News 2003

N E W S : R E P O R T S : 2 0 0 3

Sweetly The Air Flew Overhead – MIAMI
posted 03/12/2003

A collaborative project at the Damien B. Art Center project’s room for Art Basel 2003. Cathy de Monchaux, artist; Martyn Ware, musician; Vince Clarke, musician; Theodore Zeldin, philosopher.

The artist Cathy de Monchaux could be seen as something of a maverick in the art world. Part shaman, part sculptor, she makes objects which defy categorisation. She has exhibited extensively around the world in galleries and museums. Her work is held in many public and private collections. In1998 she was short-listed for the Turner Prize for her solo show at The Whitechapel Art Gallery in London where she lives. She is represented by Sean Kelly Gallery in New York.

Martyn Ware and Vince Clarke are highly regarded and respected in the Music Industry. Initially with the bands Heaven 17, Human League and Erasure, they have branched out over the years to other prestigious projects such as producing albums for Tina Turner and Terence Trent d1Arby as well as writing scores for film, TV, theatre and radio. They were introduced to Cathy de Monchaux when they were looking for artists to collaborate with using their unique "Heightened Reality" 3-D surround sound technology.

The world renowned philosopher and Historian Theodore Zeldin wrote such books as an Intimate History of Humanity and The French. He figures on the magazine Littéraire's list of the hundred most important thinkers in the world today and has virtual guru status in many peoples eyes. He came across Cathy de Monchaux's work at the Hirshorn Museum in Washington and felt compelled to contact her to see if they could work on a project together.

1. The Space
The space could be a white cube or a palazzo, a factory or the back of a container lorry. Its form will decide the interventions needed to change its mood and create an atmosphere of contemplation. The aim is to encourage the viewer to alter their state as they enter the room. That a fusion of thinking will occur between the objects and sounds and the contents of the viewers minds eye. We don1t want to force feed thinking we want to liberate thoughts. The space will be somewhere to sit, to spend time. It is a place to be in the fullest sense.

2. The Objects
Cathy de Monchaux's practice is based on using herself as the initial subject of her work while at the same time generating a language and a form for it that allows her objects to stand alone from her as their creator. Her aim is to invent abstract objects that somehow invite in the viewer a gut reaction which impinges on their personal inner psychology. Thus the self portrait of her internal psyche becomes, on some levels, a mirror for the thoughts of many of her viewers which they can recognise and relate to on an intimate level. It was this sense of recognition that Theodore Zeldin felt when he saw her work and compelled him to contact her.

One strand of Zeldin's work for many years has been to examine the notion of the individual human portrait in written terms as a means to understand the history and the future of the world and humanity as a whole. Since meeting they have been discussing ways to make visible through physical objects the ideas that they share and debates that they have about various human types that they feel could make up a portrait of the world.

Taking as subjects everything from Firemen to Politicians, the Shamen to the western guru, the housewife to the director of a multinational corporation they are attempting to begin to define a history of the human future, by examining the underlying psychological impulses of the human animal as they find it in the twenty first century. The provocation for both artist and philosopher is to unravel their singular visions and allow new impulses thoughts and ideas to enter their practices.

The aim is to arrive at objects which embrace and hold up a mirror to these many human psyche1s in a way that wouldn1t be possible if they were working alone.

3. The Sound
The sound occupies the space in a three dimensional way. Therefore you can layer different elements such as voice and music to exist simultaneously in the space. In this installation the sound will operate on two levels. Firstly as the spoken word. The technology is so subtle that it can allow thoughts and ideas to be whispered in the viewers ear as they move around the space. The words and phrases used will be the product of the collaborative process.

The aim is to prompt a more comprehensive view of the objects that de Monchaux will make. Secondly Clarke and Ware will create an underlying musical score which will enhance the experience of the viewer as they occupy the space and gaze at the objects. The objective is to produce a soundtrack which emphasizes the subject types and emotional range that we are trying to depict. Due to the three dimensionality of the sound we can alter the tempo and feel of the aural emotive experience so that the viewers mood changes as they move around the space and encounter different objects. Unlike the way that a film score operates emotively in linear time, this score can incite a range of sensibilities simultaneously in real time.

BAFTA Interactive Awards Nominations
posted 01/12/2003

Illustrious is delighted to announce that the Anna Hill interactive installation 'Auroral Synapse' exhibited at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in July 2003 and featuring soundscapes by Illustrious has been nominated for a BAFTA Interactive Art Installation Award. Also Illustrious provided the soundtrack and sound design to Sparking Reactions (NMSI - BNFL - Immersion Studios), the interactive cinema experience which has been nominated for the BAFTA Interactive Design Award.

