We were at the Children’s Own Media Museum event at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre over the Thanksgiving long-weekend, and, for the first time, we exhibited a non-electronic interactive toy: Pinball.
Our genius builder Erika made three wooden table top pinball machines, equipped with ball launcher, paddles, and removable pins. Kids were asked to draw their own pinball pattern, define the scores, place the pins, and play. It was interesting to learn that many kids have not seen or played pinball before. And what was most rewarding is seeing how the little ones eventually learn the hand-eye coordination right there in front of us. Amazing to see that such a simple little game can bring such big smiles from both parents and kids.
Other exhibits at COMM included an Arduino workshop for kids, crafts table, robots and 3D printing demonstrations, an interactive dance room, as well as information about Canadian media icon, Marshall McLuhan.
Some photos of the pinball table:
To celebrate the beautiful Canadian summer this year, we are packing our truck and going on the road! Aesthetec will be showing our musical interactive exhibits at THREE different musical festivals in Toronto, Ottawa, AND Montreal in the next two weeks! Suppose you can call us the interactive side show. Come out and play, we would love to see you.
MONTRÉAL @ Jean Drapeau Parc
Osheaga Music and Arts Festival
August 3-5, 2012
20 SMILE cubes will be installed in the Arts Village during the entire weekend of music with some really awesome lineup: Sigor Rós, MGMT, Metric, The Shins, Feist, Bloc Party and even Snoop Dog!
OTTAWA @ Rideau Canal near the National Art Centre
Waterway Soundfaire, Chamberfest Ottawa
August 4, 2012 2pm-5pm
Returning there for the second year, we will be under the bridge by the NAC, and bringing Light Loops, previously installed at TIFF Kids in April:
Hope to see you there & Happy Summer!
The SMILE cubes came out and play in a new mode last week: sound reactive! Here’s a video showing the cubes doing their new tricks (taught to them by our trick master, Adam):
We’re also glad to announce that SMILE are finally available for event rentals. Contact us for details.
Man, we are always running behind with our website updates! By the time we get around to post new stuff, it seems like they had happened ages and ages ago.
We were very pleased and excited for TIFF and the city of Toronto as a whole that the TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace was a big hit! Thanks to all who attended, and especially for those who gave us such awesome feedback. Below is a short video that captures our projects at the digiPlaySpace.
(Please note that this is not a documentation of the entire digiPlaySpace. We only documented the projects Aesthetec produced in-house, so missing from this video is some other fantastic interactive works by several artists. As well, we sadly don’t have footage of the incredibly successful Mini Maker Faire inside the digiPlaySpace (which we helped organized) because the room was always so crowded and packed with visitors!)
We also have a demo video of the new piece Sing & Paint, which shows how the piece works with the audio component:
Still in production is the demo video of Light Loops. Stay tune!
..and we have four exhibits in the show waiting for you to go play with!
Aesthetec is super excited to have partnered with the TIFF Kids team to produce this interactive digital playground as part of the TIFF Kids Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The digiPlaySpace features the very awesome Funky Forest by Theo Watson and Emily Gobeille, award-winning mixed reality game Room Racers by Lieven van Velthoven, and brand new sound exhibits by us.
After three full months of planning and building, we’re proud to premiere Light Loops and Sing & Paint in our hometown Toronto. The LED cubes, SMILE, make a back-from-storage appearance, and we have a new camera+screen based installation called Magic Mirrors (see the youtube clip below).
Sing & Paint:
To see them in action, from now until April 22, stop by the digiPlaySpace at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Weekdays from 10am-3pm. Weekends from 10am-7pm. Only $2.50 if you watch a TIFF Kids film! ($5 otherwise)
A clip from CityTV’s Breakfast Television this morning, live from digiPlaySpace:
Click below for more info about the event:
Well, there IS a page full of information from our work at Telus Spark here, but here’s the new video if you don’t like reading:
The Daily Planet on Discovery Channel (Canada) did a small segment on our prototype pieces last Wednesday, February 15.
Click on the image to go directly to the broadcasted clip.
Well, it’s a bit late to still say Happy New Year, but we wish you the best anyway.
It took a little bit to recover from the break and getting back to work. 2011 was kind of a whirlwind for us, with the opening of the new Calgary Science Centre – now known as Telus Spark – the project that was in the works for two years for us and involving ~30 exhibits, moving our studio to a new permanent home, whipping up an installation for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, and rounding off the year-end with some R+D work with a dance company! We were exhausted but really glad to have gotten this video out of all of it (huge thanks to Ryan Varga):
Coming up next in 2012 we are really excited to announce that we’ll be presenting more work in our home city of Toronto!
Aesthetec is teaming up with TIFF for their annual TIFF Kids event, aka ‘Sprockets’, to present an interactive play space for kids in the beautiful gallery of the TIFF Bell Lightbox building. This event will take place in April 10-22.
Then in May, we will be presenting interactive work from our very own studio/store front window as part of the Art of the Danforth 2012 event, which coincidentally is taking place in our neck of the woods.
More info on both events will get posted as we get closer to the date.
Happy year of the Dragon – it’s going to be fierce!
It has only been a week, but our Nuit Blanche installation seems like ages ago now that team Aesthetec is transplanted to Calgary for the rest of October. Thanks to everyone who braved the cold and stopped by to see our installation at Fort York, we know it was far out of the way and the wind chilled to the bones.
SMILE turned out to be a great success (besides the fact that they worked, people had fun with them!), and thanks to our project partner Dashing Collective, we even had a party room serving some drinks and coffee and providing a bit of warmth and seating for the entire evening.
We managed to take a few photos on our camera, but proper explanation, photos and video documentation will be coming soon. View our little set on Flickr.
And Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
In collaboration with Dashing Collective, we are very excited to be presenting as part of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche this year.
SMILE, short for Socially Motivated Immersive Light Environment, is an interactive light installation that will cover the ground of Toronto’s Fort York National Historic Site. Cubes of lights positioned in a hexagonal grid form the lightscape. Light patterns will change as the audience move small control nodes around the field, and evolve organically as they come together.
This project has been in the works at our studio for the past three months. We’ve created a set of customized electronics consist of individually controlled and wirelessly networked group of LEDs. Beyond just being able to receive command from a control computer, each LED node is part of a mesh network that can send and receive information to and from each other as well. Additionally, using radio frequency signal readings, we are also able to locate positions of the moving nodes in the field.
The picture above is from our first field test yesterday. At night, the park is surrounded by lights from the Toronto skyline, but still far enough so that the light cubes stand out beautifully. Please come and join us this Saturday, October 1, from sunset to sunrise.
Fort York Historic Site
100 Garrison Road, Toronto