EMP Interactions: Bringing art to life

June 11, 2015 by Tessa Bousfield

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A few members of the VIATEC Team attended the #Think15 Ideas Session at Atomique earlier this month. As they entered, a new level of shock came over them and their eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning.

A giant, uniquely shaped structure made of coroplast was smothered in a moving, targeted projection and filled the stage. Every single surface was outlined on the structure, bringing it to life. It was like 20 projections were shining on it, but it was all coming from a single unit.

VIATEC instantly found the creators in order to pick their brilliant minds.

MEET EMP INTERACTIONS

EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) Interactions is a collective consisting of technology-oriented and hands-on designers. Hailing from electronic, sculptural and digital animation backgrounds, Steeve Bjornson, Toni Hall and Arya Hawker join forces to specialize in projection mapping. Projection mapping is a technique that allows you to use any surface as a projection screen, instead of the conventional, flat, white surface.

“EMP’s mission is to ‘WOW’ and to induce a hallucinatory experience minus ‘medicinal aid,’” commented Hall. “EMP strives to explore materials, light and media experimentation. Think artists trapped in a chemistry lab. With lasers.”

OH, THEY DID THAT?!

You may have seen one of their pieces at events such as Rifflandia, multiple Lucky Bar events (including Sub|Division’s 5th birthday), events at Copper Owl, the Grand Opening of Studio Robazzo, and most recently, the BC Premier’s announcement of ‘BC Creates’ at the Union Club right beside Sarah McLachlan and her grand piano.

Medium scale 3D work at Lucky Bar

Medium scale 3D work at Lucky Bar

“Visual work is the kind where you are not noticed when a job is done well,” commented Hall. “The installations can be the main attraction, yet input and control is naturally masked and mysterious. Similarly, the designs are usually inspired by the clients’/collaborators’ branding. In those ways, EMP will remain hidden.”

In addition to local events, EMP has travelled to Virginia Tech to work with local professors involved in visual computing and information technology, and to Hawaii for a Virtual Reality Symposium held by Japanese holdings company, Forum8.

Sub|Division’s 5th birthday at Lucky Bar

Sub|Division’s 5th birthday at Lucky Bar

A PLAN TO BLOW OUR MINDS

This year, EMP has its sights on interactivity and illusion (Xbox Kinect and holograms!).

The Xbox Kinect camera senses depth, so it allows the audience to go from observing, to giving physical input. Together with free flowing, 3D holograms, they want to bring interactive elements further than just at raves and festivals, and into the normally ‘dry’ art and educational institutions.

Art projection mapping at Studio Robazzo's opening

Art projection mapping at Studio Robazzo’s opening

Also in the works this year:

  • Collaboration with professors in Alberta and the native Blackfoot community on educational and cultural projects
  • Showcasing work at Bass Coast music festival, Rifflandia music festival, and Fashion Splash in the inner harbour
  • Revamping Lucky Bar’s in-club visual branding
  • The 2015 VIATEC Technology Awards!

To contact them, please visit www.EMPInteractions.com.
VIDEO: Art projection mapping for Rifflandia at Wolf/Sheep Arthouse


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