KALEIDRAL

at SEISMIQUE

KALEIDRAL

(iteration 1, Bootloader), 2020

interactive audiovisual installation

13.3' x 23.5' x 19' (4.0 x 7.2 x 5.8 m)


TYPE

🖐 Interactive AR / XR

🌌Immersive Installation


ROLE

🎨 Artist / Designer


COMMISSIONED BY

🛸 SEISMIQUE


LOCATION

📍Houston, TX


TIMEFRAME

📆 4 months


DATES

🎊Opened Dec. 2020

Updated Dec. 2021


SERVICES

🔮 Conceptual Development

🖍 Schematic Design

🖱️ Design Development

📐 Construction Drawings

💻 Systems Design & Spec.

🖥️ Server Assembly & Setup

🖐 Interactive Design

  • 🤩 UX / UI Design
  • 🎮 Interface Fabrication
  • 📟 Electronics Assembly

🚀 MoGraph & Animation

🎵 Musical Composition

👂 Sound Design

🎧 Audio Engineering

🦺 Installation

✨Projection Mapping

  • 🦟Bug Smashing

📡 Remote Mgmt.


BUDGET

$ ###,###


FABRICATION

Professional Scenic Services


SPECIAL THANKS

📐 Dave Prez

💪 Boston Kassidy

🔨 John Anselmo

💻 Smooth Technology


.


ETYMOLOGY


ca·​lie·​drall | \ kə-'laɪ-drəl \

Hall and [ instrument/alter ] for [ observing/honoring ] the sacred geometry that [ underpins/unifies ] the universe.


The term is derived from:


Kaleidoscope (n.)

From the Greek word kalos "beautiful" and eidos "shapes, geometry".


Collider (n.)

Any of the numerous forms of particle accelerators that bring about collisions of atoms or other particles – typically by directing two opposing beams at each other – in order to study particle behavior during the collision.


Cathedral (n.)

A principal church (place of public honoring and reverence to the divine or supernatural power) containing the episcopal throne.

Stems from the Latin word cathedra "professor's chair" from the Greek kata "down" and hedra "base, face of a geometric solid"




DISCO-GRAPHY


The Jovian jukebox draws from a growing collection of visual animations and musical loops. Soon the community will be able to contribute to this collection and mix their own sights and sounds within the synesthetic synthesizer.




UNDER the HOOD


The interactive audiovisual system utilizes seven projectors, a skeletal-tracking sensor, and dozens of knobs and switches to let users manipulate a generative audiovisual experience and facilitate musical learning.


[ Artist / designer Joshuah Jest calibrating the interactive controls ]

INSPIRATION

Genesis of the Collider

The ALTER of ALL


One of the primary creative motivations behind the KALEIDRAL was a long-held drive to combine stained glass and projection mapping.


" I spent a lot of time in my grandfather's stained glass studio when I was young. The workshop in the back may have been where I learned to love a ruler. It was also where I first witnessed how drawings were used to manifest beautiful and complex objects into reality. "

____________________________- Joshuah Jest


At one point in time stained glass represented the pinnacle of art, culture, and technology, the crowning jewel of every cathedral. The enormous rose windows required in-depth coordination between then cutting-edge structural engineering, material science, manufacturing, artisans, and religious culture-makers.


A modern reimagining of stained glass could simply update the primary elements – replacing hand-cut and painted glasswork with digital illustrations painted on Procreate, idolatry with contemporary pop idols, tracery stonework with machine-milled fiberglass castings – but what if the scope of the reimagining extended more broadly to the total epiphenomenon of the cathedral?


A new nondenominational alter could incorporate and celebrate the best humanity has to offer across all applicable disciplines, including modern art, music, design, culture, spirituality, science, technology, engineering, and math.

Astrodome roof

Datacenter wire management

Alien Covenant (2017)

Alien Covenant (2017)

Arc Reactor from Iron-man (2008)

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

CONCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT

The HALLS of ENLIGHTENMENT


Early designs for the space took a more literal approach to the gothic cathedral stylings, framing most of the room in intricate pillars and tracery. Ultimately much of this early design approach fell by the wayside in favor of a simplified high-tech aesthetic, but the processed produced several designs that inspire current interactive development and could become their own installations.

