Entering it's 3rd year, Day for Night cements its position as the leading exhibition space for large scale new media arts. Eschewing thematic selection, the curatorial approach is more about establishing a cross section of some of the most meaningful artists currently operating in the field. As in previous years, the approach is to engage with artists who are well recognized and working internationally, as well as with those whose names haven't entered the field's wall of fame just yet. Commissioning both site specific and performance oriented pieces, the festival continues to weave together the sonic and visual experiences, creating a polysensory environment
This year we also brought back an educational component, with three workshops given at Rice University by Day for Night artists around creative coding.
Considering the diversity of our audience, the works presented at Day for Night never aim for the lowest common denominator, but rather present festival goers with both experiential and mental stimulus. The arts are never just about a “wow” moment, they also are not about showcasing the latest technological gimmick. Rather, the relationship the artists build with the audience is based on a mutual understanding that the material of our time is in large part technology, light, digital imagery and processes.
Matthew Schreiber - "Ricochet"
230 single diode lasers placed in a strict geometric alignment all meet in a central focal point. The result is a floating sculpture that required exploration from multiple angles, both inside and out.
Ryoji Ikeda - "Supercodex"
Ikeda's seminal performance is powerful audio visual breakdown of the digital nature of sound. Presented on the Blue Stage, it engaged the audience as both sound and light.
Felicie D'Estienne D'Orves - "Sun - 8mn"
It takes 8 minutes for the light of the sun to reach the earth. Felicie's piece transports a laser cut disc across 270 ft, slowly breaking up and focusing a single beam of light, materializing light's path across space.
Theodore Fivel + Freeka Tet - "Gust"
Pulling from his experience with sand as a sculptural material, Theodore created a small dunescape measuring approximately 20ftx20ft. Covered in moving color, and enveloped by a 4 channel sound system, the viewer walks around the sculpture and sees wind as color, grazing and traveling over this small desert.
Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan - "Light Leaks"
What seems to appear as a loose arrangement of disco balls reflecting light from 4 projectors is in fact a highly calibrated use of controlled reflection. Kyle and Jonas developed software to use the reflected dots of light as a point cloud, giving them a 3d representation of the space, and then allowing them to organize the light reflection based on projection patterns.
James Clar - "The New Sublime"
A city is submerged in a cylinder, slowly rotating as white oil waves submerge it. A camera is focused on a small section of the cylinder, and straightening out the curve, the output appears on a projected surface as a constantly moving tsunami of liquid, bubbles and grease. Four aquariums surround this submerged world, with crabs, its future inhabitants, waiting for their time.
Hovver - "Liminal Scope"
Three 10 ft rings of light create a tunnel of bending light, endlessly reflecting in the circular mirror panels.
Kat Brice and Chris Lunney developed this piece at a smaller scale for a show in New York early 2017. They scaled the piece up dramatically for Day For Night.
The Processing Foundation + The Conditional Studio - "Impure Functions"
Casey Reas, Chandler McWilliams and Lauren McCarthy, all part of the UCLA Media Arts Dept, brought a number of students to Houston to present Impure Functions. Following the success of "Re-coded" in 2015, an installation that celebrated code as a way to create art, this year's edition brought a series of suspended screens, each cycling through a series of typical algorithms used to manipulate image and sound with code. The audience could stand in front of a camera or use their voice in a microphone to see how different techniques produce different results. Following the format of a "codex", the creators of the code were present at the installation to discuss their techniques and approaches, and to give any additional information to the audience.
Cocolab - "Outside"
A collective from Mexico City, Cocolab combines a large array of skills, and this piece combines light control, software design, fabrication, and sound design/composition. The piece created a loose narrative around a series of lights dialoguing with a central pillar.
VT Pro - "Telestron"
For their second year at the festival, VT Pro brought Kuka robots, typically used in automotive assembly lines, but outfit them with a series of lighting fixtures that allowed them to perform a choreography of light. Sitting in dark pools of water, the robotic arms dialogued with each other through their movements and light beams, to a soundtrack designed by the VT Pro team.
Ekene Ijeoma - "Deconstructed Anthems"
Using data on the mass incarceration of black men in America, Ekene composed a version of the star spangled banner where a notes were progressively being taken out of the song as it was performed by a jazz trio, and the more they performed it, the more notes were removed, until it became completely silent.
Vincent Moon & Priscilla Telmon - "Hibridos"
Having filmed rituals of all faiths in Brasil for several years, Vincent and Priscilla created a sacred space to project and perform with this footage, allowing people a glimpse into spiritual practices that are both foreign and universal.
Playmodes - "Cluster"
A new version of a piece developed for a spanish festival, Cluster outlines the architecture of the building by illuminating the four sides of a grid of sixteen columns. Each pixel becomes a note in a soundtrack focused on oscillation and sine waves.
The Mill - "Uproar"
In response to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Harvey, The Mill created a fluid simulation based on precipitation data from the storm. As a counter to the movement of these fluids, a secondary simulation was introduced, this one based on the presence of the #houstonstrong hashtag on social media platforms. The installations shows how these these two forces, one natural and one human, opposed each other.
Sam Cannon - "Overflow"