Microworld Arcadia

// Apr 2013 //

Our first Microworld.

Microworld Arcadia (aka Microworld Cardiff) was an interactive art show at the Arcadecardiff Gallery in May 2013. The show was an experiment in creating a living digital ecosystem where many different art works interacted with the audience, the space and with each other. The show received more than 1000 visitors quadrupling the average attendance for the gallery over the 10 days it was open.

Thanks to all the artists involved and Rob and Morgan for this amazing show, which changed each day, showing art and technology in dynamic combinations.

Day to Day Flickr Documentation
Each day we re-arranged the space to bring out different works and highlight different themes. We ran inclusivity days, performance nights, coding workshops and surgeries. Everything was documented daily on Flickr. Click the image below to scan through the different albums.

Selected images from the show.

Below is the website as it was before the show

Including the open call, flyer, and details of the artists as they got involved

Come and play in a digital wonderland

Microworld:Arcadia is a ‘living’ art space in the heart of Cardiff, filled with magical projections, robots and electronic sounds, which will grow, transform and evolve in response to user activity. For two weeks in May, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in an interactive digital wonderland.

Arcadecardiff, Queens Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 2BY
21st May to 2nd June, Open Daily 12-6PM (closed Mondays) ADMISSION FREE

The gallery will be filled from floor to ceiling with projects which will interact with each other, the audience, and whatever else is happening in the space. Over the course of the show new pieces will be introduced, modified and rearranged. The audience can also add in their own creatures. Some creatures will struggle, some will thrive. Not even the creators know what will happen next. The show is one big experiment.

Workshops & Events

Throughout the show there will be special live events and workshops.
PERFORMANCE NIGHT : Friday 24th May 6-8pm, will include performance and refreshments from Penlon Cottage Brewery.
ARTIST TALKS : Saturday 25th May 2-4pm hosted by Cardiff Dorkbot and the Computer Arts Society.
MAKING DAY : Sunday 26th All day there will be a chance to build robots and write code and take part in live demonstrations run by the artists where they show you how their projects were constructed.
INCLUSIVITY DAY : Wednesday 29th Kinect apps designed for active teenagers to explore.
GUIDES TO PROGRAMMING : Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st May Genetic Moo will offer beginner guides in the Processing coding language including topics such as Animation, Interactivity, & Kinect.

Bring your own project

If you would like to get involved then please contact us at [email protected]. We are happy for anyone to bring along any project and run it in the space and see how it interacts with the audience and other art works. This could be for a few hours or a day or two. We are particularly interested in Cardiff based artists and tinkerers. Projects could be light / audio / electronic / digital / performance based. There will be a spare projector and PC for people to run works on if needed. Projects can be at any stage of development, hopefully people will come and test things out. We are not so interested in traditional ‘inactive’ art forms – we want to create an exciting and engaging experience for all. More event details will be posted here as we arrange them. Thanks.

Microworld will include projects by:

Genetic Moo will be projecting several of their creatures around the gallery including the Starfish, the Sea Squirts and the Squidlets. These phantasmagoria have been delighting and disgusting audiences for years. They are collaged from photographs of the artists’ own bodies including the sexual parts and animated using open source software. For Microworld:Arcadia they have been working on a range of simple new creatures from Coral to Luminating balls, which will respond and grow over the course of the show inspired by the ever changing environment.

Tine Bech is a visual artist and researcher working with interactive installations and public art. For Microworld : Arcadia Tine is showing three light sculptures which change in colour as you move around them. These creatures communicate with each other and generate playful colour schemes as they detect spectators. Their luminosity will also activate other light seeking beings throughout the space.

We’re pleased to say we’ll be working with Sean Clark again. We worked with him to create, Symbiotic a great show in Leicester last year which introduced us to the idea of multiple interacting artworks. Sean will be showing Whale (above) which stores memories of what it has seen – building up waves of visual material over time. Hopefully Sean will have some other pieces to mix into the show.

Jockel Liess is a generative sound and video artist who has made some amazing works and will be screening his generative Primordial with Quadrophonic sound throughout the show. We’ve seen this art work in London and it is an other-worldly and strangely organic experience. We are looking forward to how it combines and feeds other pieces.

Paul Granjon is an extraordinary French roboticist, performer and dancer who lives in Cardiff and will be bringing along some of his crazy interacting machines. Paul also is head of sculpture at Cardiff School of Art and we’re hoping some of his students will get involved too.

We have asked Julia Schauerman who is a talented audio artist to compose a shifting ambient soundscape to accompany the ever changing show. Julia will perform live additional music during the event.

Jane Webb is a tech and futuristic installation artist who uses recycled components, lights, lasers & mirrors. Her unique take on robotics combines electronics with theatrical design in a striking and entertaining way. Jane is showing a film about one of her cybernetic sculptures.

Sean Olsen is an artist who has built robots which splatter the surrounding area in paint. By using interaction, he is interested in breaking people out of the passive viewer state. He uses recycled materials and electronics building complex ad hoc designs – it is fascinating to watch them spluttering about.

Stefan Samociuk is a mathematical artist who works with HD video and surround sound exploring the synaesthetic structure of a recently discovered algorithm which he calls the Transcendent Transcode Algorithm. Spectacular geometric and audio spaces are delicately revealed.

Alexandros Kontogeorgakopoulos is a computer music researcher and lecturer in sonic arts at Cardiff School of Art and Design. For this show he will be performing with Metronom which is his latest gestural music composition tool. The project celebrates the emerging world of computer controlled “feelies” – an interactive audio-visual composition – a dance between the hands of the performer and the movements of the haptic interface.

Wendy Keay-Bright is also from CSAD where she works in Inclusive Design. Wendy uses simple Kinect driven apps to explore how touch, and gesture interaction can engage young people with communication difficulties. The goal is to promote greater self-awareness, confidence and independence. She has worked on the project at CSAD with parthers Hellicar & Lewis, and Marek Bereza. It is great to have other Kinect based artists in the show and will be interesting to see the contrast in approaches to interaction.

Other contributors

British Racing GreenPatricia Afari, Sarah Younan, Nick Lambert.