2005-08-20 11:40 in /life/art
I went up to the Sunnyvale offices yesterday to meet with a couple people about the project I’m working on, and also to hear Mark Pauline (founder of SRL) give the Friday tech talk. A summary of bits that I found particularly interesting:
The organizer of the talk series mentioned that a number of managers had asked him why Mark was talking. He’s said that if Schwarznegger was an acceptable speaker, he didn’t see why Mark wasn’t.
Most of the talk used the show in LA that I went to in April as an example. He started with some video (much better quality than mine) and then proceeded to point out various interesting aspects of the performance. I think I might have had a unique perspective in the audience, having actually been at the performance.
He pointed out some horizontal distortion in the video. This is not an artifact of the digital processing. Rather, this is a physical effect of the 150dB sound fields at the show flexing the CCD in the camera.
The sneaky soldiers represent something new in the history of SRL, in that they were designed with CAD and built using modern custom fabrication techniques. What this means is that they can easily make more, unlike most of their equipment which is heavily customized and hand-built. As a result, they can use them in more extreme ways, since if one gets destroyed they can relatively cheaply have another made.
There’s an interesting quirk of permitting rules in LA. Any permit for an event that shuts down more than 2 blocks is issued directly by the City Council, and the police and fire departments can’t stop it once the Council gives approval. This is meant to pander to the movie industry, but works out well for SRL (although they still need a front organization to get the permit from the City Council).
There’s going to be a show in the Bay Area in Sept. Check the web site for details.
2005-04-04 00:43 in /life/art
I went to the SRL show last night. As I’m a bit out of the loop these days, I almost missed hearing about it, but fortunately Ian rang me in the morning to ask if I was going. If you’re not familiar with SRL, it’s really hard to adequately explain. Yes, it’s robots and fire and sonic cannons and pulse jets, but it’s also art of the sort that just doesn’t translate into language very well. It’s also exceedingly difficult to photograph without equipment that’s substantially more expensive than you want to bring to an event closely resembling the apocalypse. I only got one photo that begins to convey what it is like, plus some video clips: