Squidsoup: Anthony Rowe, Gareth Bushell, Christopher Bennewith, Liam Birtles & Ollie Bown

Ocean of Light: Surface

The “Ocean of Light” project explores the creative and immersive possibilities of light-based real-time visualization in physical space. It uses bespoken hardware and software created by the artists, to provide anyone with the possibility of generating dynamic, interactive, three-dimensional sculptures from light. The project is the result of a long-held ambition of Squidsoup to create interactive visual content that occupy real physical space. The desire was to move from object to environment, allowing people to walk through the work rather than around it.
The hardware is a room-sized construction of 12 x 12 LED “strands” arranged into a cube and suspended from above. Each LED strand consists of 24 individually addressable LEDs that have the capability of producing a range of 256 colours. LEDs were selected for the project as they are relatively inexpensive, rely significantly on existing technologies (in this case video wall technology), have no moving parts, and have relatively low power requirements.
The first artwork to be produced on the hardware, “Surface”, combines interaction and 3D visualizations to create a responsive virtual ecosystem that occupies physical space. Autonomous agents navigate the space and negotiate a dynamic surface; both the surface and the agents are responsive to the audioscape around them. The combination of linear composition and interactive interjection in the piece create a mesmerizingly beautiful and wholly engaging experience for the audience.

Squidsoup is an open group of collaborators built around Anthony Rowe, Gaz Bushell and Chris Bennewith. Their work combines sound, physical space and visual systems to produce immersive and emotive headspaces. In addition to numerous international exhibitions, Squidsoup’s work has been the recipient of a BAFTA nomination and an International EMMA. They have also received grants and project commissions from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board, Arts Council England and NESTA Futurelab.