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Thousands of spectators at the Coachella Festival in Indio, California, will never forget the amazing experience that they had on Saturday, 16 April, during the show by the rock group Arcade Fire. At the end of the show, more than 2,000 glowing interactive balls dropped from the sky like luminous dust. Baptized “Summer into Dust” and inspired by Arcade Fire’s song “Wake Up,” this revolutionary visual experience was made possible thanks to the new technologies and expertise of ESKI. Always on the cutting edge of innovation and at the service of imagination, the Montreal company contributed, in partnership with Moment Factory, Radical Média, and Tangible Interaction, to the production of these 2,000 PixMob Zygote balls.
ESKI produced and choreographed the light effects designed by Chris Milk and Moment Factory, a vision of waves of light propagating and rolling repeatedly from the stage to the audience and synchronize with the music. Without ESKI’s expertise, these ideas would have never taken shape. The performance world had long dreamed of transforming a mass audience into a giant screen. ESKI met this technological challenge.
Sponsored by the Creators Project, this technical prowess is the result of a combination of ESKI’s PixMob technology (used in June 2010 by Cirque du Soleil during the launch show for the Miscrosoft Kinect console) and Tangible Interaction’s Zygote balls (released during the closing ceremony for the Vancouver Olympic Games). The PixMob technology inside the ball generates light effects – through specially designed LED pixels – to the beat of the music and as the wind blows them.
The Project Partners
ESKI is a creator of cutting-edge technologies serving the imagination, projects, and ambitions of companies working in the fields of entertainment, communications, event marketing, and culture. ESKI’s clients include Cirque du Soleil, Loto-Québec, and Cossette Communication.
Moment Factory was in charge of multimedia production for “Summer into Dust.” The Montreal-based company also developed, designed, and produced the imagery for Célie Dion’s new show in Las Vegas.
Chris Milk is a U.S. director specializing in commercials and music videos. He has worked with U2, Greenday, Kanye West, and Gnarls Barkley, and directed spots for Nike, Nintendo, and Sprite. He wrote and directed the music video “The Wilderness Downtown” for Arcade Fire’s latest video, “We Used to Wait.” He was the art director for the “Summer into Dust” project.
Arcade Fire is a Montreal-based rock group with an affinity for new technologies and interactivity. Composed of Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Richard Parry, Tim Kingsbury, William Butler, Sarah Neufeld, and Jeremy Gara, Arcade Fire received the 2001 Grammy for album of the year for The Suburbs, as well as four Juno awards.
Tangible Interaction is one of the top companies of its type in the world. Based in Vancouver, it specializes in the creation of interactive sensorial experiences; it was in charge of producing the balls.
The Creators Project has helped to update the Coachella Festival’s image by creating revolutionary visual experiences with new technologies. Born of a partnership between Intel and Vice, the Creators Project collaborates with groups such as Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, and Interpol to enhance their stage performances.
Arcade Fire's video –
Wake Up @ Coachella 2011
High-resolution photographs will be available soon