50,000 LEDs the QX50 Process

When I first became aware of the QX50 project in early May of 2018, the project was in its preliminary concept stage. Infinity wants to create an interactive installation to promote their upcoming QX50 suv, it will utilize the full-size vehicle itself as a canvas, and it will be displayed for public audiences at arts festivals and trade shows.These limited constraints gave us plenty of freedom to experiment with different techniques, technologies and creative solutions, allowing us to think holistically about the experience when making important technical and creative decisions.

As one of the tech-focused members on the team, I tasked myself with understanding the technical operation from end-to-end, in order to suggest workflow and technology optimizations, bridge the communications gap between the largely interdisciplinary team, and create effective prototypes that satisfy as many objectives as possible, reducing iteration and development time.I ended up with several big questions to ask myself, in turn sparking their own questions:How are we going to turn the vehicle into a canvas?What display medium (projection mapping, lasers, LED)?

What visualizer / software will control the graphics?What computer hardware, cabling and power will be required?How are people going to interact with the visualization?

What cameras or sensors can detect motion at a high resolution in realtime?How many cameras are required to cover the entire car 360?How will viewers know what to do / if they are contributing?

Building the First Scale ModelInteractive installations are very complicated sets of systems with many parts, which can be tricky to discuss without good visualizations. In my experience, SCALE is the easiest thing to get wrong, and the most helpful to have visual aids for. This is mostly because scale is a relative measurement, tainted both by our perspective and perceptions.

How big is 1m? Well, that depends how far away is it? To alleviate this issue, I hopped straight into Unity3D, my favourite way to visualize 3D spaces, to build a scale model of the upcoming installation.

Using the ProBuilder toolkit, a free 3D model of an SUV, and a Mixamo avatar as a person for size, I blocked out the basic installation room, fit with wall-mounted projectors (an assumption) and 6 car-mounted cameras. Any time you are building a model, prototype, or slice of a final project, it is extremely important to contextualize what particular aspect it is representing, and what it is not. This is not intended to be a 1:1 scale reference for accurate measurement, this does not feature the genuine 3D model of our target SUV and this is not a demonstration of what the visual output will look like.

This is a rough spatial model of the installation, intended to provide the designers with an approximate size comparison between room, person, suv, and walking space. This allowed the team to make critical design and workflow decisions, like expected sightlines, without having to build anything physical. Build it in 3D, keep everything to scale, put on a VR headset & call it a day.

No carpentry required!Choosing a Display MediumWith any large-scale digital installation, imaginations are bound to run wild with the seemingly infinite creative possibilities. One of the best ways to constrain this firehose of ideas, is to break down the objective differences and affordances of the possible display technologies the proverbial, Yeah, but how are you going to actually see the thing in person?

We need to put digital visualizations (effectively a video stream) onto the entire surface of the suv, for an active audience 12 feet away. Projection Mapping initially seemed like a good fit, allowing full surface coverage of the vehicle, various projection mapping tools are available / could be confidently prototyped, and projector brightness should be okay for a close-up audience.That said, projection mappings requirements make it more challenging to work with creatively, especially when considering occlusion.

As illustrated in the scale model, projection mapping at such a close range means that the individual themselves may get in the way of the projection, causing a huge shadow and ruining the effect.As you can see, the problem gets worse the lower the projector is to the ground, and the closer the viewer is to the SUV. The only way to avoid occlusion entirely, is to mount all projectors to the ceiling, and live without images on the side of the suv.

We knew that this was unacceptable, and determined that projection mapping will not suit our needs for this project.Instead, we just need to use a display that is self-illuminating, low latency, and the exact shape of an Infinity QX50 Right.With those stipulations in mind, the most promising display technology was Pixel LED Tape.

Instead of illuminating the large vehicle with a 360 array of ceiling mounted projectors, we layer the entire surface with adhesive strips, fitted with individually controllable Pixel LEDs, effectively turning the QX50 itself into the screen.Pixel LED Tape:Adhesive tape on one side, electronic PCB on the otherVery bright, designed for large signs in daylight (Times Square, Vegas, Y&D)Each pixel contains full RGB, millions of coloursEach pixel can be controlled individuallyMapping software allows for custom layouts, any size and shapeConfident in our selected display technology, we were met with a new set of technical considerations:Resolution and Pixel DensityHow many pixels per inch (ppi) are needed to resolve an image, from 1m away?What is the maximum pixel density, given they are fixed to a strip?

How much tape do we need to cover the entire car?What is the total rendering resolution of this screen?Power ConsumptionEvery few hundred Pixels, an additional power supply is required.

How many total?How much power do all those fully loaded power supplies consume?How much heat do they generate?

Where can they safely be stored, transported and operated?Maths & Measuring in 3DPixel LED Tape is available in 3 main densities: 30px/m, 60px/m, 90px/m, we were quickly able to calculate layout and coverage options, with accurate pixel density and pricing figures. First, we calculated the SUVs surface area by boxing out a scale model in Blender.

All of our purchasing and layout calculations will be based on these measurements, and once committed, its not a trivial task to rework components or order quantities. It is imperative that we have an accurate, if not liberal estimation of surface area. Underestimating would be disastrous, leaving us without enough LEDs to cover the entire surface nor extra rolls to account for any reasonably expected defects, damage and maintenance needs.

Irresponsibly overestimating could increase the cost beyond a reasonable level. We built our measurements to be ever-so-slightly larger than we expected would be necessary, ensuring we were over-prepared for any major defects, damage or technical surprises. Our rough Surface Area measurements of the QX50 came out to 25000000mm, which allowed us to calculate maximum pixel densities, assuming little to no space between the LED strips.

We learned that things can get unreasonably expensive and overwhelming, very quickly. I built a spreadsheet calculator that broke down the different parameters we could adjust, (PX/m, distance between strips, price) and let us quickly iterate between different combinations. We landed on a mixed-density layout, with tighter coverage on the front and sides, light coverage on the trunk and roof.

This tradeoff allowed us to prioritize the visible portions of the display, packing them with as many pixels as possible, saving cost, power, and camera coverage on the areas not seen by viewers. Using the same number of pixels but keeping the density even throughout, there would have been a much larger margin gap between the strips, breaking the illusion of a single wrapped screen. Choosing the Depth CameraFor another project MASSIVE in the same year, Array of Stars used the X-Box Kinect V2 for short range, full body tracking and it performed very well in real time.

However from my early mockups in Unity, I was expecting to need 6 independent sensors with for full 360 coverage, which presents some challenges if using Kinect V2.Notably, Kinect V2 was originally designed for the X-Box One, and only works ONE AT A TIME on a single computer. This would mean building, powering, and synchronizing 6 computers just to run the cameras.

While this is possible, Ive seen impressive demos and arrangements with 4 Kinects sharing point cloud data live streaming from multiple computers, those require very complicated custom designed networking systems, and the extra cost of 5 computers would cut into budget for creative effort and installation hardware.Instead we wanted to power everything from a single computer, ensuring all of the depth camera processing, graphics simulation, and LED Mapping can be controlled and tested from a single location. Though there were a few other non-Kinect V2 depth cameras on the market, the brand new Intel Realsense D415 was the clear choice.

