A site in the Sara Ludy-curated Chambers Pavilion.
Go to the launch page and click it.
The first time I did it nothing happened -- the page turned white, then dark, and I thought, huh, start-up, shut-down, I've been punked.
Came back a couple days later and tried it again. If you stay on the "dark" page (longer than I did the first time) a low humming sound begins, and a 3D shape begins to emerge out of the blackness.
[Ideal viewing conditions would be a large (1920 x 1080 and up) monitor, fast internet connection, high resolution sound and good speakers. Can't vouch for this thing on a phone.]
In any event, gradually increasing light on the 3D shape reveals a sleek mechanical form with airbrushed highlights, vaguely sinister curves, and somewhat incongruous striped wizard's hat cone shape on top of the form. The 3D form is turning, revealing more of its shape -- it's an industrial fan of some kind, viewed from the side, that HR Giger might have designed.
The rotations slowly increase speed and the humming gets louder. Soon the fan is spinning and the ambient hum has become a dull roar.
Now we've entered a realm somewhere between a wind-tunnel experiment, a renegade Hollywood FX shop, and the punk/art/industrial sublime.
The fan revs up to what Mel Brooks might call "ludicrous speed." Imagine sitting a few feet away from the blades of a jet aircraft turbine, as it encounters different exterior wind speeds and atmospheric pressures. The fan blades spin so fast they disappear, then appear to reverse motion, then disappear again. The sound is like an earthquake.
"How much can this baby handle?" is the question that applies to the turbine, the rendering engine creating the illusion, your computer and speakers, and your sanity.
At one point the illusion broke down and a striped artifact appeared in the middle of the screen -- a horizontal band. This only added to the "pushing the envelope" vibe. I mean, something's got to give. Mostly, though, you are witnessing gradations of chaos and violence as the fan blades spin at "max" and force patterns change.
Eventually the blades slow down, the noise diminishes, and the screen grows dark.
I don't think of this as computer art -- it's art, occupying the same niche that a giant wall of solid orange might have occupied forty years ago. Or a noise event with a Marshall stack in the '90s. It could be "sited" in a gallery or wherever the gear exists to replicate it. Yet it's not inconceivable that in a factory somewhere a simulation like this exists for a practical, banal purpose of testing metals stresses or the like. That is very interesting.
11/6/2013 by tom moody