12 December 2013

Onformative at Alpha-ville EXCHANGE



Onformative is a design studio founded by Julia Laub and Cedric Kiefer in 2010. The studio specialises in generative design covering various types of media and topics. At the intersection of technology, design and emotion, Onformative develop innovative, cross-media solutions for their customers in the domains of culture, education and technology.

Onformative is one of the great guest to talk at the first edition of Alpha-ville EXCHANGE next 17th January 2014 at Rich Mix Cinema and Arts Centre in London. Julia and Cedric have been asked to talk about their practice, influences and recent/ in progress works at the event. They are going to illustrate how they move across the commercial, artistic and sometimes educational sectors and how they use collaboration and exchange of knowledge to produce works and projects. 

Alpha-ville EXCHANGE is just a one-day event designed to offer the London art, tech and creative communities the opportunity to connect, exchange ideas, get inspired and discover new talent. More information about participant artists, programme and tickets prices here. See into the post some generative projects and concepts Onformative has been working in the last three years;



unnamed soundsculpture, 2012

"The basic idea of the project is built upon the consideration of creating a moving sound sculpture from the recorded motion data of a real person. For our work we asked Laura Keil  a berlin based dancer to interpret a musical piece – Kreukeltape by Machinefabriek – as closely as possible with the movement of her own body. She was recorded by three depth cameras (Kinect), in which the intersection of the images was later put together to a three-dimensional volume (3d point cloud), doing so we were able to use the collected data throughout the further process.

The three-dimensional image allowed us a completely free handling of the digital camera, without limitations of the perspective. The camera also reacts to the sound and supports the physical imitation of the musical piece by the performer. She moves to a noise field, where a simple modification of the random seed can consistently create new versions of the video, each offering a different composition of the recorded performance. The multi-dimensionality of the sound sculpture is already contained in every movement of the dancer, as the camera footage allows any imaginable perspective."



"Similar to painting, a single point appears to be still very abstract, but the more points are connected to each other, the more complex and concrete the image seems. The more perfect and complex the “alternative worlds” we project and the closer together their point elements, the more tangible they become. A digital body, consisting of 22 000 points, thus seems so real that it comes to life again.

Using 3 different microsoft kinect cameras the movement of the dancer was recorded into those 3d pointclouds that were synced and exported as one large dataset as Krakatoa particle files to be loaded into 3ds max for further rendering and creation of the 3d scene including the camera movement that is controlled by the audio as well." - Onformative

Project collaboration with Daniel Franke.



fragments of RGB, 2010

"This project experiments with illusion and perception on various levels. The classic LED screen as a medium was simulated and disintegrated by the creation of a pixel-like optic using simple projection rather than the entire image’s being comprised of individual points of light. If one examines the idea of perception more closely, especially individual perception – which differs from individual to individual – then a second consideration arises in regard to »fragments of RGB«.

We became interested in the observer’s personal view and in »re-projecting« this. The installation reacted to and changed with the viewer’s movement and, hence, his perspective and point of view. The illusion of a LED screen was destroyed and the RGB elements dissolved to form new, translated images and, thus, a transformed »reality«. Beside the installation that illustrates the sensitive interaction between person and image, »fragments of RGB« is also intended as a photographic series in which the transformations that occurred on the display were consciously photographed, whereby the effect of alienation was intensified in the design process." - Onformative




ScreenCapturer Processing library, 2012

"Probably everybody has experienced how complicated it might be to work with video in Processing, especially if you want to import a lot of different videos for testing purposes. You need to take care of the resolution, the codec and the size of the video file, in order to make it suit your specific requirements. Furthermore you might not even have access to a video or image file at all and just want to test some media in your sketch. That’s where the Processing ScreenCapturer library comes in quite handy."

"The ScreenCapturer library for Processing enables you to capture any part of your screen and include this capture into your Processing sketch as image or video. This way you can try out video or image input in your Processing sketch without having to change the video/image import lines in your source code and don’t have to worry about problems regarding resolution, codec etc. Using this tool you can simply play a video in your browser or from your hard drive and move the ScreenCapturer window on top of your video and access everything inside this window frame from your Processing sketch. ScreenCapturer also allows you to take screenshots of certain areas of your desktop at stated intervals that could be useful for time laps videos for example." - Onformative

View code and project page here



reël, 2011

"As an experiment, we wanted to investigate in the different visual forms, the process of sorting can have. Each sorting algorithm reveals its particular strategy as a unique pattern. We took a row of pixels of a photograph and sorted the pixels by their color value. Since Processings color object is actually a number, they are perfect to be ordered. It worked well with grays, but revealed an unintuitive sorting of the colors. While they are ordered mathematically, one expects the gradients to be different.

In the next step we took each pixelrow from top to bottom, scanning and sorting image. This way a certain rythm of color hues, brightness and darkness is added to the sorting processes. Each animation has a duration if 720 frames, since 720 rows were sorted from top to bottom. We like the idea of translating the image dimension into the time. The next step would be to think about how the image has to look like, to create a certain rythm, and in the end maybe a story." - Onformative








Alpha-ville EXCHANGE 1 features a Day Programme packed with presentations, talks and social events alongside a music programme in the evening for attendees to network and enjoy. Work will be presented across: motion graphics, graphic design, illustration, interaction design, generative design, digital and software art, mixed media art, data visualisation and more. Tickets available here.