The Koi Pond A large-scale immersive video environment

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The Koi Pond is a large-scale interactive light sculpture that combines technology and traditional craftsmanship.

Brightly colored koi slowly circle the pond and react to stimulus from the visitors. A handmade wooden bridge featuring traditional Japanese joinery gracefully arcs over the pond and provides a different vantage point for viewing and contemplating the over 500,000 pixels that make up the surface.

By JoeJoe Martin and Crew | Debuted at Burning Man 2016

Artist-image

Artist

JoeJoe Martin
Technical Director, Obscura Digital
Co-Founder, LumiGeek

JoeJoe Martin is an electronics artist who works in San Francisco, CA.

For the past 14 years, he has been a principal designer in some of the largest, most complex, and most appreciated pieces at the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, NV. His electronic work has brought to life Marco Cochrane's Bliss Dance and Re:Evolution, Peter Hudson's Homouroboros, Tantalus, Eternal Return and Charon, Robert Bose's Balloon Chain, Michael Christian's Candelaphytes, and Zachary Coffin’s Temple of Gravity and Universe Revolves around You.

JoeJoe was born in Rochester, MN in 1977 and has been involved in computers and electronics since an early age. He received a Computer Engineering degree at Georgia Tech in 2000. His early work was in alternate process photography and kinetic video sculpture. In 2003, JoeJoe moved to the Bay Area where he was a cofounder of LumiGeek, a custom circuitry and software company for large-scale lighting installations. Some of his clients include Red Bull, SXSW, Salesforce, Summit Series, The Do Lab, Coachella, Autodesk, Cirque du Soleil, and artist Jen Lewin.

Radiation Windchimes

Autodesk Pier 9, 2014

eyeFrames

Atlanta, 2004

Anachronistic Audio: Cathedral Radio

Autodesk Pier 9, 2014

In 2014, JoeJoe was invited to be a resident artist at Autodesk’s Pier 9. He is currently applying his electronics expertise at Obscura Digital, a creative studio that creates immersive experiences through projection mapping.

http://www.autodesk.com/artist-in-residence/artists/joe-martin
http://lumigeek.com/
http://badrabby.com/

koinight2TECHNOLOGY AND ART

Our language is changing. Technology is being integrated into our society not just as a tool, but as its structure. The increased accessibility of technology has enabled artists to interact with their audience in new ways. In many ways The Koi Pond is not any different from how we have enjoyed gardens in the past. The garden is the setting for human activity. We stroll, contemplate nature, or simply take in the view.

At the same time, this is a very different kind of koi pond. It’s digital. When we use technology to make a phone call, it’s a tool. When we use LEDs to light our homes, it’s a tool. But when we use these things to create art, it is a language. Language does not just give us a way to describe what we see, but shapes how we see. How will things look when our language expands even further through technology?

We hope that The Koi Pond will give us a new vocabulary for how we perceive the world around us.

GARDEN INFLUENCES

For The Koi Pond, we are drawing from many sources of inspiration to combine traditional elements of Japanese gardens with modern design and techniques. Some of the traditional elements we are paying tribute to include:

  • Borrowing Scenery. Incorporating outside views.
  • Miniaturization. For this first site-specific iteration of The Koi Pond, we are echoing the prehistoric lake bed and desert around us.
  • Concealing and Revealing. Garden views as an unraveling scroll with contemplation areas.
  • Combining Artifice with Antiquity.
  • Respect for Materials.
  • Reverence for Nature.

imageThe principles of garden design vary immensely depending on purpose, time and location. These varieties of garden styles have influenced each other as well. One can see Hindu-Buddhist traditions converge with Daoism, Zen Buddhism and Shinto beliefs even in the most traditional Japanese garden. These histories are documented, but there is a large gap between theory and practice. Additionally, gardens are subject to change, both through nature and by design.Therefore, when we researched these relationships, we tried to be mindful of historical intentions as speculations, and not assertions.
Some of our favorite gardens are:
Ryōan-ji
Kenrokuen
Hakone

PROTOTYPE

The Koi Pond started life as 3 x 7 ft irregular shaped LED display, comprised of about 66,000 LEDs. It was shown at the Autodesk Artist in Residence exhibition in the fall of 2015. Accompanying this piece is an Instructable, where you can get details on how to build your own!

