All Articles
All Articles
CULTURE

Ouroboros

CULTURE

Ouroboros

Animated geometric shapes and colors in a video installation on the history of the universe

by Maggie York-Worth
on 20 April 2010
OuroborosShow-1.jpg

The video exhibit "Ouroboros" at ISE Cultural Foundation explores the creation and history of the universe, using the iconic image of a snake eating itself as center to the work. The piece consists of six projections in 3-D, using geometric shapes and imagery to transform the space.

This compellingly unique mix of science and art fits the talents of Ourobos' creators exactly. Renaissance man Ali Hossaini, and video artists/programmers Blake Shaw and Bruno Levy of Sweatshoppe, collaborated on the piece. Ourobos combined Hossaini's "investigations into the psychology of vision" and Sweatshoppe's software and tech know-how.

In an interview with the artists, they discussed the project.

What's Ouroboros about?

Ali: It was an ode to the history of the universe in three layers: the physical, the biological and the psychological. The material world, the life world and the cultural world. I did about 30,000 into different files, just arranged them sequentially. And then we talked about what would work where.

Bruno: When we came down to the gallery, we realized there's more of a story that can be told. We had been doing this basic geometry and these shapes for awhile. And what we really liked about them was they had this energy, and this thing where you look at them and you become entranced.

OuroborosShow-3.jpg
How did you meet?

Blake: We started trying to figure out a way to create 3-D video in real time about a year ago, writing a piece of software that allowed us to create anaglyph video, which is like the red and blue glasses. But we quickly realized that that effect is old and outdated, and it also gives you a headache quickly. So we started working with ChromaDepth. Right about the time that we finished the software, we were doing a performance at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. And it was an event that Ali was producing for the Metropolis Art Prize. Instantly when he saw our effect he went, "Oh man, that's awesome!"

Ali: It was pure chance, actually, because I was producing this art competition and the awards were going to be given at the Jonathan LeVine gallery. And I walked in when they were setting up. I'd been wanting to do 3-D for this concept of Ouroboros, which was a history of the universe told through juxtaposed images, and I'd worked in 3-D before. When I saw what they did, it just seemed so on target for what I wanted to do and I think their work is really expressive and it's a really powerful aesthetic. I'd never seen anything like it before.

OuroborosShow-5.jpg
What led you to combine images and geometry?

Bruno: we just have these really simple geometric shapes that are being animated through space, or through depth, and they're connecting and recreating other shapes when they cross. We basically have these three different layers that are looping with different start and end points. So they're kind of looping on top of another on top of another and creating different shapes. And when they cross, they create different colors.

We've been really into mandalas and yantras and all these symbols or these machines that are meant to be these geometric shapes that you look at that elevate your consciousness. But we would almost rejuvenate them or recreate them using this psychedelic, technology driven 3-D media. And try to bring them to life.

Blake: We're looking at simple geometry as the atomic unit. And we're moving from simple geometry to more complex geometry. And then from complex geometry to representational imagery. And we're also trying to address the higher experience of the cosmos. Considering we only can understand the world from our immediate human perspective, we're trying to break you free of that and open your consciousness to greater dimensions of reality.

OuroborosShow-6.jpg

Ouroboros runs through 30 April 2010. Read more of the interview after the jump.

Click Here

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York
Loading More...