Monday, December 3, 2012

Would you want to have neighbors like this?


I've been intrigued by this style of music called dubstep and it's associated slow motion dancing.  I also like to see all the lights of this fine holiday season.  The folks in the video above have combined the two into an amazing light show.  Things really get exciting about 1:45 into the video where the dubstep music starts.  It is an impressive show, and it looks pretty fine on video, but I'm pretty sure that I'd fell differently if that house was across the street from mine, and I had to experience the dubstep Christmas 30 times a day.

As a geek, I'd really like to know how all those lights are controlled and how the system is programmed.  It seems like a lot of work, and a kind of abstract exercise until you get to see it actually play out with the lights on the house.  I presume it uses some sort of sequencer and bunch of light controllers.  It seems like all the lights can be dimmed and there must be about 30 channels of control.

I know my techo-curiosity is somewhat misguided.  It reminds me of a brief conversation I had with the extremely awesome performance artist Laurie Anderson back in the 1980s.  She always uses interesting technology in her performances and I asked her what tools she used to conceive of and to preview her work.  As a technologist, I thought this was a perfectly reasonable question.  However, she was a little confused by it and said that the projects usually started with a vision of something that she wanted the audience experience and that she would use whatever tools and technology would get her closest to that vision.  It was an iterative  improvisational process.  So maybe, just maybe, there is a perfect vision of a "dubstep Christmas" and these lights are merely the best way to express it with today's technology.  Still, I want to know about the technology.  Sorry, that's just me.

...and by the way, since Laurie Anderson believes that conversation is a form performance art, and I spoke with her, so I maintain that I jammed with Laurie Anderson... That's my story and I'm sticking to it.