Shaped like the iPhones notch, the Realsense D415 is specifically designed for multi-camera arrangements, is less than the size of the Kinect V2, can be powered & controlled with a single USB cable, and processes depth at 720p 30fps.Strongly believing in this sensor as the best choice, we ordered a handful of units for early testing. Most important was testing performance of multiple cameras on a single computer simultaneously.

In Intels own documentation for these devices, they recommend using a unique USB 3.0 Controller per sensor for best performance no multi hub dongles. Most computers do not have very many USB Controllers, as they are often shared between 2 or more USB Ports.

To alleviate this issue altogether, we relied on PCI-e USB Expansion cards, with 1 controller per USB port. This way we would never worry about sharing controllers between sensors, if we need extra ports we can easily add another expansion card. Each sensor streams a video Depth Map (left), identifying the distance from camera of each pixel in the frame.

Points closer to the sensor are represented in Blue, further objects are represented in Red, with Yellow/Green in between. Unlike the Kinect V2 and some other depth cameras, the Realsense D415 does not include any built-in body / skeleton tracking, nor does it have intelligent awareness of objects or motions in the frame. This is a much simpler device that is intended to be built into a larger system of components, giving you RAW depth output as fast as it can.

Though this may seem limiting, and in some circumstances it could be, it was exactly the kind of tool we were looking for. We did not care to perform skeleton tracking, gestural recognition or any other computationally expensive processing on top of our depth, because the circumstances of the installation do not require it. We knew where everything in the installation is expected to be placed, and can easily adjust the sensors to ONLY detect within our specified range.

This allowed us to employ a very simple particle displacement method that powers the entire visualization.How The Visualization WorksBased on the brief from the client, our visualization had to support 3 different modes: Ambient, Calm and Fast. Ambient (Blue), is what is shown when nobody is interacting with the installation.

Like a body of water it slowly ripples, adding a subtle element of movement to the otherwise static installation. This mode is essential because it means the installation will always be beautiful and inviting to onlookers from afar. Calm (Green) is engaged whenever someone is close (03m) to the car.

This turns the display into a Mirror of sorts, representing the persons body shape in realtime on the car. When you move, so does your Reflection, head, hands, feet and all. Fast (Red) is the closest to a hidden feature / easter egg, only showing when someone moves very quickly in range of the sensors.

Most often observed with fast moving arms, or someone running along the installation, it was exciting to see people try to engage Fast mode once they learned of its existence.The entire visualization is computed as a large grid of particles in Unity, in a dynamic system built by one of our digital artists Gauthier. You can think of this grid like a big sheet resting on top of the car, where the Left side of the grid sits on the Hood of the car, the Bottom of the grid becomes the Drivers side, and so on.

Behind the grid, depth maps from the Realsense Cameras feed directly into a Displacement Map. If nothing is being detected by the sensor, it reads a pure black image and does not affect the particles at all. When something is detected by the sensor, their figure reads as a white shape, pushing all particles forward, and changing their colour to green.

The closer something is to the car / cameras, the more intensified the colour change becomes, giving a sense of depth.My favourite analogy to describe effect this is a Pin Art toy where you imagine the pins as particles, and the hand pushing the pins as the depth map from the cameras. From there, various parameters were adjusted to tweak the distortion properties, size of particles, speed of movement, etc.

These tools were extremely handy, allowing us to quickly iterate through various looks, and respond to creative feedback with precision. These tools also made it a breeze to remix the visualizer for another event in 2019, more on that another time. The Software PipelineUnity is doing most of the heavy lifting in this installation, running the particle grid, camera inputs, and video outputs in realtime.

This ran uncompiled, in-editor in PLAY mode; as to be flexible for any unexpected last minute changes from client, or unexpected environmental circumstances. If for some reason the client wanted to change the Green to Pink on the night of the installation, I wanted to be able to do that without having to recompile the entire project. From Unity, a single Video feed is produced as output, which our LED Mapping software Resolume Arena 6 takes as input.

Spout bridges this gap, a clever tool allowing us to copy the video feed from Unity directly into Resolume in software no old school daisy chaining hardware for capture!Resolume was responsible for all things LEDs, organizing all of the strips into Universes, aligning them to the video signal, and converting the video into ArtNet colour values for each individual pixel. This is by far the most complicated component of the software pipeline due to the sheer scale and physical complexity of the display.

Every digital component in Resolume has a physical counterpart that has to be matched both in location, and signal routing.To function as a digital mirror, the visualization and cameras must be aligned correctly. Approaching the car, one should see their bodyform right in front of them, not off on another side.

To achieve this, we first need to have a comprehensive understanding of: Where each individual LED is on the car body, Where each LED is in relation to others, What signal router / IP Address is each LED associated with, In what order is each LED arranged within IPs.During the physical installation, our electrical hardware installers Christopher Desousa & Andrew Oliveira (HUGE shoutout to these guys!) kept extensive, detailed notes on the mapping and routing of each individual LED.

Even with this guidance, retracing and aligning was not a simple task. Given a much simpler shape, like a flat rectangular billboard style display, the LED mapping could be routed in a neat, orderly fashion; as each strip length would be exactly the same length, with the same number of LEDs and in a consistent layout. This would make rerouting a breeze, allowing the digital signal to predictably line up 1:1 with its real world counterpart and no real distortion.

We did not have the luxury of a simple OR flat shape. To map the entire surface area of a rounded, ergonomic 3D object, means almost nothing is gird-like or straight. Even things would seem consistent and flat, like the windows, are actually not flat at all, and have plenty of variance from edge to edge.

Because of this, our organization into Universes would never be perfectly efficient, there will always be hoops to jump through when matching, some Universes filled to the brim with LEDs, and others almost completely empty. Perhaps given infinite time, the electrical team could have arranged into a more efficient / easy to match pattern, but the usefulness of that time spent would be questionable. It was a real pain in the ass, but thankfully something we only had to complete once.

Once physically installed, a digital duplicate of the entire layout is created, routed and aligned within Resolume. Physically, each LED is attached to a Strip, Strips are attached to IP Controllers, and those controllers connected to the PC. Digitally, Pixels are attached to Fixtures, arranged into Universes, Universes into Lumaverses (one per IP).

Each strip (fixture) of unique Length and Orientation must be created and labelled digitally for use. For example, some LED strips contained all 170 Pixels, but most were cut down to fit their particular arrangement. Making fixtures with any number of pixels is quite possible, but in addition, you must know the orientation and direction of that particular strip.

Is the strip seen horizontally or vertically from the viewers perspective? Additionally, where do the pixels Start and End? By default all LED Strips are labeled in the same order, but often a strip would be ordered Left to Right, and the strip right below it to be ordered Right to Left.

