“To accompany each track on the album, interactive design wunderkind Scott Snibbe, the man behind Björk’s Biophilia app album, created an iOS app that contains interactive visualizations for every track on REWORK_.”
We are enormously proud to announce REWORK_ (Philip Glass Remixed). This App Album takes the incredible remix album made in collaboration with Beck that was released last month, and gives it a feature-length interactive visual treatment.
REWORK_ features eleven “music visualizers” that take the remixed tracks and create interactive visuals that range from futuristic three-dimensional landscapes to shattered multicolored crystals, and vibrating sound waves. People can lean back and enjoy REWORK_ end to end, or they can touch and interact with the visualizers to create their own visual remixes.
In addition to the visualizers, the app includes the “Glass Machine” which lets people create music inspired by Philip Glass’ early work by simply sliding two discs around side-by-side, almost like turntables. People can select different instruments – from synthesizer to piano, and generate polyrhythmic counterpoints between the two melodies.
The REWORK_ app features interactive audiovisual mixes by critically acclaimed musicians and remix artists including Beck, Tyondai Braxton, Amon Tobin, Cornelius, Dan Deacon, Johann Johannsson, Nosaj Thing, Memory Tapes, Silver Alert, My Great Ghost, and Peter Broderick.
The app was directed by Scott Snibbe, produced by Ahna Girshick, and engineered by Graham McDermott, with music visualizer programming and design by software artist David Wicks. Lukas Girling designed the Glass Machine and Amon Tobin sequence. Many others helped to make this project come alive, including Philip Glass’ assistant Trevor Gureckis (My Great Ghost) who created miles of MIDI tracks and patiently explained Glass’ idioms at an 8th-grade level. See all the app credits below.
REWORK_ is available exclusively in the iTunes App Store, and is a universal app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
The “Passion Pit: Gossamer” App is is a new interactive music app for iPad and iPhone released in conjunction with their new album Gossamer. We started with a project at the Webby Awards a couple months ago, doing a video backdrop to their new single “Take a Walk.”
Then we expanded the collaboration to an app “EP” featuring two songs, including a new track: “Carried Away.” Each song can be experienced in two modes – one is an interactive music video, where the sequencing of graphics, animation, and photographs by Mark Borthwick are different every time. And if you touch the screen you make your own unique music video.
The second mode for each song is a “remixer” in which people can create their own music with Passion Pit’s raw material. For “Take a Walk” people can create new melodies on top of a backing track, by creating a kind of harp-string spider web. In the remixer for “Carried Away” all the parts of the song can be turned on and off via touch tiles. Some loop, while others are synth notes. If you’re skilled enough you can actually play the song through, and I’m looking forward to seeing if anyone pulls it off and posts to YouTube.
The imagery for the app is all based on a bubble-like diagram that’s technically called a “Voronoi Diagram.” Snibbe learned about this pattern in college and it always fascinated him because it relates to everything from the structure of cells to the gravitational influence of stars. We chose it for this app because the first song, “Take a Walk” is about the financial bubble, and the hangover healing process coming out of it, so we thought this fragmented bubble imagery fit both metaphorically and psychologically.
High-resolution images can be found below.
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Scott Snibbe was featured in a half-hour program on CNN’s The Next List, which profiles forward-looking thinkers in the fields of technology, science and social change.
Host Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and producer Tracy Dorsey brought her crew to Snibbe’s studio in San Francisco for a three-day shoot that resulted in an intimate and extensive portrait to discuss, among other projects, recent work with James Cameron’s interactive “Avatar” exhibition at the EMP Museum, Bjork’s breakthrough Biophilia App, and the future of interactivity.
MotionPhone App Enables a new Form of Visual Communication
San Francisco, April 19, 2012
MotionPhone, a new app for the iPhone and iPad, enables a unique form of visual communication, allowing people to create animations together on iPads and iPhones. The app, created by Scott Snibbe Studio, is the company’s first release since producing Björk’s groundbreaking Biophilia App Album last year, and is a similarly innovative combination of interactive visuals with music.
