Musion MAMAs

On the 15th November I attended the Musion MAMAs, an award ceremony, recognising creative use of Musion 3D technology (which is based on Pepper’s Ghost tech), at the Old Cinema of the Polytechnic Institute at University of Westminster. It was thought to be the first award ceremony in holographic projection art practice and many of the shortlisted entries were from students of the Musion Academy, a not for profit initiative of over 250 artists in various specialisations who have combined the 3D technology with their work.

I was asked by the lovely Oli Gingrich, who organized the event, to give a quick introduction in holographic form to ‘open source’ before the nominations for the Open Source Distance Learning category were shown. The intro was actually filmed the week before the event at the Musion studio in Langham Place. I’m used to having slides for prompts, but as I wasn’t using slides I kept forgetting what I’d written in my notes – which was a bit embarrassing, especially as there was a ton of people watching me. I wonder if it’s possible to buy a portable autocue? Anyways, that’s me above in holographic form – it’s very odd to watch yourself on stage!

At the event, the awards comprised of winners in five categories: Music, Performance, Open Source Distance Learning Endangered Species and Narrative Shorts – with an overall grand prize winner voted by both the judging panel and the public using an electronic voting system. The grand prize was a free loan of a full on Musion System, support and technical advice for a year.

The award winner for the section that my talk introduced was a rather stunning example of convergence art; bringing together the artist’s performance and use of a Nintendo Wii controller or WiiMote to control various imagery appearing in a simultaneous 3D projection. The finalists were Ventoline Benton, Carl Smith and Tracey Tsang.

The Grand Award went to Stuart Warren-Hill for a very cool music performance with a very unusual instrument called an Eigenharp that also triggered the 3D projection enhancing the performance.

With the combined mix of a cheeky pair who presented the awards in their live human state and 3D guest presenters introducing award categories it was a very slick and enjoyable ceremony. It was great to see all the varied work of the nominees, which spanned from the quick and clever, to complex and awesome.

I can certainly see how it could be a cool medium for artists and performers to experiment with and use in their work. I’m certainly inspired to ponder how I could use this for time based / installation based artwork and / or combined with tech I use such as Processing / arduino.

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