February 12, 2020
Keith and I met for the first time during my trip to Vegas this year for the LDI Conference. I learned about his work as a VJ in the festival scene years ago and at Burning Man this year he started dating one of my installation techs! When they both moved to Vegas together so that Keith could take a job-creating custom visuals for Melt Creative, I knew I most likely had a place to crash during LDI (and a new podcast episode!)
We start the conversation out with some details about where Keith’s journey as a concert visualist began and we wind our way through various topics like how the VJing scene has changed and evolved over time, what it’s like working as a full-time festival VJ, and where he sees things going in the future.
This was a great conversation and I’m stoked that Keith and I finally got to sit down and talk!
November 19, 2019
Hey everyone, welcome to the Luminous Podcast! This week I did my first remote episode of the show, which actually went really smoothly. I sat down (across the country) with Tyler Kicera, Senior Director of the Kinetics Department at Tait Towers. They’re responsible for some of the most incredible kinetic stage designs and permanent installations in the world, including the London 2012 Olympics, U2, Queen, & Rodger Waters world tours, all of Deadmouse’s ridiculous stages, The Wynn in Las Vegas, and so many more absolutely bonkers installations. Tyler and I were supposed to present this year at LDI on a panel discussion on architainment and feature design, but it kind of fell apart at the last minute. Oh well. We decided he should definitely do an episode of the podcast so we could get to know each other and at least talk for a bit. We had a fascinating conversation and we got into some great side topics about some of his other passions, road racing in Spec Miata competitions, maintaining work-life balance, and how having kids can change your perspective and priorities. He’s a genuinely cool guy and I’m bummed we won’t get to do our panel this year, but it was great to get to hang out for a bit and get to know each other! Hope you enjoy the conversation.
September 30, 2019
I met with Rebeca while she was in the country consulting on a new nightclub design in Las Vegas. Her company, LEDs Control is a very prolific LED feature design firm and has a lot in common with Digital Ambiance. She’s a Mexican native, Barcelona-based entrepreneur who started in the lighting industry in 2001 as a self-taught student of lighting control software. She performed as a light jockey in entertainment venues and events across Mexico. In 2005 she moved to Barcelona and studied architectural lighting Design in the IED (Instituto Europe de Diseño) and UPC (Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña). She positioned herself as an architainment content creator (programmer). Her curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit drove her to found LEDSCONTROL in 2009. Her main goal was to provide lighting control services for LED installations in public spaces, buildings, and entertainment venues. Over the past 14 years, the team has grown as well as the kinds of projects that the company works on. Nowadays LEDSCONTROL is led by Rebeca Sanchez and her partner Miquel Clot. The company has become one of the leading providers of lighting solutions for premier night clubs, music festivals, light art festivals & architectural icons across the globe. The team is formed by a group of technical/creative consultants, content creators, designers & builders of custom pieces that communicate with light and new media technologies.
August 19, 2019
Hey everybody, today Matthew Ragan joins me for a beer here at the Lumen Labs and we talk all about his life and career in the world of projection mapping. He’s a Touch Designer Wizard who started out doing live performance art at Keen State back in the early 2000’s, then during his masters program at Arizona State he hosted a popular Touch Designer Tutorial vlog. Working closely with Derivative Software he developed a host of teaching materials geared at educating a new generation of users in advanced techniques. His vlog and expertise ended up catching the attention of the guys over at Obscura Digital who scooped him up right out of school. He’s worked with them for the past few years, recently taking on the role of their lead software developer. Anyone who’s paying attention to the world of projection mapping knows how important Obscura is to the scene and how they’ve raised the bar for new media installations in places all around the world. Matt takes us through his time working there and we talk about how the makers of a tool help to define the art that gets made and how that cycle defines our industry. It’s a great episode with a legend in the scene, I think you’ll like it!
June 16, 2019
My friendship with Scott goes back to before I moved to the West Coast. He’s an artist & programmer that made his name coding phenomenal generative artwork. His most well-known piece, titled “Electric Sheep”, started as a self-evolving algorithm, gaining traction in the Motion Graphics community before becoming a phenomenon unto itself. Seeing the potential in crowdsourcing the processing that created the generative patterns, he created a system allowing users to vote on the visual characteristics of each pattern and allowed the most successful art pieces to “mate” with each other, creating offspring with similar traits based on that of its parent patterns. In this way, Scott's art evolves and progresses with a life of its own.
Today I sat down with Scott in the offices of his new employer, CTRL-Labs, a company working to bridge the human-computer divide with a new type of user input device that taps directly into the nerve impulses in a user’s wrist. Doesn’t get much more trans-human that that... Enjoy the episode!
June 16, 2019
In this episode I sit down with Christopher Schardt, creator of the Firmament LED installation and a prominent light artist. He’s spent much of his artistic career making pieces for display at the Burning Man Festival and we ended up spending much of this episode discussing the intricacies of making light-art installations for that venue. Our discussion moves from the politics of creating art on the Playa, how he fits into the overall Burning Man scene, and where we see Burning Man Art headed in the future. It was an interesting conversation with a true veteran and we had a lot of fun drinking beer and talking about our respective experiences. Hope you enjoy!
March 18, 2019
Welcome to episode 2 of the Luminous podcast. We just finished up the Smode master classes here at the Lumen Labs. There were so many cool people here from all over the country to learn all about this amazing new platform. Tonight I got to hang out with Cynthia Cardenas, a performing visual artist based out of Nashville Tennessee. She tells me about the Nashville new media arts scene and her ongoing collaboration with one of the composers and instrumentalists with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. With a background in music herself, she walks me through the VJ scene in the south and we talk about her background as an artist, the challenges that she’s dealing with as a woman in the scene, and the artistic process as it applies to live performing visual artists.
March 18, 2019
Brian is a brilliant LED programmer who uses microcontrollers to create embedded systems that drive light patterns across the light-art installations he builds. He’s had his work displayed at festival installations around the world including Galactic Jungle at Burning Man, Carrie Thompson’s Portal, and Helianthus Enormae with Fez Gaetz.