away identifiable and saleable biometric data.

Public exhibition

CRM v1.14 was on public display as part of Virtual Control: Security and the Urban Imagination at Practice Space gallery in the Royal Institute of British Architects from July 9 until September 27, 2015. The solo exhibition by Max Colson explores the spatial and political implications of privatisation of public space.

RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD map
Open 10.00 – 17.00 Monday-Sunday. Tuesdays open until 20.00.
Free entry.
Exhibition website

In addition, you can follow the machine’s twitter feed at @algorithmic_ss or the Algorithmic Surveillance Systems website.

Universal Tea Machine

I have been helping my friends at Westby Jones and Smout Allen to design and fabricate the Universal Tea Machine in time for the London Olympics.

Universal Tea Machine. Video © copyright Smouth Allen.

Installed in Victoria Park for the duration of the Olympics, the Universal Tea Machine is a computer that relies on teamwork and calculation to produce the perfect cup of tea. The Heath-Robinson-esque machine enables the audience to make their ‘perfect’ cup of tea by solving binary calculation maths problems. If their calculation is too high, they might get too many teabags; not high enough, and they may not get a teabag at all.

I designed and fabricated the mechanisms and electronics that enable tea to get made: the ‘kitchen’ unit. Here’s a short video showing the mechanisms in action:

The Universal Tea Machine is a collaboration based at the Bartlett School of Architecture between Smout Allen and You+Pea with Iain Borden. The UTM is fabricated by Westby and Jones and Ollie Palmer. It was commissioned by the Mayor of London for the Cultural Olympiad.

Photos

The Universal Tea Machine

Press

Please note: originally posted on the Smout Allen site). All images © copyright Smout Allen / You & Pea