This made it more difficult to re-use fixtures in multiple places, meaning almost every strip variation had to be identified, created and labelled for pre-use, or created while mapping. Once prepared, the fixtures are ready to be mapped!Mapping is the process that determines what image / colour will be displayed on each LED.

To control this, an Output feed is chosen within Resolume. There are all kinds of cool effects, distortions and tools that can be used to manipulate the feed, as you might expect in a program designed to run large stage performances and concerts. Thankfully for our uses, we didnt need to dive too deep into these tools (aside from a touch of scaling, and later a colour layer for a tint), and left most of Resolumes settings untouched.

Thus Resolumes Output is almost exactly the same as Unitys output, keeping things consistent and cohesive between applications. On top of the Output feed is where the Fixtures are organized and aligned. One by one, starting with a single IP Controller, fixtures are added to Universes in Lumaverses and addressed to the right location.

While youre mapping, you can see the LEDs output in realtime, making it visible if you are sending data to the right place, in the right format, or if at all. Visible doesnt mean clear, necessarily, once a dozen strips are mapped, the obviousness of a single LED changing colour is much more difficult to discern. That said, with careful attention to detail, accurate mapping notes and a pair of sunglasses (LEDs are hella bright), you can align each universe relative to itself.

Once the universes are aligned, they need to be arranged in a cohesive manner, such that they all appear to be connected as a single large screen, responding to input from the cameras in the correct location. Constructing the PrototypesHaving worked through the technical requirements of the installation, and outlining the workflow stated above it was clear that this is an incredibly complicated, challenging task that required novel education, ramp up on various technologies and software, and that unforeseen complications were to be expected around every corner. We knew we needed to make a prototype of every aspect of the installation, in order to test our own confidence and understanding both of the technology and the viewer experience creatively.

The first working prototypes we created were completely within Unity, used to simulate the Rough final look of the car with LEDs. I stripped down the 3D model sent from client to its essential components, and layered them with an SUV-Shaped textured mesh from Gauthier. He built a great simulator view allowing us to click and rotate the car from any side, while taking input from realtime realsense, or placeholder depth maps.

This gave us a great visual of what to expect, a guide on how to adjust particle parameters, and a very helpful debugging tool for final installation. As great and useful as the simulator view was, it lacked a key component of the true installation; scale. Even if we had blown up the image on a giant projected screen, the output was still 2D and would not correctly allow our creative team to stand amongst the installation.

As tested earlier in the year with MASSIVE, creating an immersive full-scale model of the final installation, to be used during production by the creative team, can be hugely beneficial to catching unforeseen issues and demonstrating the actual experienced impact of the installation. Using a VR headset, combined with a realsense camera (the same used on the day of) I put together a fully immersive viewer, for the creative team to explore in scale. For the first time, we were able to preview a full-size version of the installation, walk completely around the QX50, and even see your real body on the side in realtime.

This is as close as it was going to get to the real thing before launch. With the help of those software prototypes, the look continued to be iterated on and tinkered with up until launch. The physical prototype is what tied all of the hardware and software together, in a vertical slice of the final installation.

Using a Cars Door, sourced from a local junkyard, our electrical partners wired up a sample version of the LED strips and an ArtNet controller. With this, my computer and two realsense cameras I was finally able to create an end to end test of the expected tools and software we would need to use for the final installation. Among that process was learning how to navigate the wonderful world of DMX communications, ArtNet through Ethernet, and the Resolume LED Mapping described above.

With some networking knowhow from our web guru Ben, and far too long staring at a grid of super bright LEDs, I got the complete workflow together. It was a magical feeling to see your bodyform in the form of LIGHT, almost like the opposite of a shadow, and a major relief seeing the technical workflow operating as expected.As you can see from the Point of view video the total brightness of the LED array is EXTREME.

Notice how dramatically the reflected colour of the ceiling changes, and how bright it is in comparison to the daylight in the far right side of the frame. Putting it togetherAssembling the car for final installation was an incredible challenge. Not only was it extremely complicated, with many intricate details that needed to be perfectly aligned, we were under a major time crunch due to some early delays.

For a week straight, including weekends AOS Creative Director Cole Sullivan and I spent every waking hour with this car, finding every strip that had been installed, routing it to the right location and aligning it digitally to our model. In real time, it felt like watching grass grow, seeing a few lines of pixels move added every hour. Slowly but surely, we got to every corner, found every strange or mismatched alignment, and mapped each section to spill cohesively from one to the next.

Looks great! Theres only one problem left; the car cant travel with the depth cameras attached. Believe it or not, the QX50 with all the LEDs installed was actually still drivable, and rolled itself onto the installation riser.

It was nowhere near street legal, and likely wouldnt survive more than a light mist outdoors, so it was never driven on the roads. But also, it meant that there was no way to safely mount the depth cameras onto the bottom of the car before parking the car in its final destination. They would have to be mounted, then aligned on-site.

The night before the exhibition.After parking, a plastic tent was built over the installation, shrouding it from the rainfall that was expected overnight. In case the situation wasnt precarious enough, I now had to remove sections of the protective plastic barrier in order to accurately test and align the cameras.

It was critical, because the walls of the tent were too close to the camera, preventing me from aligning them at viewer distance. While potentially dangerous to the hardware, I had no other choice, and would have otherwise been guessing. To operate as safely as I thought I could, I only removed one plastic section at a time, reinstalling it before tearing down the next one.

Was this a pain in the ass, that made it much harder and more time consuming to actually calibrate? Yes, absolutely. But the alternative risked leaving the entire installation vulnerable to the weather for an extended period of time and I wasnt comfortable taking that risk.

Additionally, because of the weather, potential static front the tent, and complete lack of other people around, I was not able to power on the LEDs overnight. That meant only referencing my portable monitor and the Unity-based simulator to align as best as I could. I was still able to setup the Unity scene, arrange and physically mount all of the cameras, and perform basic technical testing to make sure everything was running as expected.

Knowing I couldnt do any more until the rest of the team arrived, I headed home for some rest at 5am. The next day, I had to really hustle. Running mostly on adrenaline and Monster Energy, I headed back to the installation to finalize camera alignment.

Turning things on for the first time, the alignment I had set blind wasnt terrible, but definitely needed some love. I spent the next few hours getting as close to perfect as I could stand the cameras to be. Now able to employ the help of others, I was able to position people at viewer distance right in between the two cameras, where a potential misalignment would occur.

This was hugely helpful, allowing me to closely match the cameras views so that crossing over from one to the next would be imperceptible to the viewer. You could argue this is an impossible goal, and that there will always be some distortion / imperfections (and youd be right) but the goal was to make the viewers as visually oblivious as possible to any errors. Finally, I got the call to wrap it up.

My inner perfectionist clawing for another hour or two it was time to put the pencils down. All at once it became real. This extremely cool, secret project Ive spent the last several months on was moments away from its public debut, and thousands of people would be experiencing it for the first time.

