Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What The Helmut?

[Sorry - couldn't resist the headline.]

Over the past year or so we've been developing a lot non-traditional media for live music events at the studio, most recently for Mos Def at Carnegie Hall - utilizing the latest generation of an interactive system first developed for Matthew Dear's Big Hands Band. [Full disclosure: I don't know anything about soldering sensors or writing code. I just come up with random ideas, draw some pictures and make graphics on occasion. The hero work is done by my colleagues like Erick, Andrew, Alex and Mike.]

I've been paying extra special attention to innovative new ways electronic artists have been integrating technology and visual media in their live shows of late: from the mind-blowingly simple and perfectly executed Etienne De Crecy visuals, to The Cube, to the latest from International DJ Gigolos founder Helmut Geier a.k.a. DJ Hell. [It's far more interesting to see what inventive solutions are developed for medium-sized acts than bands who can throw millions at a live show and rent every LED on the planet for a stadium tour.]

Hell's new show includes an oversized three dimensional cast of his face - lowered from the ceiling and precisely mapped with media by Lichtfront. It's bizarre and narcissistic of course, but it's totally Hell's sense of humor and perfect in that sense. Way too often people fail to have a sense of humor about themselves and it spoils the fun for everyone. This is genius in it's ridiculousness and ridiculous in its genius.

photos by Becky Yee and Lauren Devain

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