By Julia Buntaine, Editor in Chief
Have you ever wanted to go beyond, and into, the surface of a painting? Sunspots is a virtual installation which plunges you into the middle of four different and ever changing aesthetic worlds. Inspired by the forces that govern the dark patches which temporarily appear in our actual Sun, the visuals and sounds in Sunspots are entirely generative, based on the user's behavior. In the true form of interactive art, the piece is inert until you enter. Ironically, once you're there you are totally immobile, only able to rotate your point of view as a floating head immersed in these psychedelic, evocative, and illusory environments. Created by Jeff Snyder and Drew Wallace, this installation went live January 26th, 2018, in tandem with Snyder's eponymous electronic music album.
Jeff Snyder (left) is a composer, improviser and instrument-designer living in Princeton, New Jersey, and active in the New York City area. As founder and lead designer of Snyderphonics, Jeff designs and builds unusual electronic musical instruments. Jeff is a member of experimental electronic duo exclusiveOr, avant jazz group The Federico Ughi Quartet, improvisatory noise trio The Mizries, laptop ensemble Sideband, fronts electro-country band Owen Lake and the Tragic Loves and composes alternate-reality Early Music for an ensemble of his invented instruments. In 2009, Jeff co-founded an experimental music record label, Carrier Records, which continues to release strange and exciting experimental music. In 2011, he received a doctorate with distinction in Music Composition from Columbia University. He currently is the Director of Electronic Music at Princeton University, and the Director of PLOrk, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra.
Drew Wallace (right) is a game designer, artist, and mystery man based in Los Angeles. His virtual environments reinterpret and repurpose classical computer graphics techniques, unseating the viewer's pre-notions of digital spaces, objects, and interactions. Past work from Drew includes imaginary game gallery Around the Bend, physics-based fighting game Sword Bros, suggestive technical illustration series The Printjob Manual, and soft-glitch vignette pentology A Show of Hands. In 2018, Drew joined game studio Giant Squid as a gameplay programmer.
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