Working on this project was an extremely educational, humbling and empowering experience. Starting from basic knowledge of scene building in Unity, to manually mapping 50,000 LEDs on a 3D object, I learned more in these few months than I could have ever hoped to imagine. For the first time, building a scale 3D model with a Keyboard and Mouse, viewing it in Virtual reality then making it physical with light and cameras is an unbelievably surreal experience.

It showed me the true power of using 3D and realtime production workflows to visualize better, iterate faster, and create more meaningful outcomes. It was genuinely heartwarming to see dazzled gazes, blown minds and excited waiving in front of the installation. I love the idea that: experiences can be built, that in the future we will interact with things and installations the way we interact with each other, that one can create something beautiful, that only gets more beautiful when someone else engages it, and that this wild installation, compounding some of the latest in interactive and spatial technology, is barely scratching the surface.

The future is friendly RELATED QUESTION How do I choose LED lamps for car headlights? With the update of the technology, LED lights have gradually become the mainstream of automobiles.LED lights to have the advantages of novel appearance, long service life, shock resistance, energy conservation, environmental protection, fast response time, etc.

, which quickly cover the vehicle light refitting and front mounting markets. However, the prices and quality of lamps on the market are different.Due to the serious homogenization of LED lamps on the market at present, even if the appearance is similar, the quality may vary greatly.

We are definitely not buying LED lights just for the sake of cheap prices. Choosing LED lights by price are unreliable.To select suitable LED headlights, you can start from the following four parts.

1. LED lamp beadsGood LED lamps use brand-new lamp beads and lamp bead chips matched by large-scale light source enterprises, with excellent materials, advanced technology, power saving, low power consumption, and good color rendering. 2.

Heat conducting materialsFor LED lamps, heat dissipation is particularly important to ensure the long life of the lamps and prevent them from being damaged easily. Poor heat dissipation leads to poor light and cannot see the road clearly. If it is serious, the headlights will be burned down.

3. Cooling fanSome cheap LED lamps use substandard fans with low wind power and high noise.4.

Power controllerA good power controller can not only meet the control function of the lamp bead, but also has a good protection function for the lamp bead, and complement each other with the lamp bead to maximize the service life of the lamp bead.If you want to know more about LED car headlights, you can visit my website vantenled. com) or my blog (vantenled.

blogspot. com).

