Some of us here at Another Colour are old enough to remember when television stations actually turned off late at night. There would literally be nothing but test patterns across all channels until 5am when the early morning news and cartoons would begin. And while they might not have intended to be, the geometric shapes and combinations of colour were a lot of fun. They inspired us to make our own test pattern for the Coming Soon holding page of this website. With our own twist, of course.
Recently, we had the pleasure of experiencing an altogether different kind of test pattern. As part of the ISEA (International Symposium of Electronic Art) and Vivid Live festivals, Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda turned one of the halls at Redfern’s Carriageworks into a large, interactive light- and sound-scape that was called Test Pattern #5, “an immersive audio-visual installation inspired by computer programming data which converts information into barcode and binary patterns”.
To say it was overwhelming would be an understatement. As soon as we walked in, we were immersed in a room that was filled by a thumping bass and overlapped with digital sounds. These sounds were then translated into a corresponding digital light show that ran down the middle of the room where you were invited to stand (or run as some of the kids clearly loved doing). It was disorientating, mind-blowing and completely amazing all at the same time. One of the most interesting parts was watching people move, as their bodies seemed to jump from one spot to another making their way through the juxtaposing lights of the installation.
We captured a little of it on video where you can catch a glimpse of our resident writer, Ben, hidden amongst all the other kids. Warning: loud!