In MotionPhone, fingers’ movements become colorful dancing abstract shapes whose personality comes directly from the way one moves. “Each person moves differently and naturally creates their own original style of animation.” said Scott Snibbe, the app’s creator, “Each of our movements are as original and recognizable as our face or the way we walk, and with MotionPhone, it’s the first time we get to see these traces of movement.”
As its name suggests, MotionPhone is more than an animation program. Using Apple’s Game Kit technology, the app lets two people connect to each other over local networks to have a ‘visual conversation,’ creating animation together on an infinite two-dimensional plane. The resulting collaborative animations, reminiscent of 1980s animated music videos, or experimental films from the 1930s, can be cacophonous or sublime. Snibbe calls the process ‘Visual Music’ and with the networking component, ‘Visual Jamming.”
The app was originally an interactive artwork that Snibbe says evolved from his days in college studying animation and computer science. Working late in research labs while listening to classic jazz albums like Mingus Ah Um, he created a networked animation program that allows people to improvise animation in the same way that jazz artists improvise music.
The program eventually found the attention of art curators in the 1990s, winning a Prix Ars Electronica prize—sometimes referred to as the ‘Academy Awards’ of interactive art. However, Snibbe always wanted MotionPhone to be distributed widely, at a low cost, so that the program could be enjoyed by everyone. As Snibbe notes, “Now apps like Motion Phone can be sold for the cost of a video rental, instead of the price of a car.”
MotionPhone takes the same social gaming technology that lets you play Scrabble with your friends—Apple’s Game Kit—and uses the system for collaborative play and communication, much like parlor games of the 19th century. Snibbe believes MotionPhone, despite being almost twenty years old, is the first commercially available networked animation program.
MotionPhone can be found in the iTunes App Store and is available for $2.99 as an ‘HD’ iPad version and $1.99 for the iPhone version.
Tripolar, an interactive iPhone and iPad app by artist Scott Snibbe, is now officially released in conjunction with the Whitney Museum. It is one of the first artworks commissioned by a major museum to appear as an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Tripolar was commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Artfor the CODeDOC Exhibition curated by Christiane Paul.
Tripolar animates the tangled, abstract, ever-changing forms a pendulum makes as it swings over a base of three magnets, tracing the path it follows when released from the point you touch. The drawing that results is a chaotic system in which minute changes to the start position produce large changes in the pendulum’s path. By invisibly moving the starting position in microscopic increments towards your finger’s position,Tripolar lets you explore the points between pixels, simulating a resolution thousands of times that of the screen.
Tripolar was commissioned for CODeDOC, an online exhibition curated by Christiane Paul in 2002 for the Whitney Museum’s Artport website that explored the relationship between a software artist’s code and the resulting work of art. The original Java source code demonstrates that changing any of the few parameters determining its operation radically alters the work: in most cases making it non-functional, hanging, exploding, imploding, or oscillating.
Tripolar’s name suggests the connection between mental states and chaotic phenomena: if even a simple physical system is so unpredictable and sensitive to initial conditions, what about our minds? Chaos and complexity reign at all scales.
To further explore the boundary between a software artist’s work and the interactive creations made with “users” of the work, the iPhone and iPad versions of Tripolar allows you to move, add, and remove magnets to create an infinite array of configurations besides the original Tripolar configuration. Once you make a change the the original artist’s configuration, the title of the work changes from Tripolar to Untitled, marking this boundary even more clearly.
After fifteen months of development, and three months of teasing, Björk’s full Biophilia App Album is now available in the iTunes App Store – the world’s first App Album. Enjoy the six new apps: Thunderbolt, Sacrifice, Mutual Core, Hollow, Solstice, and Dark Matter, as well as the already-released Virus, Moon, and Crystalline.
There is some great press coverage today featuring Björk’s inimitable voice and words:
Virus is now available in Björk’s Biophilia! The second app “single” tells the story of a cell attacked by a virus. You can protect the cell by thwarting the virus, but in order to hear the whole song, you must let the viruses win instead. Virus is a game you have to lose in order to win. Watch as viruses latch onto the cell, inject their DNA and reproduce themselves, all while Björk’s beautiful, cheeky love song progresses. The app is a unique combination of gaming, interactive art, music, and science, not quite recognizable as anything you’ve seen before.
Here’s a roundup of some recent press in the first week of its release: