Interactive Artist Portraits

Artist Carlo Van de Roer can make time stand still. Using a high-speed camera to freeze a moment of time, the Satellite Lab founder created technology that lets you interact directly with the light sources within that frozen image.

Microsoft commissioned Carlo Van de Roer to use his high-speed camera technology to inventively capture four musicians in a moment of creating sound. The artist portraits capture forward-thinking artists — Matthew Dear, Alan Palomo of Neon Indian, and Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel of Phantogram — who push the boundaries of the live music experience with technology.

“The experience was overwhelming in the best way possible,” said Dear of the shoot. “Being surrounded by so much experimental technology makes it feel like you’re part of something really special.” Dear is a firm believer in harnessing the power of technology to evolve the music experience. In 2015, he collaborated with Microsoft to create DELQA, which invited the audience to interact and explore a fully immersive 3-D musical space.

Dear worked closely with a team to determine how visitors’ movements could transform their environment, blurring the lines between creator and audience. “Music and technology are going to continuously evolve in a symbiotic relationship,” he said. Like Dear, Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo saw an opportunity to use the Kinect to add a new dimension to a show at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. Five Kinect sensors were used to capture the movement of band members, resulting in a mesmerizing show of shapes and color. Phantogram, whose name was inspired by an optical illusion that makes two-dimensional objects appear three-dimensional, most recently used the Kinect in a midnight show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Creative technologist Blair Neal used custom technology to generate images onto the band’s bodies while simultaneously showing a real-time projection map of their moving silhouettes on the stage background.