21 October 2009
new virtual / art / performance systems
Virtual artists John McCormick and Adam Nash have founded SquareTangle, a virtual / art / performance company, as part of their Connections Residency at Hidden Cove Solutions.
The first results of this collaborative residency partnership have been innovative open source tools for artists and sound designers. With SquareTangle, McCormick and Nash have released a plug-in for artists and sound designers. This will assist artists to develop sophisticated interactive audio designs integrated with multiplatform game development, and to create multi-user 3D 'worlds' on the internet.
McCormick and Nash are in residency with Hidden Cove Solutions, a Melbourne-based telecommunications company. They are working together with the company programmers to produce a software system to help artists work with a range of data sources towards digital art, such as video projections, generative sound art and multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs).
"Currently, if an artist wishes to work with a data source and modulate that into some sort of audiovisual presentation, they need to build the system from the ground up. Often artists do not have the programming skills or access to a programmer that would allow them to do that, and projects can get fatally distracted by that process. Ideally, our open source solution will make it much easier for artists, and others, to capture and manipulate data sources, allowing them to concentrate fully on the considerations of art." Nash said.
The new SquareTangle plug-in allows sound designers to use FMOD (an Australian-made library and toolkit for interactive audio) to create audio that will work in Unity (a multiplatform game development tool). SquareTangle are releasing the plug-in open source under the MIT License, allowing anybody to use and modify it for any purpose. Nash explains, "Open Source is a key strategy in the development of digital art because it harnesses the power of the community, sharing code and knowledge to develop innovative solutions quickly in response to relevant problems. Hopefully this plug-in will allow more Sound Artists and Composers to engage with 3D virtual space as a serious medium for art."
Find out about the Connections Residency Program
Below: Demonstration of full dome projection of live audiovisual realtime 3D interactive scene on prototype inflatable 3.5m dome, 2009. Video courtesy of John McCormick and Adam Nash, SquareTangle.