Nick Schwartz-Hall – details of his career to date
posted 12/11/2003

Nick Schwartz-Hall is a Production Manager, Projection Designer and Producer working with innovative approaches to live performance and new technology. Beginning with the CrossWaves Festival in 1994, headlined by Graham Nash’s World Premiere of LifeSighs, a multi-media, real-time interactive, live performance, co-produced with Silicon Graphics, he has worked with theatrical creators, dancers, musicians, designers and technologists to create new work in venues ranging from Grand Central Station to the West End, Off-off Broadway to Tokyo, art installations to industrials.

From 1994-96 he was the General Manager of the American Music Theater Festival, developing innovative new works of music theater, and from 1997-2000 he was the Production Manager for The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. For the last 3 years he has been independent, working closely with the acclaimed director Simon McBurney and Complicite in the creation of new works featuring sophisticated video & audio technology, including The Noise of Time and The Elephant Vanishes.

In addition, he has developed new work with Elizabeth Streb (Action Heroes), The Builders Association/moti roti (Alladeen), and Harold Prince (Hollywood Arms, Bounce), among others. His work is guided by the belief that utilising new technology is not simply about bringing cutting-edge equipment into a venue, but about creating compelling content integrated appropriately with emergent techniques to communicate with audiences and facilitate the work of artists.

He is fascinated by the new realms of performance and time-based art made possible by recent developments in computer processing, video and graphic technology, 3-D sound imaging, wireless communication, new scenic materials, various kinds of sensors, and physical performance. Although based in New York, he has toured with companies and artists internationally, and worked frequently in London in recent years. He is currently developing new work involving real-time interaction of live actors and digital media.

Illustrious and Scanner
posted 03/11/2003

Illustrious and Scanner will be collaborating on various sound based multimedia projects in 2004, including an installation at The Kitchen in New York, as part of a sound festival in May next year.

Illustrious performing at the DANA centre
posted 03/11/2003

Illustrious will be performing a multimedia interactive ambient set at the opening of the new Science Museum sci-art building named the DANA centre on November 18th.

New website for 'Dinosaurs – Beyond Extinction'
posted 03/11/2003

An Illustrious soundtrack was created for this interactive cinema piece.

Interdisciplinary Arts taskgroup
posted 31/10/2003

Martyn has been appointed as a member of the new Interdisciplinary Arts taskgroup, an advisory body which is part of the Arts Council.

Illustrious Consulting/Nick Schwartz-Hall
posted 22/10/2003

Illustrious is thrilled to announce Illustrious Consulting - a new virtual and live/theatrical multimedia consultancy. Nick Scwartz-Hall has joined Illustrious as an alliance partner with responsibility for merging live performance, projection and interactive technologies. Based in New York, his vast experience in international theatrical multimedia events (most notably Theatre De La Complicité) will enable Illustrious to create a more compelling and convergent live experience to immerse the observer even more convincingly in an even more apparently 'real' experience.

The Dark
posted 22/10/2003

The Dark is an interactive virtual world that challenges how our senses change perception. Three-dimensional music and ghostly presences inhabit a haunted soundscape. Explore and interact with the virtual ghosts of our past, hear their stories and solve their mysteries – using only your ears and your imagination.

The Dark will enable visitors to experience British history in new and participatory ways by using the latest digital sound technology to create three-dimensional soundscapes filled with the virtual ghosts of our past. It will also challenge the way we perceive our surroundings by looking at how we interpret a world without visual cues.

You will be able to explore The Dark in two spaces:
Online: through an innovative website accessed using a standard computer.
In the flesh: by visiting an interactive installation, which will be touring UK museums and galleries in 2004.

The website and installation will complement and support each other, presenting different versions of the same original material and different types of interactive engagement. This original material will be a combination of specially commissioned music, sound effects and the reminiscences of ghosts re-living significant moments in their lives. These ghosts will tell of their experiences as slave traders, sea captains and slaves who passed through the ports of Liverpool and Bristol.

The Dark is an original work created by Braunarts and commissioned specially for Culture Online. Braunarts has recruited a team of talented artists to create this unique experience including: Gabi Braun – Director of Interaction, Terry Braun – Producer, Maria Oshodi – Writer, Rob Godman – Composer, Adam Hoyle – Programmer, Martyn Ware – 3D Sound Producer.

