Sam Meech blog post

My role within the first Syndrome event was perhaps best described as an AV facilitator. I spent the first couple of days mounting the three projectors and rigging vga and power cables. The space was both accommodating (extremely nice guys running it, lots of tools and hand bits and bobs) and challenging (old, dark, dusty, uneven, spooky). The memories of drilling those brackets into the flaky painted wooden beams atop a tall A-frame ladder, will stay with me forever like the dust in my hair and eyes. Still, we got it done. Once you have the toys properly set up, then you can play, which is what the Syndrome project for me is about – creating a basic space for trying things out. Watching HIVE boot up and rehearse their set was both ear shattering and eye popping, and made the great use of the three screen projection system. As an Isadora user I was also extremely envious of Bob Wass’s custom VJ control panel – it reminded  of the Live Writing tool I built for Nathan, but more focused on video media. As interfaces go, it truly was a thing of beauty. The playfulness extends to the architecture itself – it was interesting to see how Hannah Silva incorporated the ‘pit’ into her performance. I was pleased that I was able to contribute an infra-red cctv camera to the piece, which added a spooky insight into her blind excavations

My own isadora interfaces were a bit more hurried and haphazard, plus I also learned some tough lessons about the reliability of hardware (curse you Matrox). I did some projection design for the ‘Nodes’ performance over the 3 screens. I was working with some bizarre 3D interiors by Joey Holder, placed very simply as backdrops to the action. It’s a strange feeling to be asked to work with someone else’s images – your attitude changes to them over time, quite cold in the beginning, but then after a while you become very attached. I also tried to create an overly complex text triggering system to pick out words as the actors spoke and add them to an evolving composition. I wasn’t sure it worked in the end, but it gave me another chance to explore the power of recursive design by nesting patches within patches. (For those who have not used izzy, its extremely easy to grasp yet powerful and fun to use. ). Perhaps the best thing to come out of the event for me though was to think about what now might be possible in the future. I have a begun brewing…