Boutique Vizique is an artist collective, non-profit organization and a platform for experimentation by Hendrik Leper and Stijn Schiffeleers. Originally drawn together by their early video work, both artists started collaborating on a large number of projects. The result is a series of captivating interactive installations that take you into a world of imagination and gentle technology. Their multimedia works create experiences that playfully challenge our perception of objects and space. Although geographically separated at this point, both artist keep working together and recently turned their collective into a non-profit organization in support of the media arts.
Since 2004, Boutique Vizique has exhibited internationally at museums and media festivals including Matchmaking, Artbots, Beall Art Centre, RX Gallery, M HKA media, Oakland Museum of California and Z33.
Licht Bewolkt is an installation that immerses you in a spatial experience of light and sound by means of 195 RGB led light fixtures spread out as a 13 by 15 grid on the ceiling. Each fixture can be controlled independently allowing for an infinite number of light patterns and low resolution images to be created.
Licht Bewolkt was developed as a permanent and integrated artwork in the day care centre 'Hoekhuis' in Vlezenbeek in Belgium. Its design is focused on a group of children and young adults with multiple disabilities, yet can be experienced by a wider audience as artistic and authentic. The work reflects a well-considered approach towards the method of therapy through sensory activation.
Stone Soup is a project initiated, curated, produced and funded by Boutique Vizique in collaboration with artist Caroline Vincart.
Stone Soup offers artists a platform to present their work in a light box, mounted on a wall in Ghent, Belgium. In an alternating process, each work stays up for a year, placed against a different image every six months. The new work replaces the oldest of the two images, thus creating a new dialogue every time.
Modus Motus is an interactive installation that tracks the movement of various pendulums and translates its physical energy into an auditive and visual response. Light and sound are generated in real time according to a series of parameters affected and controlled by the user, resulting in a spatial experience that fluctuates constantly.
Beat Blocks is a tangible interface for a rhythm sequencer. The user is able to create and manipulate an multi-track loop on the fly by physically re-arranging blocks within a matrix. Each block is actually a sub-sequence identified by a patterning scheme. This allows the user to quickly identify what the sub-sequence is and place it within the composition in one motion, an action that would otherwise take several steps with a screen and mouse/trackpad interface. The device can be integrated directly into a MIDI setup or communicate with a computer via MIDI or Open Sound Control.
Concept and development in collaboration with Jeff Hoefs.
Tortuga is a conceptual reactive installation that emphasizes the explorers' own behavior and doesn't require a predefined way of interaction. It exists of two icebergs which can be pushed slowly across the floor. A sudden push or brutish interaction will result in a complete stop.
Presented at a group show called Fertile Grounds at RX Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Throughout the years we have been taught workshops focussed on introducing the basic concepts, tools, methods and resources available for making interactive projects. Covered areas included: basic electronics, physical computing, audio-visual programming, Max/MSP/Jitter, MakingThings' Teleo, Arduino and general project development tips and techniques.
Locations and venues included the Exploratorium, San Francisco, USA; San Francisco Art Institute; Department of Architecture, Buffalo USA; Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA; University of Oregon, Eugene USA; Fabrica, Treviso, Italy; Nadine, Brussels Belgium.
Since 2000 we have been part of a wide range of distinct audiovisual projects, either by independently exploring the boundaries of live AV performance or through cross-disciplinary collaborative processes.
In fact, Boutique Vizique germinated from a project with two DJ's and this collaborative aspect became a natural ingredient in our practice and resulted in co-productions with multiple bands, record labels, dance and theater companies, and an opera.
Our focus lay in producing realtime live generated images and sound, using homemade AV treatment patches in the Max/Msp/Jitter programming environment.
In 2004, Antwerp was chosen to be World Book Capital, which resulted in an impressive mix of book fairs, literary events, libraries, archives and professional organizations among others. One of the ABC2004 projects - City of Letters - put the alphabet to the test. Twenty-six writer/artist tandems explored the limits and possibilities of one letter; the starting point of a new, joint work of art. Throughout 2004-2005, the various results got unveiled at major literary events in the city, in any number of forms. The twenty-six big bangs were recorded for future generations in as many cahiers: exclusive publications in which the tandems are introduced, the evolution of their creations documented and the work (plus its traces) highlighted from a variety of angles.'