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However, unless you take these steps when converting halogen to HID, your vehicle will not be road legal.What if the seller says that the conversion kit will pass my MOT?The kit may pass, but that does not necessarily mean that it is road legal.Does it matter if the kit is legal or not?That completely depends on each individual driver and whether they want to risk their luck using the kit. If you find that you’re asking yourself this very question, you may want to take the following points into account:Adding the kit may void your insurance and any warranty you may have on your vehicle. It’s best to check this out before you buy!HID kits can pose a safety risk to the emergency services. If you’re part of an accident, the kit may not switch off which could cause lots of problems. Factory-fitted bulbs are designed to switch off in the event of a collision, and many conversion kits don’t have this feature.
Reimagining the '70s Tehran Music Scene, One Party at a Time
In the stories Arya Ghavamian and Mani Nilchiani's parents told them, there was dancing. European and American expats mingled with Iranians in the neon glow of Tehran's clubs, which pulsed with music by the Beatles and Iranian pop stars Hayedeh and Googoosh. Liquor wasn't contraband then, and the city was a vibrant artistic hub.Now, Ghavamian and Nilchiani are reimagining the cultural moment that they never experienced firsthand — the Tehran music scene of the 1970s, which came to an abrupt end after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 replaced a Western-allied government with today's Islamic Republic. A year ago, the pair began organizing Disco Tehran, a performance project and party that combines live music and D.J. sets, in New York. Though the parties often spotlight Iranian musicians like the Farsi funk group Mitra Sumara, they also feature a wide array of world music, electronic music and noise art."The reference of Disco Tehran is to a point in time when channels of cultural transactions and exchange were wide and open and flowing," said Nilchiani, 32, a professor at Parsons who also works at an international design firm. "That's what we aspire to be."In recent months, the parties packed spaces like Home Sweet Home and Le Bain at the Standard Hotel in Manhattan, attracting many beyond the Iranian diaspora. On Friday, the event returns to Baby's All Right in Brooklyn, where Alsarah & the Nubatones, a Sudanese-American retro pop group, and Nilchiani's own Sufi rock band Tan Haw will perform live, and four D.J.s will spin tunes from the Middle East, Latin America and Africa, as well as electronic music and techno.Ghavamian and Nilchiani occasionally announce secret parties, which are typically more intimate, and where Persian food is also served — a homage to the small gatherings Ghavamian hosted in his tiny Chinatown apartment that set the stage for Disco Tehran."Eating good Persian food can be a very beautiful, communal experience," said Ghavamian, 27, a filmmaker who sought political asylum after Iran's 2009 elections and hasn't returned to his home country in 11 years — a perpetual source of angst, he said. "I was feeling very disconnected and lonely, and I wanted to share this with people."Disco Tehran is an extension of that sentiment, of embracing connection in exile, even as Iran itself has become synonymous with isolationism. "That was something that, shortly after the revolution, was inverted," said Nilchiani, who studied at the Tehran University of Art before moving to New York in 2010 to attend graduate school at Parsons. "Everything became internalized in private spaces."But he added, "That's no longer the case at all. I was back in Iran last month and I went to many concerts, and there's definitely a very thriving culture." The dance party scene, however, is still lacking. But Nilchiani is wary of making blanket statements about his often misrepresented homeland. "I don't want to be the guy who says, 'I left Iran and I came here and I realized, we need to be free to make art,'" he said, putting air quotes on "free."For Ghavamian and Nilchiani, Disco Tehran is less about recreating the past than it is about channeling the potential of a cultural exchange inspired by that moment. "This fantasy of Tehran in the '70s is this utopian idea of connection between people," Ghavamian said.He added, "That feeling of togetherness was something that was seriously lacking for me as an immigrant in the United States."At a recent party in celebration of the Persian New Year, Slavic Soul Party, a nine-piece brass band served up Balkan soul and Gypsy funk followed by Innov Gnawa, a musical collective that performs Gnawan trance music from Morocco. Iranian expats mingled among Europeans and Americans in the purple glow of the stage lights as an Iranian man with gray hair snapped his fingers and spun on his toes, cheered on by a circle of dancers."The mix comes together in strange ways," Nilchiani said.Ghavamian added, "It's a Silk Road notion of connection."
Foothills Selling All but Memories; Theater Going Out of Business.
Byline: George Barnes WORCESTER - Like picking the bones, but wistfully, people from asfar away as Maine found their way to the city yesterday to purchase thepieces of the Foothills Theatre. Fur coats, paintings, steamer trunks, straw hats, stage lights andeven a gargoyle left on a table in one of the offices were on the blockat the theater's going-out-of-business sale. The theater closed May 10 and is selling off everything - itshundreds, possibly thousands of props, shop tools, signs, costumes andother items necessary to run a professional theater company. The theaterplans to hold a second sale June 13, but many good items were snapped upby shoppers yesterday. When the second sale is done, so is the Foothills Theatre, exceptin the memories of the people who performed there and those who attendedits productions. During the sale, visitors had the run of the basement warren oflarge and small rooms used by the theater in what was Worcester Center,itself now shuttered. Sometimes working with flashlights, they foundmuch of interest from past Foothills productions. In one room, crammedwith racks of clothes, there were four shelves filled with shoes andboots and 11 boxes, also filled with shoes and boots, on the floor infront of them. Mary Dykstra, drama director of Whitinsville Christian School,selected a spotlight, but said she was looking at stage curtains aswell. Her school's theater productions are staged in a gymnasiumthat converts to a theater. Theater people from all over attended the sale, hoping to buyneeded equipment for their professional or amateur productions atbargain prices. They appreciated the many items available, but expressedsorrow over the closing of a key player in the Worcester arts community. "This is one of hundreds of theaters nationally that areclosing," said David Greenham, producing director of the Theater atMonmouth, a professional theater in Monmouth, Maine. Standing on a ladder to remove stage lights, he said he was lookingto purchase the lights and whatever useful supplies he could find. Elaine Crane, artistic director of Worcester Opera Works, was inthe costume room looking for anything helpful in her company'splans to stage "Die Fledermaus" next year. "It kind of feels like you are at somebody'sfuneral," she said. Aaron Spence of the Winthrop Playmakers had a similar sentiment,saying he grew up in Grafton and attended his first theater productionat the Foothills. "You feel guilty," he said, but added it costs histheater company $10,000 per production, and he was looking to save moneyon equipment and supplies. Retired Judge Mel L. Greenburg has been with the Foothills Theatresince it was created in 1974, working with founders Marc P. and Susan L.Smith, sitting on its board of directors and working to raise money foreach year's productions and operational costs. He said a confluence of events resulted in the closing of the theater. First, the subscriberbase, which had always been loyal, began to age and younger people werenot taking the same interest. Last year the subscriber revenues weredown 20 percent. "We couldn't seem to get a new generation to come to thetheater," he said. Along with the diminishing audience, the deterioration of thefacility was piling up costs and the theater also saw a diminishingamount of corporate sponsorship money and money from foundations. Whenthe current recession hit, that was the end. "It was a combination of all these things at a bad economictime," he said. Mr. Greenberg said what he was feeling as he watched shoppers carryaway the theater's property was sense of loss of history. "There are all these costumes of hundreds of shows that wenton here," he said. ART: PHOTOS CUTLINE: (1) Elaine Crane of Worcester Opera Works, above, searchesfor costumes at Foothills Theatre, which is selling everything before itcloses June 30. (2) At left, David Greenham of Maine hands down lightingequipment he was purchasing for the Theater at Monmouth, Maine, where heis a producing director. PHOTOG: T&G Staff Photos/DAN GOULD
A House of Harmony : Santa Monica Music Lover Builds a Home Around a Concert Hall
