Media Art Kitchen 0x03 FIELD Marcus Wendt talk

It was a relaxed and chill talk event held at quite northern part of Seoul.

Not too small, not too big.

The space is called Ta-zak-ma-dang 타작마당 and closely related with Art Center Nabi 아트센터 나비, which is owned by SK conglomerate corporation. Art Center Nabi manages several programs, events, fellowships to support and promote Media art. And Ta-zak-ma-dang is often used as a place for people who are interested in this field to gather, connect, and learn.

I found this event via Facebook, as I was following 김치앤칩스 Kimchi and Chips Page. And the speaker was Marcus Wendt, the creative director of Studio FIELD located in London.

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(Above: scene from FIELD X Nike: Untouchable Speed)

The studio has worked with big names like Nike/Adidas/Diesel/GE/British Gov, creating visuals, installations, moving images, and more.

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Wendt grew up in East Germany.

After few almost-gun-shooting moments and Berlin wall falling down,

Wendt saw consumerism and radiant colors for the first time when he came to West.

That was his moment to become a designer.

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When he went to Bauhaus 바우하우스, its approach was rather uncanny,

like asking what your pain is to a graphic designer 그래픽 디자이너.

But, he says, it ultimately helped him to find his own personal approach,
and new ways to get ideas.

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Nowadays, almost every idea or topic has been presented and discussed.

Probably the only way we can get through this overwhelmed, oversaturated world is finding new perspectives.

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For example,

skateboarding makes a city as a playground.

Wendt said that once you start skateboarding in the city,

the place transforms in your brain.

He has recorded his own experience of

finding unexpected visual in the

midnight street of ShenZhen, China.

You can see more here.

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^This was the project with Diesel — 
for its NYC flagship store video installation.

The studio had to create the series of nature videos in a very limited time.

(Behind-the-scene: hardcore hiking and tracking, and
they ended up being soaked in mud while shooting :P) 

If you watch the full video via link above,
traditional video footages are combined with a digital-feeling touch —
nature background with the design
implying text messages and battery on your mobile.

The studio tried to describe the way we perceive the cameras nowadays.

Photography is, as all would know, an overused medium
— a small tweak makes a big surprise. 

Since the audience was young generation, the video worked well with the brand.

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Two photos above and below are FIELD’s kinetic lighting installation,
Spectra which premiered at London light festival in January 2016.

This giant bright steel monster looks pretty dope…

Behind-the-scene: They were struggling to make the Spectra
to turn its head around at a right speed
when it senses moving creatures like human around it.
Otherwise, it would spin like crazy…
At the last minute, a Chinese programmer friend figured out
the optimal algorithm,
and tada!

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Wendt said that FIELD spends third of its time on R & D,

which is crucial for long-term growth for any company.

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What are the next steps?
Artificial intelligence? Machine Learning?
Tensorflow using graphical models?
Wendt showed an interest to the project using
memories to create new virtual realities..

Though, you may want to ask first,
What is it from a human’s perspective?
What does it feel like?

For example, when the studio did a VR project,
Virtual Reality felt alien to them,
and that’s how they worked with it.
Reflect human’s feelings.

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FIELD does not work on static designs,
but interactive or generative art 제너레티브 아트 .

Wendt and the studio believe in the power of
art and technology,
and the harmony of the mix.

One of the clients was Maserati. It is an old generation’s auto
with huge sound — generative arts with sound.

If you’re interested in generative design 제너레티브 디자인,
you should look up ‘Karl Sims’.

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Other projects by FIELD: MRI connection in human brain, Artificial sunrise – sunset color scheme on huge screen for architect project

During Q&A,

I asked one question about how the workflow is in their studio – programmers? designers? together? Wendt replied that depends on the project, they either draw the big picture between head designers first, or come altogether to brainstorm.

Another question was about audience-participating installation.
Audience interactive participation is adorable but there are certain hurdles.
When there are more than 3 people, you don’t know which one is reactive to whom.

While it is true that there are not enough good interactive works out there, more fundamental question is the audience.

Either interaction interface has to be limited to few audience at a time, or due to unfamiliarity with such installations in the public spaces, most audience wouldn’t know whether or how they can interact with such pieces.

And there’s already the biggest interactive market – Game. Maybe the installations can benchmark and tweak better from gaming contents or platforms. 

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