Together with Ramsey Nasr, Antwerp's city poet, we decided that 'Z' stands for Zeppelin! The text and the cahier partly focussed on the traject history of Count Zeppelin, who gave his name to his life work - a flying cigar - which forever will be associated with terror and destruction. Other chapters in the cahier contained information about the pioneers of balloon flight, Lawn chair Larry and a fictitious love letter from the Hindenburg. At the opening of the new library, we dressed up in our captain outfits, wearing a big white mustache as a ode to the count. The official guest speakers (among them the major of Antwerp and national minister of Culture) got asked to leave the stage and to put on a mustache, just like everybody else in the audience; making us all equal dreamers. This also got reflected in the zeppelin backpacks we created. These devices were presented as a model for everyday life zeppelin usage; in contrast to the expensive flights for the upper class a century ago. Whenever needed, turning on your backpack makes it a silent, bio-friendly mode of transportation; giving you an exquisite three dimensional freedom of movement. While presenting them a big zeppelin - carrying our logo - rose behind us; opening the new library to all the people of Antwerp.
Dustbunnies is a small colony of digital dust balls that scan the space in search of crumbs of lost thoughts, emotions and dreams. They are a group of LoFi amoeba addicted to a past caught in flakes of skin and hair, in dust and in dirt. is an interactive artwork that allows both individual and multi-user interaction. As a reflection of human social behaviour, this collection of separate, but similar interfaces behaves as a group itself. Technically the Dustbunnies are seven ball shaped, soft sculptures that contain a whole set of electronic components which allows them to communicate to each other while being touched by users.
Presented at at FEEL the young, Hasselt; Bazuco Super Mercado, Vooruit Ghent; Spinrag festival, Neerpelt and Leuven ; Five (5) Irvine USA ; and Muhka, Antwerp; Trondheim Matchmaking festival, Norway; Artbots, Ghent; Alles in Wonderland, Turnhout; LAB30, Augsburg, Germany; ElectroFringe, Newcastle, Australia.
Stopkontakt is a reactive installations that focus on making physical contact with others. Its interface consists of several 'electron' and 'proton' shaped cartoon like characters, spread out in the space. These 'contact points' invite you to close several electrical circuits, using your body as a conductor between them. Once a connection (= Kontakt) is made it results in a physical and/or auditive output. For example: a record player starts to play a few good old tunes, a light get turned on, drops of water start falling from the ceiling and make a sound, ...
Depending on the location, we change the interface accordingly. Walls, staircases and sinks become part of the installation as they are turned into touch points, which results in a very spatial experience. The piece celebrates collaboration and cooperation, as a singular visitor can't close all the possible circuits alone. Explore the possibilities and hold hands, touch you neighbours nose or find a piece of metal.
Presented at Les Chants Mechaniques, Lille, France; Garage Festival, Stralsund, Germany; Oorsmeer in Gent, Lille, Amersfoort, Antwerp and Hasselt; Spinrag in Neerpelt and Leuven; Happy New Ears in Kortrijk; nowHere, Z33 Hasselt; The Ever Mass Land, Nadine, Brussels; Oakland Museum of California, Oakland USA; Ciné Kadee, Gent, Belgium.
Babble is an audiovisual installation for kids. By pushing one of the seven buttons on a capture unit every little visitor can record a sound and video loop. After recording, the video appears (faded and quiet) in the projection. On a separate unit 7 pressure sensitive buttons correspond to 7 buoys hanging from the ceiling. If nobody pushes the pressure pads there is only a whispering in the room. All video and sound is faded. If you push a pad the projected face on the buoy will clear up and singing will become louder. By stepping on and off the pads compositions can be made with this AV choir....
Presented at Yo festival Utrecht, Oorsmeer Gent, Antwerp, Lille, Bern, Zurich, Winterthur, Amersfoort; Bronks in Brussels; Youth film festival, Bruges and Happy New Ears in Kortrijk.
Drawplay is a physical sequencer that generates audio and reveals video according to the visitors' drawing on a touchscreen imbedded in a soft bench. The installation allows for multiple people interacting simultaneous; and each drawing gets instantaneously scanned and translated into new sounds that pan around the space.
Presented at Dorkbot, Nieuwpoorttheater Gent; One Minute Performances Transmedia BSB bis, Brussel; Artefact Kunstencentrum Stuk, Leuven; Happy New Ears, Kortrijk; and Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts, San Francisco.