Genelec 8000 series loudspeakers played a key role in the creation and execution of Collective Reality – a unique immersive audio-visual installation described as a ‘digital environment’, commissioned especially for the recent FutureFest 2016 weekend festival in London, organised by the innovation foundation Nesta.
Collective Reality was created by the interactive design collective body>data>space in collaboration with the University of Greenwich (Creative Professions and Digital Arts) and d3 technologies, and invited groups of visitors to move within the ‘experimental zone’ of the installation and create unique visuals and sounds – due to innovative use of motion tracking, surround sound, projection mapping and performative inserts technologies. A separate ‘performative zone’ played host to groups of freestyle footballers and dancers who performed and interacted with the space every 30 minutes throughout the festival.
The immersive surround sound element of the project was delivered via an array of flown Genelec 8000 series active two way loudspeakers - specifically eight 8030B and four 8050B models - augmented by two 7050B subwoofers. The 8030B and 7050B products came from the University of Greenwich’s own arsenal of Genelec speakers, while the 8050Bs were supplied courtesy of HHB Communications.
“The reason for using the Genelecs is that we really wanted to have a strong spacial element to the sound”, explained Professor Joe Hyde of Bath Spa University - composer, sound designer and part of the body>data>space collective.
“I’ve had very good experience of using Genelecs before, and we use them extensively at Bath Spa. My background is in electro-acoustic music and I’ve worked with a number of multi-channel sound systems that are designed for abstract music – and these days most of those projects tend to use Genelecs rather than PA speakers. They really seem to cope really extremely well with ‘non-standard’ music like this.”
Elaborating on the installation, Hyde continued:
“The images and the sounds were interacting with eachother and everything was seeded by the movement of people in the space. So there were some sounds that you could hear that were obviously linked to the movement - for instance there was a bell-like melodic sound and that was triggered whenever people met, and if people continued to move in a coherent way then that generated the rest of the music textures, so the music rewarded collaborative movement.”
Marie Proffit, marketing co-ordinator for body>data>space, echoes this collaborative theme:
“As a fifty-strong collective of coders, musicians, artists, dancers and choreographers, our aim is to put the body at the centre of the digital interaction. At FutureFest we combined performances including freestyle football, slow motion salsa, burlesque and hip-hop, with a team of ‘movement jockeys’ and ‘invigilators’ who invited the public to join us and move together – think of it as collective digital bodymoving!”
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Pictures: Christopher Ratcliffe