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The Creators Project Coachella

Lights and music collide for a fantastic display of digital technology at California's Coachella festival

by John Ortved in Tech on 15 April 2011

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The concept behind The Creators Project is not new—mix the social, the artistic and the scientific. The resulting experiences the initiative produces though, is astounding. Founded by Vice Magazine and Intel, the altruistic enterprise seeks to support the creative community through a series of collaborations that push the boundaries of digital technology. At this year's Coachella music festival, the team worked with the British multi-disciplinary collective United Visual Artists and Goldenvoice concerts on a 3D Rubik's Cube-like installation of light and music, unfolding over three days on Coachella's main stage.

Using bespoke software and LED light projection, UVA have created an immersive experience that will serve as both a platform for performance and as a standalone light and sound sculpture. To top it off, Vice has chosen key bands—Interpol, Animal Collective and Arcade Fire—to program distinct visual identities to coincide with their live performances. For the Arcade Fire show, 2,000 lightweight balls equipped with LED lights and infrared receivers will be released into the crowd. As the balls drop, they'll be controlled by a series of IR transmitters, altering the LED effects in each ball, and painting various lighting designs across the crowd for an effect that feels like a New Years Eve Balloon drop meets War of The Worlds.

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Through The Studio, a sector of The Creators Project that aims to encourage collaboration between artists, a number of smaller installations will illuminate the festival. Director Jonathan Glazer is working with the band Spiritualized to create a physical manifestation of their best-known song, "Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space," which will be an arched cathedral of light and sound. Interpol is working with David Lynch, playing with the notion of surveillance, and Black Dice and Animal Collective have collaborated on a video.

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The Creators Project is not only making visuals we actually want to watch, but it's also adding a whole new dimension to watching live music. We wish Pink Floyd was still around to see this.

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