The Dark will be using a custom-made 3D Sound system. The resulting experience, both for those online at home or for those visiting The Dark installation, will be a unique mixture of the exciting, the challenging and the scary. The Dark website will launch in early February 2004. The installation will open in mid-February at the Dana Centre at the Science Museum, London, for two months before touring the UK.

BAFTA Interactive Awards
posted 22/10/2003

Martyn has once again been asked to sit on jury for the BAFTA Interactive Arts Awards this November.

Sweetly The Air Flew Overhead – MIAMI
posted 22/10/2003

'Sweetly The Air Flew Overhead' is the title of Cathy De Monchaux's new exhibition to be premiered at the Miami Basle Art Fair in November/December 2003. Illustrious will, once again, be collaborating with Cathy to provide a unique insight into the creative mind of one of the world's leading artist. The soundscape will incorporate Cathy's own readings combine with calls to prayer from around the world - creating a mesmeric cloud of sound showing the commonality of purpose, timbre and tonality from many different cultures and times.

Another Flower Show
posted 22/10/2003

Illustrious will be participating in Another Flower Show at the Victoria & Albert Museum 29 May – 11 July 2004, curated by UP projects.

Another Flower Show – The Concept
Plants are intrinsic to our culture as symbols of beauty and feelings, as celebrative decoration and ornamental patterns – they are an unedited exuberance of nature. Flowers have also been a constant source of inspiration to artists as the subject for still life studies or as allegorical icons. From the vanitas imagery of the Dutch masters to floral metaphors of Georgia O’Keefe, the natural beauty of flowers and their intricacy of form never ceases to amaze.

Another Flower Show will showcase the work of a group of contemporary artists and designers who continue to explore the formal and conceptual qualities of flowers as a medium for art installations. Whether they are literally represented, or their fragility is immortalised through the artist’s attempt to defy and interfere with nature, the exhibition demonstrates that nature continues to inspire and generate new avenues for creative exploration.

Another Flower Show, takes art out of the gallery and flowers out of the greenhouse. UP Projects have invited Make Communications to design a bespoke garden shed which will provide the “container” for a site specific installation on a flower/garden theme. Ten artists are invited to transform the interior of the sheds; each shed offering a different experience. Some will be open to interaction, where visitors will be invited to enter the environment; others will offer a glimpse into a different world.

Location and timing
The exhibition will take place in the Pirelli gardens in the heart of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the World’s greatest museum of Applied and Decorative Arts. Ten sheds will be installed in the garden for a duration of six weeks. Another Flower Show will be positioned as part of the V&A’s contemporary exhibition programme. It will coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show, opening in May 2004 and will also contribute to a summer of garden themed projects (including a garden show at Tate Britain) as part of the 2004 Year of the Garden celebrations.

The artists
A group of emerging and established artists and designers, working in a variety of disciplines, have been invited to create installations specifically for the project, or to adapt their chosen field of work to suit the “container” or environment of the sheds. Heather Barnet, Tord Boontje, Tracey Emin, Thomas Heatherwick, Nilu Izadi, Michael Lin, Andreas Oehlert, Simon Starling, Martyn Ware, Craig Wood.

The architects
Architects Make Communications have been closely involved in the development of the project and will design a prototype shed specifically for Another Flower Show. Each shed will either be delivered to the artists’ studios in advance, or directly to the V&A the week preceding the exhibition depending on the individual artist’s requirements.

The launch
Another Flower Show will launch on Friday 28th May with an evening event positioned as part of the V&A late night events programme. The evening will be a celebration of gardens and flowers, with a preview of the exhibition and also offering music, performance and installations of fresh flowers. There will be drinks in the garden and a VIP bar for VIPs, artists, sponsors and sponsors guests. We anticipate an attendance of 3,000 to the launch evening.

Sale of the sheds
An auction of the sheds complete with their installations is planned for the end of the exhibition. Details of the auction will be forwarded nearer the time.

Auroral Synapse / BAFTA
posted 22/10/2003

Auroral Synapse by Anna Hill (soundscape by Illustrious) has been entered for the BAFTA Interactive Awards.

posted 15/10/2003

Illustrious, as part of a consortium of European companies (including France Telecom) have submitted a proposal to the European Union to obtain research funding for a 2 year project to develop a suite of interactive technologies called INSANE. Featured will be abilities to interlink live performance and sensor driven hardware and software.