Contact and Booking

The Koi Pond installation and the smaller Koi Pond Prototype are both available for booking for events. Roughly two days are required for the build of the full installation.

E-Mail: art@burningkoi.com

Technology and Art

Our language is changing. Technology is being integrated into our society not just as a tool, but as its structure. The increased accessibility of technology has enabled artists to interact with their audience in new ways. In many ways The Koi Pond is not any different from how we have enjoyed gardens in the past. The garden is the setting for human activity. We stroll, contemplate nature, or simply take in the view.

At the same time, this is a very different kind of koi pond. It’s digital. When we use technology to make a phone call, it’s a tool. When we use LEDs to light our homes, it’s a tool. But when we use these things to create art, it is a language. Language does not just give us a way to describe what we see, but shapes how we see. How will things look when our language expands even further through technology?

We hope that The Koi Pond will give us a new vocabulary for how we perceive the world around us.

 

 

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Garden Inspiration

For The Koi Pond, we are drawing from many sources of inspiration to combine traditional elements of Japanese gardens with modern design and techniques. Some of the traditional elements we are paying tribute to include:

  • Borrowing Scenery. Incorporating outside views.
  • Miniaturization. For this first site-specific iteration of The Koi Pond, we are echoing the prehistoric lake bed and desert around us.
  • Concealing and Revealing. Garden views as an unraveling scroll with contemplation areas.
  • Combining Artifice with Antiquity.
  • Respect for Materials.
  • Reverence for Nature.

imageThe principles of garden design vary immensely depending on purpose, time and location. These varieties of garden styles have influenced each other as well. One can see Hindu-Buddhist traditions converge with Daoism, Zen Buddhism and Shinto beliefs even in the most traditional Japanese garden. These histories are documented, but there is a large gap between theory and practice. Additionally, gardens are subject to change, both through nature and by design.Therefore, when we researched these relationships, we tried to be mindful of historical intentions as speculations, and not assertions.
Some of our favorite gardens are:
Ryōan-ji
Kenrokuen
Hakone

 

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Koi Pond Tech Specs

The Koi Pond is a complex electronic art piece comprised in part of the following:

  • 200 sq. ft. pond surface
  • 563,000 full color LED video array
  • Koi fish and water rendered in real time
  • Sensors allow fish to react to environment and time of day
  • Generative fish swim to visitors when they clap or make sounds
  • Meticulously crafted wooden bridge and Torii gate made from the repurposed lumber from a 100 year old theater
  • Custom designed and hand-crafted lanterns, benches, and fence, plus manufactured rocks
  • Precision waterjet cutting of 1/8 aluminium sheets to form the base of pond
  • Custom CNC cut and formed steel mullion substructure

The Koi Pond is supported in part by a grant from Burning Man. 

burning-man-logo

 

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Koi Pond Prototype

The Koi Pond started life as 3 x 7 ft irregular shaped LED display, comprised of about 66,000 LEDs. It was shown at the Autodesk Artist in Residence exhibition in the fall of 2015.

Accompanying this piece is an Instructable, where you can get details on how to build your own!

 

Close Post

Renderings

Multiple revisions of SketchUp renderings were done in the process of designing this site specific installation.

 

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Crew on Bridge

Burning Man 2016

The Koi Pond

Burning Man 2016

#TheLanternGirls on the bridge

Photo by Tina WJ Liu

Koi Pond Lantern

Burning Man 2016

Lantern and Bridge

Photo by S.N.Jacobson/LensCap
Contact and Booking-image

Contact and Booking

The Koi Pond installation and the smaller Koi Pond Prototype are both available for booking for events.

E-Mail: art@burningkoi.com