Aaron Mendelsohn built it. Justin Blasdale brought it down.We're talking about the house in Santa Monica where Mendelsohn lives and Blasdale plays.Mendelsohn is a classical music fan who has turned his house into a 100-seat concert hall where performances are staged by an unusual home-grown arts foundation.Blasdale is a San Francisco Bay Area pianist who received a standing ovation after performing there the other night as part of the foundation's current concert series. Advertisement The house is built around the 1,200-square-foot hall. It has a spot-lit stage, soundproofed walls and 25-foot-high ceilings that have been carefully engineered to enhance the gentle strains of flutes, harps, oboes and Liszt etudes.Mendelsohn admits to having first-night jitters five months ago when carpenters and plasterers moved out and his family and their $60,000 Bosendorfer grand piano moved in.The first home concert, featuring works by Mozart and Chopin, was scheduled in six days. But would the sound quality be right? Would the artists come to play? Would music lovers come to listen?"It was like the movie 'Field of Dreams,' " said the 39-year-old stockbroker-lawyer who studied musical literature in college. "It was a Kierkegaardian leap of faith. I figured, 'If you build it, they will come.' " Advertisement It helps, of course, that Mendelsohn has formed the Maestro Foundation, a nonprofit group that supports young musicians. Through the 5-year-old foundation, he quickly recruited artists to perform in his concert hall--and audiences to fill it.Contributions by foundation members pay honorariums to musicians involved in the current 10-concert series. Any surplus is being donated to struggling local music students. The performers say they are grateful for the pay because cutbacks have put a dent in the college concert circuit where many have worked in the past.The $1-million house replaced a 1927 bungalow where Mendelsohn had lived for 10 years. He and his wife and two children spent 18 months in a rented place as designers wrestled over details of the new house.Acoustical engineers called for rounded walls and specially recessed windows to soften the echoes they feared would reverberate through the huge music room. Structural engineers demanded special reinforcing--including industrial-type steel beams over the 50-foot-deep hall. They struggled to squeeze oversized heating ducts into walls to muffle the whooshing sound that comes from most home furnaces."My wife cried when she walked in and saw the 'cottage-cheese' stuff that they sprayed on part of the ceiling," Mendelsohn said. "But we needed it for the acoustics. And she indulges me."Leah Mendelsohn, his wife of 19 years, acknowledged that her favorite music is rock 'n' roll oldies, not ancient oldies. "Classical music is Aaron's passion," she said.Violinists, flutists and other musicians are surprised when they step into the 15th Street dwelling for the first time. So are concert-goers, who find the hall empty except for rows of white folding chairs."Playing in private homes can be the nicest way of making music--or it can be the most unpleasant," said Blasdale, 44. Advertisement Sometimes living rooms are so crowded that "people are breathing around your neck," he said. Other times, the host provides a poor-quality piano or musicians find themselves relegated to cocktail-party, background-music status.Not so at Mendelsohn's home concerts.The house lights flickered to signal the 80 invited guests to take their seats when Blasdale's performance was to begin. Then they dimmed and the stage lights focused on him as he sat down to play pieces by Beethoven, Corigliano, Brahms and Schumann."This is the way chamber music is meant to be heard," whispered Becky Rodman of Pacific Palisades. "This is a step back in time."Said Joachim Bolck of Rolling Hills Estates: "It couldn't sound any better than this in a concert hall."David Gottlieb of Topanga Canyon compared the acoustic qualities of the house to those of Lincoln Center--after New Yorkers "improved it by putting in the baffles."Dodge Crockett of Santa Barbara remembered visiting the old Mendelsohn house. He marveled at how the new home's bedrooms and other living areas have been fitted in above and below the recital hall."The kitchen used to be over there where the chairs are," Crockett said, pointing across the room. "This is very imaginative. There's not a bad seat in this house." Advertisement Nearby homeowner Alan Levin praised the concerts: "It's marvelous . . . it's nice to live in a neighborhood like this."Nonetheless, the 18 windows that line the back of the semi-circular stage and look out on 15th Street are double-paned.For the neighbors, Mendelsohn's concerts are to be seen. Not heard.
Womad: 30 Years of World Music
The brainchild of British pop legend Peter Gabriel, Womad - World of Music Arts & Dance - celebrated its thirtieth year over the weekend. Yet, it still remains something of a hidden gem amongst the UK's festival season.From just £8 a ticket at The Royal Bath and West Showground in 1982, Womad now runs 160 festivals in 27 countries. While others shrink and fall by the wayside, the mother festival now based at the beautiful Charlton Park in Wiltshire experienced its biggest attendance yet in 2012.Senegalese singer and guitarist Baaba Maal said it is the audience that makes Womad unique. "They come to party of course, but more importantly they come to listen," he said. UK chamber-pop indie favourite Patrick Wolf was surprised at how much the audience listened to his set. Dressed all in black like some gothic page boy bard and playing to a packed tent on Saturday afternoon he said: "Thank you for listening, it's a real treat". His audience breathed in every detail of his acoustic set, from his description of his Appalachian mountain dulcimer made famous by "Joni Mitchell and Cyndi Lauper", to introducing his Spanish guitarist Javier Moreno who he said is "the best there is".Alongside the likes of Afrobeat pioneer Femi Kuti, Senegal's Carlou D and South Africa's township jive quintet Hot Water, Womad always puts on a fine selection of bands from the UK. This weekend saw performances from epic rockers Revere, Scottish pipers Breabach, Mercury nominees Portico Quartet and floaty tropical popsters Vadoinmessico. Sunday night's highly-anticipated headliner Robert Plant presented his latest foray into the roots music of America and the UK, entitled Sensational Space Shifters.However, wandering through the festival is where you make your finest discoveries. The Manganiyar Seduction conducted by Indian director Roysten Abel was the most extraordinary performance of the weekend. 36 boxes were stacked high and wide on stage with a Manganiyar folk musician perched inside. Like some gigantic, surreal collector's tray with each box edge lit up with naked light bulbs, these flashed on and off as each artist played their uniquely Manganiyar folk instrument. Reaching a crescendo at the end of the set with all the lights ablaze, anyone watching could be nothing but completely overwhelmed. This is definitely not your average music festival, as you can ask Prince Harry who was there on Saturday partying up a storm.During the performance Roysten Abel brought up a touchy subject, Visas. It has been an ongoing struggle for the organisers to get these musicians from all four corners of the globe into the country and every year, as a result, there are last minute programme changes. On stage Abel joked: "I have around forty Muslim musicians with the surname Khan, trying to get into the US to play, we are held up for hours." He then turned all the stage lights on to illuminate the players and said: "Tell me, do any of these guys look like terrorists?" as the crowd roared. On Friday night Brazilian DJ Maga Bo had the dance tent hopping. As the Olympics opening ceremony wowed those at home, we were taking a trip round the electronic dance map from Brazilian hip hop, to Jamaican dancehall, Reggaeton and good old UK house. Wild-eyed teenagers bounced up and down, this had doubtless shifted their whole musical world to the left.The Taste The World stage is unique to Womad, where artists from all over the world are invited to cook a traditional meal for an audience, whilst performing the odd acoustic tracks. There I tasted salted fish courtesy of Norwegian folkstress Ane Brun and a booze-laden "posh French trifle" from Algerian folk-jazz virtuoso's Lo'Jo. The BBC Radio 3 stage is also somewhere I could have happily spent all weekend at, as the line up is always second to none. This year it saw the likes of 'Desert Rebel' - Saharan blues veteran Abdallah Oumbadougou take to the stage for a packed late night set, plus Cape Breton fiddler Chrissy Crowley and Danish folk band Habadekuk. The festival is a musical voyage of discovery and one for all the family. If you are feeling adventurous you could even head to Adelaide for Womad in 2013.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Stage Lights
1. Answering this question will help me stop been paranoid about having an STD so may answers would be good plz?Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of your genital tract. Chlamydia may be difficult for you to detect because early-stage infections often cause few or no signs and symptoms. When they do occur, they usually start one to three weeks after you've been exposed to chlamydia. Even when signs and symptoms do occur, they're often mild and passing, making them easy to overlook. Signs and symptoms may include: Painful urination Lower abdominal pain Vaginal discharge in women Discharge from the penis in men Pain during sexual intercourse in women Testicular pain in men Gonorrhea symptoms Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection of your genital tract. The first gonorrhea symptoms generally appear within two to 10 days after exposure. However, some people may be infected for months before signs or symptoms occur. Signs and symptoms of gonorrhea may include: Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina Pain or burning sensation when urinating Frequent urination Pain during sexual intercourse Trichomoniasis symptoms Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by a microscopic, one-celled parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. This organism spreads during sexual intercourse with someone who already has the infection. The organism usually infects the urinary tract in men, but often causes no symptoms in men. Trichomoniasis typically infects the vagina in women and may cause these signs and symptoms: Greenish yellow, possibly frothy vaginal discharge Strong vaginal odor Vaginal itching or irritation Pain during sexual intercourse Painful urination Light vaginal bleeding HIV symptoms HIV is an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV interferes with your body's ability to effectively fight off viruses, bacteria and fungi that cause disease, and it can lead to AIDS, a chronic, life-threatening disease. When first infected with HIV, you may have no symptoms at all. Some people develop a flu-like illness, usually two to six weeks after being infected. Early HIV signs and symptoms may include: Fever Headache Sore throat Swollen lymph glands Rash Fatigue These early signs and symptoms usually disappear within a week to a month and are often mistaken for those of another viral infection. During this period, you are very infectious. More persistent or severe symptoms of HIV infection may not appear for 10 years or more after the initial infection. As the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells, you may develop mild infections or chronic signs and symptoms such as: Swollen lymph nodes often one of the first signs of HIV infection Diarrhea Weight loss Fever Cough and shortness of breath Stop all this doctor trips you are fine but this did put the fear of God within you so next time you will be prepared for any thing....