Creative Direction, A/V System Programming and Design, Production, Digital Fabrication

A Sculptural Hybrid between Physical and Digital Landscapes

Created in conjunction with 2016’s Slingshot festival of music, electronic art, tech, film and comedy, “Refining Realities” explores the dynamic between micro and macro, the physical and digital. Real-time data activates the movement of light alongside each panel and digital visualizations create a moving architectural landscape in an immersive triptych along the museum’s 60-foot Patsy Dudley Pate Balcony.

An Exploration of Natural Patterns

The forms of Refining Realities derive from Voronoi patterns found in nature, especially in the growth and organization of biological cells. Surface wave patterns also propagate along the interface between the digital medium and geometric form. VVOX split these patterns into units that were then virtually sculpted with specialized software and produced with a CNC (computerized numerical control) router. The visuals on the monitors respond to viewers’ movements using Kinect sensor technology. The installation also powered by real-time weather data, scanning locations around the world at random every fifteen minutes for temperature, wind values, and cloud coverage. This data drives the LED lights that travels around the panels, refining the reality of the installation based on the changing readings.

VVOX Refining Realities Team

CREATIVE & TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Kamil Nawratil is a Polish-­born visual artist and creative director based in Brooklyn, New York. Driven by motion and the unpredictable, chaos and equilibrium, between the organic and artificial, the tangible and abstract, his inspiration is manifested through digital sculptures and immersive audiovisual installations. Nawratil has found a space to explore the tension between nature, humans and technology by visualizing dichotomies, juxtaposing or merging technologies and bridging interdisciplinary fields including, science, architecture and graffiti in his work. In 2010 he attended the MFA Computer Art program at the School of Visual Arts, at which time he also co­-founded VolvoxLabs [VVOX]. He now balances his time between work, collaborations, experimentations, and commissions.

PHYSICAL COMPUTING/FABRICATOR: Zyia Zhang is a video and installation artist currently living in New York. She is interested in using light and sound to express divergent human perception of the space. She received a BFA in Computer Art from Fine Art College, Shanghai University in 2010, majoring in video arts and installation with the use of new materials such as LED lights and optical fibers. During her undergraduate studies, Zyia was also a timpani player in the Shanghai University Students Wind Band and Orchestra for four years. She worked as a graphic designer, photographer and video editor in Shanghai and also received awards there at both the Shanghai International Design Exhibition and Liu Haisu Art Museum. In 2013, Zyia received an MFA in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts. She has exhibited her work internationally, mostly in her native Shanghai and New York.

SOUND DESIGN: Javier Cruz is a technologist and visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. He received his Fine Arts degree in Electronic Production and Design at the Berklee College of Music. With a professional background in music and technology he is able to bring a unique interpretation to the contemporary visual commentary and design expression.

DIGITAL FABRICATION: Ryan Kilpatrick graduated from Tulane University with his M.Arch I Professional Degree in 2015. While in school, he developed an interest in investigating how technology, specifically complex computer modeling, will advance the process of design and fabrication. He is currently involved in architectural projects of varying scale and pursues art and woodworking in his spare time. Ryan is currently based in Nashville, TN as an Intern Architect.

We would like to give special thanks to our awesome interns for their assistance on this project, Hao Tseng and Yue Hu who are both MPS candidates in the New York University Interactive Telecommunication Program.