#14 Artist Interview: Limbic Cinema

“Having an affordable software solution that works well without expensive unique hardware is key for us.” by Limbic Cinema.

MadMapper: Tell us about yourself?
Limbic Cinema: Limbic Cinema is a co-operative of artists based in Bristol formed in 2012 by the members, Alex Wright, Tom Newell, Thomas E Pryce and Thomas Buttery.

We met as VJ’s on the club and festival circuits around the UK and decided we should team up. Despite the inconsistent wages and sticky floors, club nights always provided us the creative freedom to experiment and take risks. Over the course of four years, we’ve built strong relationships with festivals and events that we share a similar ethos and creative visions with; we’re particularly fond of Glastonbury Festival, Shambala, Freerotation, Alfresco Disco and Greenman Festival where we’ve exhibited numerous installations and in 2015 projection.

Beyond the music scene, we’re focusing more on the realms of theatre, large-scale building mapping, and Art Installations. For example, making contributions to The Stick House, and bringing the Wren Library in Cambridge to life with narrative driven visuals were both hugely fulfilling projects.

Our most recent project was ‘Light box’: a sound reactive DJ booth combining projection, semi-transparent gauze, and addressable LED tape.

Software
Madmapper, VDMX, Quartz Composer.

Hardware
Mac Pro,  Advatek Lights – Pixlite 16 LED control board

Construction design and build work:
Robbie Thompson and Chris Faulds

M: Aa funny story or any challenging moment in this project?
L: This project was created for a New Year’s Eve event in Bristol run by Alfresco Disco, one of our favourite party promoters to work with as they are really supportive of creative visual production. The key point about Alfresco Disco is that they use unusual spaces that are not announced until the night. This means that due to licensing and an array of other issues surrounding the nature of the events, we have very little time to plan and create something.

In this particular instance, the event took place in a boxing gym which was completely transformed into a club space. We had four days, from the conception & build, to the event. It was our first time experimenting with gauze, and we were keen to include LED tape. The event was called ‘Lightbox,’ so with the above limitations in mind, we decided to keep it simple and pay homage to obvious examples like the Etienne de Crecy cube by 1024.

One of the most exciting projects we worked on last year, was a 30m x 10m stage fascia in the shape of a volcano. It was designed and built by the decor team behind Boomtown festival.

We were asked to projection map it, so that as darkness fell, the volcano erupted into life. We created the content from a 3D model we made using photogrammetry and mixed the content live using Madmapper & VDMX. Outputting to 3x 20k Christie projectors on the front and a LED wall as the stage backdrop.  We linked the colour of the content playback to the lighting operators desk with an Entec box, so he could suitably colorize certain layers to match the light show.

 

Another big project was an architectural mapping piece for the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, as part of their 250th birthday celebrations. It’s the only theatre in the English-speaking world to reach the age of 250 years old. It’s an honour to be involved, and we’re excited to have such a wealth of history to feed into the piece.

M: Who influence to become an artist?
L: As a collective, we all have different roots, we all share an origin of playing with different video, film and light experiments. Some of our early influences that spring to mind included OneDotZero, Stan Brakhage, Future Shorts and Leo Villareal.

M: What do you listen when you are working?
L: A variety of things but currently NTS Radio & Finest Ego.

M: How did you come up with your stage name?
L: We wanted a name that wasn’t too long and pretentious, but somehow we ended up with Limbic Cinema! The Limbic system is the part of the brain that controls emotions and is linked to instinct and mood. We like the idea that imagery plays out in the brain to engage with these parts of our nervous system.

M: Why are you using MadMapper?
L: We were all using Modul8 early on, as a step from analogue to digital sources, so Madmapper was a natural progression. We have stuck with it as time and time again it proves both reliable and adaptable. Having an affordable software solution that works well without expensive unique hardware is key for us. It’s intuitive interface makes it as quick to try things out and be able to prototype. The introduction of MADlight has naturally inspired us to play with LED control, and we were pleasantly surprised how easy it was to get up and to run.

M: Have you ever use our Madmini?
M: Not yet, we’ve been keeping an eye on its developments and keen to try it out as soon as a suitable project comes along.

 

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