------2. What is proffesional led stage lighting?When you're putting on an occasion, whether it is an unassuming school play or a party, stage lighting rental is an unquestionable requirement. Lighting is a main thrust of your production, giving brightening, center, detail and modifying the view of the group of audience. There is nothing that so vitally passes on an inclination superior to a decent lighting system, and with boundless inventive potential, will serve as an immense advantage for your creation. Focus, position and hanging:Conventional stage lighting must be set up because of these three contemplations. Focus refers to where the light will point; position alludes to where the light will start from; hanging refers to the real demonstration of hanging the light. Shading, force and example (assuming any) should be considered next. Types of stage lighting :Ellipsoidal - these lights are the conventional stage lights and thought to be the most critical. They are centering lights, the appearance in front of an audience of which can be adjusted by screens and channels.Fresnel - these lights are utilized for shading washes on the stage. Standard Jars - these lights are the sort you will see in even the dingiest of bars. Continuously a strong choice, standard jars can get hammered, are sturdy and simple to transport.Follow spots - these are spotlights used to pursue somebody around a phase. Obviously, there are increasingly choices accessible for stage lighting with the consistent progress of innovation. Presently you have the fundamentals; here are a couple of more alternatives:LEDs - these Professional LED Stage Lighting are useful for centered pillars and have been gradually supplanting conventional globules in stage lighting.Dizzies - these lights are round circles with a few Drove lights (more often than not of varying hues) covering the surface. The circle pivots in an assortment of bearings and examples, making a whirling, confounding example, consequently the name.Gels - this term alludes to the hues given to lights. They function as shading channels, and should work in congruity with the shade of the light itself to accomplish the craved impact. Once you have got your types of lighting down, you'll have to consider where to place them. Here's an essential summary of lighting positions:Front - This is utilized for the most part for perceivability and shading impacts. Side - can be utilized to awesome impact to complement activity. Back - Additionally utilized for impact. This kind of lighting can make the dream of profundity on a phase, or notwithstanding to silhouette a man totally.What is proffesional led stage lighting?------3. I have been bleeding all weekend but positive preg test. whats wrong?Spotting or light vaginal bleeding at the start of your pregnancy is a common occurrence and can even disguise the fact that you are indeed pregnant. Women have even confused this light bleeding for their period. My obstetrician told me that one in three women report having some amount of light bleeding during the first month or two of pregnancy. Most of these occurrences do not result in loss of pregnancy. I experienced spotting in two of my pregnancies before the eighth week of pregnancy and both of those pregnancies resulted in healthy girls. If you experience spotting or vaginal bleeding early on in your pregnancy you may hear the medical staff refers to it as threatened abortion, which can be scary to hear. When light bleeding leads to loss of pregnancy many terms are used to describe this loss that you may hear your health care staff speak about including those associated with spontaneous miscarriages such as threatened abortion, inevitable, incomplete, complete, or missed abortion. If you are spotting or experiencing light bleeding but have not passed any tissue or experienced any cramping, what you may have is a threatened abortion. This may mean that you are in the beginning stage of having a miscarriage or you may be experiencing things associated with a normal pregnancy that may be causing the bleeding. Light bleeding can progress into heavier bleeding quickly or over the course of a few days. Fortunately for me an ultrasound revealed that what was thought of as a threated abortion was an intact pregnancy with a strong heartbeat. Having personally experienced light bleeding in two pregnancies I can attest to the fact that the first thing a woman things of when she sees the blood is, "I'm losing my baby!" If the bleeding is brown in color it is most likely old blood. If the blood is bright red than it is fresh bleeding and more cause for concern than if it had been old blood. I was told that the color of blood is significant by one of the medical staff caring for me during my last pregnancy and she told me the meaning of the color of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. If you also have cramping that feels like your period it is more likely that you are having a miscarriage and need medical attention, another tip I was told by this staff member. Do not panic if you are experiencing cramping though because some women have reported light cramping at the time of implantation and have continued with a healthy pregnancy. Fortunately I was not cramping in this pregnancy but had been cramping in a previous one that had led to my daughter being born at 23 weeks gestation. She survived and is a healthy teenager today.------4. Can Photosynthesis Be Carried Out Using The Light From A Torch?Look into: fluorescence induction studies Here are some resources for you: Grow light From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Plant light) Jump to: navigation, search Dual spectrum compact fluorescent grow light. Actual length is about 40cm.Grow lights are electric lamps designed to promote plant growth by emitting an electromagnetic spectrum appropriate for photosynthesis. It does this by mimicking the light spectrum from the sun, allowing indoor growth with outdoor conditions. Different light spectrums are used for the different stages of plant growth. The initial vegetative stage requires blue spectrum of light, whereas the later 'flowering' stage should be done with red/orange spectrums. The lights can be bought by spectrum colour specifically, or some companies such as Sylvania Grolux produce a full spectrum bulb which caters for all stages of growth. The light is usually used in conjunction with a reflector, to control and intensify the light emissions, and will include an electrical ballast to control the flow of current flowing to the light. This is required because of the high intensity of the light that is necessary to produce something akin to sunlight. But because of this intensity hydroponics can lead to double or more growth rate than regular growing. Lamp types used as grow lights include high-intensity discharge lamps and fluorescent lamps. Grow lights are most used for indoor gardening, including indoor hydroponics and aquatic plants. Artificial photosynthesis From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Artificial photosynthesis is a research field that attempts to replicate the natural process of photosynthesis, converting sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen. Sometimes splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen by using sunlight energy is also referred to as artificial photosynthesis. Research is being done into a streamlined form of photosynthesis which breaks water into oxygen and hydrogen . This process is the first stage of plant photosynthesis (the Light-dependent reaction). Carbon dioxide is not required in this approach. The hydrogen released in artificial photosynthesis (stage 1) could be used in hydrogen engines to generate "clean" energy. The light-independent reaction (aka the Calvin-Benson cycle) is the second stage of plant photosynthesis, which converts carbon dioxide into glucose. Glucose is stored energy for a plants' growth and repair. It has been suggested that such a process replicated on an industrial scale could help to counter global warming. Specifically, the light-independent reaction of photosynthesis could be used to "mop up" excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Again, however, such a process would ultimately require a source of energy, just as plant photosynthesis does. A flashlight or torch is a hand-held portable electric spotlight.
Marilyn Manson Crushed by Falling Prop on New York Stage