URGENT call for participants for new soundwork
posted 15/09/2003

Illustrious are creating a new soundpiece called 'Virtual Wishing Tree' in association with the Interfaith Center in New York. Please see the artist statement below...

'The ancient Shinto ritual of pinning wishes to a wishing tree‚ is the simple and elegant inspiration for this sound installation.

Illustrious will collect wishes from visitors to the gallery, who will be encouraged to call a special telephone number +1 212 966 9824 and asked to leave their wish after the beep. This facility will be available from 18.30 EST on Wednesday September 17th 2003 for 72 hours until 18.30 EST on Saturday 20th.

Of course people may submit their wishes from anywhere in the world. The wishes‚ collected during this period will be transferred into the Illustrious audio system to be integrated with a unique composition. Before the outdoor installation, Vince Clarke and Martyn Ware will compose an ambient sound bed‚ to accompany the playing back of these wishes. In addition each wish will be accompanied by a micro-composition‚ of the same duration as each spoken wish, creating tiny emotive snapshots‚ of the mood of the wish-speaker.

Illustrious will create a very limited edition CD recording of the final piece which will be available to visitors to the opening of the outdoor exhibition on October 4th. It is hoped that the artistic process involved in this piece, and the viewers‚ participation, will lead to a profound, dreamlike contemplation upon the nature of wish-fulfillment and spirituality.'

Illustrious 3D soundfield at Venice Film Festival
posted 29/08/2003

Illustrious will be creating a 3D sound installation at La Rotunda del Cinema Italiano opposite the Casino at the Venice Film Festival. Martyn is Artistic Director of the musical content of the site, and has co-ordinated the music for the opening (29th August, DJs - Mitchell and Dewberry) and closing (5th September, DJ – Howie B) parties. In the dates between there will be an all-day continuous looping 3 hour 'set' of Illustrious 3D sound compositions, blended with famous Italian film soundtracks. There will also be an impromptu live accompaniment on Sunday 31st at 22.30 from Illustrious, featuring Martyn, John Uriel and VJ/multimedia artist Jason Bruges (Hybrid Field).

posted 13/08/2003

The first draft of POWER, the multimedia immersive extravaganza, has been written, and is to be previewed in NYC in 2004.

Anna Hill / Illustrious exhibition
posted 13/08/2003

The exhibition collaboration with Anna at the Kilkenny Arts Festival has been extended until 25th August due to a phenomenal response. Go see it now!

Transparent Mirrors extended to end of August
posted 02/07/2003

The Illustrious/Philip Tsiaras collaboration 'Transparent Mirrors' has been such a resounding success, that the exhibition, originally scheduled to finish on the 28th July, has been extended by a month and will now end on the 30th August.

Award for Film featuring Illustrious music
posted 22/06/2003

The Game Of Their Lives, the documentary about the North Korean football team who became a legend in the 1966 World Cup after beating one of the favourites Italy, has won the Royal Television Society award for Best Documentary. Featuring original music by Illustrious.

Venice show now on – CD for sale at the exhibition
posted 22/06/2003

At Campo Madonna Dell'Orto until 28th July 2003. Already gaining the official recommendation of the Mayor of Venice as being one of the 7 most important shows in Venice this summer (excluding the Biennale Gardens), it features one hour composition of Venetian sound fx and Vince and Martyn's music. CD only available at the exhibition.

Ghost Ship project for Metal/Unilever
posted 22/06/2003

Very successful 3D soundfield installation in tghe Bargehouse @ the Oxo Tower in London last week for 2 days only. A 30 minute piece written around the theme of a ghost ship, executed on the stairwells of the 4-storey deserted bargehouse. The theme of event (organised by Metal and Jude Kelly) was 'creative courage' – an encouragement for creatives within the Unilever organisation.

Proposals for BAFTA Interactive Awards
posted 22/06/2003

Illustrious will be submitting several works for the BAFTA awards. Submissions are open from now until late Autumn.

Auroral Synapse project for Kilkenny Arts festival
posted 22/06/2003

Preparations continue for the exhibition in Kilkenny opening on 10th August for 2 weeks.

posted 04/04/2003

Martyn has been elected to The BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Committee.

Kusch and Co
posted 23/02/2003

Illustrious will be providing a 2 hour 3D surround set for a party at Kusch and Co, St John St, London on April 16th in conjunction with Artlab, who will be providing immersive multimedia projections.