The insatiable interactive duo Hellicar & Lewis have collaborated with Intel to produce an installation which manifests three of the core elements of the Intel Ultrabook’s3rd generation Intel Core processors: Performance, Security and Design. We popped in to the Triptych launch to wave our arms in front of the work and chat with Pete Hellicar about the creation process.
Pete Hellicar and Joel Gethin Lewis, aka Hellicar & Lewis, were one of the first creative teams to make all the projects open source, by way of openFrameworks, meaning all their work is online and readily available for others to borrow, adapt and expand on their work.
The same can be said for their latest project Triptych, which, while technology giants Intel are behind it's creation and it's inspiration - the sleek and lightweight new Ultrabook - it will still be made available as downloadable software.
This democratic ethos extends across all Hellicar & Lewis' interactive projects, and the design concept behind Intel Triptych - creating a relationship between the viewer and the work - has been deployed in their diverse output, from Victoria & Abert Museum to their therapeutic workshops with autistic kids, in which this interaction promotes spatial awreness.
Their practise creates a great balance between the branding and the social ethics. Intel are happy to have their project as open source as it's not only promoting their product but also their beliefs that everyone should have access to creative technology.
So what is Triptych? As Pete Hellicar tells Jotta while standing in front of the works, "It's basically three mirrors, with these mirrors we're testing interactions." Looking at the ways people respond to mirror reflections that trigger colourful graphics explosions, Triptych explores this relationship with very minimal set up. "All we needed were the laptop speakers, the Kinect sensors, the screens and three Ultrabooks. It is all very beautifully compact."
Their brief was to illustrate the main areas of the 3rd Generation of Intel Core processors: Design, Security and Performance. These three elements of the Ultrabook are brought to life through abstract concepts of playful interaction. "For Performance we played with time, we split the RGB so it follows you through the space and so we literally tried to stretch time." Security uses geometric figures or virus-like entities that attack and rebound off the visitors when they enter the space. While Design sees a mark-making effect take form through the visitors movement.
True to form, the duo deployed their Paper Prototyping technique for sketching out ideas, a process Jotta got a taste of at a recent Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design workshop. We like that fact that while Intel, one of the world's biggest technology companies, had commissioned the work, the ideas still began with stick figures using pen and paper. Hellicar & Lewis art direct the interaction, they designed the space, the identity and also created the soundscapes for each piece, bringing in references from Gamala bells to house music. At the core of it all was the machine - the Ultrabook.
"We want everyone to see the process and that the machines are doing this. These Ultrabooks – making a clear correlation between whats going on in the Ultrabook and on the screen."