[ Rosetta Resonance – Early conceptual sketch ]

[ Tritium Triforium – Early conceptual sketch ]

[ Genesis Gallery – Early conceptual sketch ]

[ Dome & Crown – Early conceptual sketch ]

DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

SPACE FUNK


In lieu of the gothic trappings and their cultural significance, it was decided that the KALEIDRAL needed a splash of something more fun – funky even. So reared the head of another long-held desire, to create a retro-futuristic audiovisual synthesizer – part intergalactic jukebox, part synesthetic space organ something the likes of Electric Light Orchestra or Daft Punk would pull up to when composing their next album. It would be bristling with candy-like knobs and switches, and bathed in thick glossy clear coat and crushed velvet.


The design would be a head-first dive into the leisure-suited techno-futuristic aesthetic established in the Space Age with Star Trek (1966) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Daft Punk

Electric Light Orchestra Album Artwork

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

HIGH-FI SCI-FI


The trick to making something feel expensive is putting the expense into the feel. Replacement parts for retro stereos such as the UNIVERSUM Dynamic's HIFI 2500 and the Pioneer SPEC systems were sourced to give the KALEIDRAL control consoles the look and feel of a genuine reel-to-reel high-fi recording studio.


Some high-end industrial rotary encoders typically used to control machines that mill metal parts were chosen for their unique haptic feedback that feels like the ticks on a combination lock.

FABRICATION

INSTALLATION

CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

I always wanted to pull a lever like this!

– anonymous 6 year old patron

[ Powering up. Photo: Christopher Brielmaier ]

RESEARCH AFFILIATES

FOI Documents

__________________

COM-0212009862. 14:21:82 CST. February 2, 2020.

From the office of

██████ ████, ████████ ██████

█████████, ██ ██████

To the office of

█████ ████, ████████ ██ ████████

████ ████████, ██ ██████

__________________

Summary memo on artifact ID████████████,


Internal aliases:

- Kaleidral (2011 – present) (primary alias)

- ███████ ███ ████ (1993 – present)

- Chaos Organ (1961 – present)

- Tritium Dreamcatcher (1947 – present)


The Kaleidral is an ancient device of extraterrestrial origin, likely created in the Proxima Centauri system. The device was discovered in pieces in a ████████ in ██████████ ████ in ████. A temporary lab was set up to study the device in situ until ████ when it was transported to ██████, ██ for secure containment and further study. In ████ wreckage including seven additional panels was discovered in the Antoniadi █████ during the ███████ ██ mission. Between ████ and ████ the device was transported in pieces to a facility in West Houston for continued study.



While it seems that the device's original purpose was scientific in nature, it is believed that the device has been heavily modified for
█████████ and █████ ████████. The leading theory is that the [ scientists ] and [ technicians / engineers ] operating the device were so captivated by the audiovisuals it produced that they began making modifications to the device in order to enhance the ███████████ nature of the readouts. Over time, the device and its operators attracted a cult following and were greatly celebrated. At some point in its history, celebration of the device became religious ███ ██████ in nature.


Dating the device has proven to be a complex endeavor due to both the device's self-sustaining and regenerative engineering, and the devices extensive palimpsestic history. Generally, the device's history can be broken down into three epochs: Terrestrial (on Earth, dating back to approximately 88,000 BP), Traversal (in proximity to Alpha Centauri AB systems, dating back an additional 35,000 years to approximately 123,000 BP), and Origin (in proximity to Proxima Centauri, with the formation of some components dating as far back as 1.7 billion years BP).


Origin:

With co-application of fission-track dating, some bleeding-edge xenoanthropology, and assembly theory, the Origin epoch can be further subdivided into periods. These periods have been named Genesis (creation of oldest, critical and most baffling components, which include epidotes and garnets dating back to 1,680 million years BP), Matriarch, Gospel, and Exodus (in which the device first left its planet of origin). (More information pending declassification in 2023)


Traversal: (More information pending declassification in 2023)


Terrestrial:

Radiocarbon dating places the most recent era of tertiary ornamentation in two primary periods: Bølling–Allerød (14,690 – 12,890 BP), and Post-Younger Dryas (12,000 – Present).


OSL dating cannot be used as the device's internally-generated radiation signature is similar to ████████. The energy and ████████ sources seem to be the oldest components in the device. The exact internal makeup of these components is still unclear, however it has been confirmed that they do utilize hydrogen and moscovium isotopes.


Cosmic ray cells:

The regenerative tritium cell arrays double as an energy source and a visual display system. As a display system the arrays operate similarly to a cathode ray tube (CRT), with photo-exciters used to illuminate the individual tritium cells. The original photo-exciters were not found with the device, and have been replaced by modified Optoma hardware. The emissions of the tritium arrays are harnessed by a set of full chimeric-spectrum capture systems, including parallel alpha-, beta-, gamma-, μu-, neutrino-, photo-, theta-, and sigmavolteic systems.


Radiation levels are negligible for interactions less than 15 minutes, but protection (particularly ocular and cranial) is recommended for prolonged and regular exposure.

__________________



COM-0117909088. 07:23:08 CST. June 2, 1993.

From the office of

███ ██████ █████, ███

██████, ██ ██████

To the office of

█████████ ████ █████████, ███

████████, ██ ██████

__________________

████████████,


Preliminary study at ██████████ site in ████████, ██ was able to identify a means of bringing the device online. However, since powering up the device, progress determining its use has been, slow to say the least. The ladies at ██████ were able to detect █████ █████████, so we know it's colliding subatomic particles of some kind, likely █████.


██ years, $ ██████████ in taxpayer dollars, and over sixty of the top AI linguists, chemical cryptographers, ███████ engineers, specialty sonographers, xenoanthropologists, and other ivy league eggheads later.. and there has been little progress in further determining the original application of the device.


This morning I received orders to transport the device to your team in ███████ via standard clandestine protocol. Expect staggered deliveries in triplicate by ████, ███, and ██ between ████ of ████ and ████ of ████.


A few words to the wise. 1) The sounds the device emits are rhythmic, almost musical. Catchy too. Invest in some nice industrial ear protection or you will be hearing that blasted beat in your dreams long after █████ is out of office. 2) The tin foil thing is real. I ████ you not. We're still not sure why exactly – my egghead with the thickest glasses said something about spooky particles? Whatever it may be, our technicians have been able to remember their names at the end of each shift since we got them fitted with lined helmets and treated visors. 3) The other rumor is true; I find neodymium works best.


Regards,

███ ██████ █████, ███

__________________


COM-0008029021. 05:57:17 CST. August 9, 1999.

From the office of

█████████ ████ █████████, ███

████████, ██ ██████

To the office of

███ █████ ████, ██████ █████████

██████, ██ ██████

__________________

████,


Top brass has us throwing everything and the kitchen sink at this one. At this point, that includes making it available to every would-be technician that walks in the door. The device was made available to the general public under the guise of being one of many attractions within an "interactive art museum". Is that even a thing? We were skeptical of the idea at first, but no sooner did we open the place was it in all the papers. Now people are lined up around the corner to pay for a ticket to play with this device that's actually from god-knows-where. Hell, we're letting kids mess with it for the off chance they hit one of the eight quintillion permutations of switch states it takes to open the start menu on this thing.


The team of full-time post-docs assigned to the device has taken to referring to those members of the general public that venture out of their way to clumsily finagle with the controls of the device as "research affiliates".


All interactions are documented for record. A sample of these interactions have been included below as required by law.


YT,

████

__________________

📷 @jp_bautista

📷 @nervoussquidward

📷 @just_gretch

📷 @mayafashionblogger10

📷 @mcklanders

📷 @kelsyraeduke

📷 @mommypoppins007

📷 @lyssawilcox

📷 @taythe.realist

📷 @seismique

📷 @mayafashionblogger10

📷 @nervoussquidward

📷 @nervoussquidward