Jun 6, 2016 | By Benedict

Artist Joe Crossley has designed a trio of 3D printed ‘Sound Cells’ for Vivid Sydney 2016, a 23-day festival of “light, music, and ideas”. The 3D printed structures, which will broadcast music from inside the Sydney Opera House onto the venue forecourt, were made from recycled water bottles.

For this year’s edition of Vivid Sydney, festival-goers will be able to experience the sounds of the Sydney Opera House without even stepping through its doors. That’s because artist Joe Crossley, in collaboration with Intel, Vice Australia, and the Sydney Opera House, has used 3D printing to create a giant audiovisual installation which will broadcast live performances from inside the venue out onto its forecourt.

The installation, called Sound Cells, consists of three tree-like structures printed on Australia’s largest 3D printer. 3D printing teams in San Francisco and Los Angeles were enlisted to help with the project, and all 3D printed parts of the installation were made from recycled plastic bottles turned into PET filament. The result is a stunning, dreamlike audiovisual experience, both an artistic and technical marvel.

The three structures contain speakers optically connected to Intel Broadcast Studios, the Sydney Opera House's Grammy-winning broadcast and recording studio, which enables listeners outside the venue to experience the live music in real time: “The live broadcast system was developed in conjunction with the tech teams at the Sydney Opera House and the Intel units inside allow us to remotely view and stream the shows out to the cells via optic fibre,” Crossley told The Creators Project. “It feels great, like a crystal time warp in music and artwork.”

Throughout Vivid, which is currently taking place, Intel Broadcast Studios will send live audio to the 3D printed Sound Cells, enabling festival-goers outside the venue to hear what’s going on inside. And although there are gaps between each performing act, the Sound Cells will play on: when nobody is performing, the 3D printed structures will play specially composed music from Australian producer Ta-Ku, combined with visuals from artist Sam Price. Ta-Ku himself performed at Vivid on June 3 in a special webcast show, enabling those outside the festival to get a taste of the Vivid experience.

As well as their wired-up speakers, the tree-like Sound Cells also contain grids of internal LEDs which light up in response to the audio: when the music playing swells to an epic crescendo, so do the lights. This totally immersive sensory experience has made the installation a great place to dance, socialize, and enjoy the music of the festival, as Crossley himself experienced: “Gatecrashing a group of people dancing under the cells the other night was a highlight,” he said. “People smiling and feeling the sound and the visuals under the crystalline ceiling is great to watch when all that work has gone into it.”

Vivid 2016 kicked off on May 27 and continues until June 18. The 3D printed Sound Cells installation is live each night from 6pm-11pm.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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