Marilyn Manson has been rushed to hospital from a concert in New York after a huge prop made from two giant guns fell forwards onto him.Manson was about an hour into his set in the city's Hammerstein Ballroom yesterday when the prop - which appeared to be two giant guns joined by metal scaffolding - flipped forward. He can be seen in video posted from the event grappling with the prop for an instant, before it fell fully on him.#NileFM | #BreakingNews@marilynmanson crushed by falling stage gun props at concert, taken to hospitalWatch crowd-shot video below: pic.twitter.com/nZgG4RlzW7— 104.2 Nile FM (@NileFM) October 1, 2017An eyewitness told the BBC that the singer laid on stage for up to 15 minutes covered by a sheet before he was carried out on a stretcher and taken to hospital.His condition is not currently known.Eyewitness Anthony Biscardi said: "He was performing the [Eurythmics] song Sweet Dreams. Towards the middle of the song it seemed as though he tried climbing onto a prop. The first touch of weight on those poles and it came crashing down onto him."Clips from the scene show tour staff instantly lifting the prop off Manson, but he does not get back up."He was pretty limp, almost as though he was unconscious," Mr Biscardi said.Mr Biscardi said a black sheet was put around Manson until he could be taken off stage. The house and stage lights went off for several minutes and came back on with an announcer saying the show was over "due to injury".A representative told Rolling Stone magazine that: "Manson suffered an injury towards the end of his incredible NYC show. He is being treated at a local hospital."Manson, 48, was three dates into his The Heaven Upside Down Tour. He was due to perform in Boston on Monday night.
The Time Travel Machine: Ashok Leyland's Auto Expo
At his office, vintage car restorer C S Ananth has literature pertaining to Austin A40 Devon within easy reach. For, until August 30, he was working on a 1948 model of the car, for his client, Ashok Leyland. The company had commissioned the restoration, seeking to make the car the frontispiece of a visual story tracing 70 years of organisational history.At an expo conducted over the last weekend, Ashok Leyland's history was parked in rooms, each roughly representing a decade. Visitors walking into the first room were greeted by a 1948-manufactured Royal Blue Austin A40 Devon, doused in soft stage lights. The car took visitors to the genesis of the company in 1948, when it was known as Ashok Motors. A timeline at ashokleyland.com/history throws light on the genesis:"Founded by Raghunandan Saran, Ashok Motors was set up in collaboration with Austin Motor Company, England and incorporated on September 7 (1948) for the Assembly of Austin cars."In 1949, at the company's factory in Ennore, near Madras, the Austin A40 began to be 'indigenously assembled'. Distribution of assembled Austin A40s in India continued till 1953. The Austin Motor Company was making Austin A40 Devon from 1947 to 1952, when it was replaced by the Austin A40 Somerset.Only assembled four-door Austin A40s were distributed. Along with the four-door Austin A40 Devon, the Austin Motor Company had introduced a two-door model called Austin A40 Dorset, which didn't make it to the Indian market. In the India of that period and the decades following it, two-doors did not make an impression on most buyers of passenger cars."In the West, two-door cars were in vogue. With a two-door car, buyers there were reassured about the safety of children sitting in the rear. In India, two-doors were seen as an inconvenience to elders: They would find it difficult to enter such a car," says Ananth.Moreover, the Austin A40s assembled and distributed by Ashok Motors (the company would be renamed Ashok Leyland only in 1955, when Leyland Motors Ltd became its equity partner) were bought and pressed into taxi service in the metros.In the last room, where the latest developments at the company were being showcased, a 1953 Austin A40 Somerset was parked. The car had been made electric and it drove home the company's move to work on new platforms, which include making electric vehicles. As part of the 70-year celebrations, it has inaugurated an electric vehicles manufacturing facility at Ennore.
Under the Stars and Quilts, with Randalls Island As Her Stage
It's a sleepover to beat all sleepovers. Food, stories, discussions, dances and, after an opening ceremony and a two-mile walk, settling down for the night on a 4,000-square-foot bed of quilts.For her newest performance project, "Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars," the dance artist Emily Johnson will play host to 300 strangers in Randalls Island Park. This all-night event on Saturday, Aug. 19, which is presented by Performance Space 122, is no endurance test. Participants will be on the island long enough to watch the sun set and rise again. Ms. Johnson, who specializes in multidisciplinary work, is trying to spark some change and some healing in the world. "It takes us taking a step together to do that," she said. "I love bringing people together."And she's good at it. For Ms. Johnson, a soft-spoken Alaskan of Yup'ik ancestry, action taken, no matter how small, adds up. "Gather our awareness, gather our senses," she continued. "Gather our ability to care for one another, to rest together and to move toward a guided action."She can't predict what that action will be in the end, but Ms. Johnson does feel adamant that it's time for a shift. "Across the world, there are these disruptions and ripples — deep, deep anguish and deep, deep bursts of action, all of which is necessary," she said. "But how can we focus? We come together. And that is like ceremony. You don't know what the end of ceremony is, you just know that you're stepping into a process."Ms. Johnson, who lives on the Lower East Side after 21 years spent in Minneapolis, has been working toward such an event. Her recent project "Shore" extended beyond the proscenium stage to include, in a 2015 New York iteration, a performance that began outside and moved indoors, a section directed by Ain Gordon; volunteerism in the Rockaways and on Governors Island; and a potluck feast.This time, Mr. Gordon is directing the entire event; early on, he convinced Ms. Johnson to contain "Then a Cunning Voice" to a single site."She was talking about this idea of stargazing and about turning off electric light, so I sort of said, 'So we're going to do all that and then march everybody off to a theater and turn on stage lights?" he said. "That doesn't sound theatrical to me. So we began to talk about how it could all happen in one place."Mr. Gordon, a three-time Obie winner, enjoys the collaborative process because it refreshes his own. It helps that he and Ms. Johnson have different artistic impulses. "She tends to wish for things to ebb and flow," he said, "and I tend to be more decisive about 'here is the beginning and here is the end.'"In the millions of conversations we've had, I don't remember Emily saying, 'Will this be big enough for the size of the stage?' And I say that all the time."After hearing his comment, Ms. Johnson laughed for a good 10 seconds. "Good," she said.Ms. Johnson is just as fond of her other collaborators, who include the dancers Tania Isaac and Georgia Lucas, a 12-year-old from Newark who performed in "Shore," as well as the textile artist Maggie Thompson, who designed the quilts. They were created in multiple cities by volunteers at community sewing bees around the United States and in Taiwan and Australia. Inscriptions are sewn into the quilts, answering questions like, "What do you want for your well-being?" One answer reads: "A changed relationship to time."Jen Rae, a founder of the Australia-based Fair Share Fare, a collaborative art project that focuses on the future of food amid the looming disruptions of climate change, is planning the menu. In Melbourne, where "Shore" was also performed, Ms. Rae focused on indigenous food.In her work, subtly or otherwise, there is always a recognition of the notion of indigenous people and their land. Randalls Island, as Ms. Johnson pointed out, is in the Lenapehoking homeland — the lands inhabited by Native Americans known as the Lenape. For "Then a Cunning Voice," Ms. Rae is researching the history of Randalls Island, including its soil and the language and traditions of the Lenape people. It's not catering, but rather, it's food as art.Ms. Johnson knows that 12 hours is a long time to spend with strangers. She hopes that the initial walk to the performance site will be a way, she said, "to shed what we need to shed from the day.""I'm really relying on people to be ready to shift," she said. "That's going to be really necessary for this night to feel good. And that relates to what this whole night is about, which is about shifting so that we can shift the world."The audience, in other words, must be a willing participant and is very much a part of the piece itself. (An etiquette guide for the performance comes with purchase of a ticket.)"We are together and responsible for this thing," she said. "I think that that's good practice about being a responsible citizen. Why can't we enact this kind of responsibility in our lives?"Both she and Mr. Gordon are sure about one thing: the setting. "On Randalls Island, you can hear and feel the city, but you're also separate from it a little bit," Ms. Johnson said. "It's situated across from Rikers Island. I was like, all right, this is energy that wants to be exchanged and cleared and acknowledged — this feels like the right place to do this work."Mr. Gordon describes Randalls Island as being very old New York, which he likes. "All the beautification of New York — none of that has happened in how you get to Randalls Island," he said. "It's the old version of how you get somewhere. You really have to take the train to 125th Street and then you have to look for the bus stop, and it's a regular old bus, and then you say to the bus driver, 'Which stop do I get off for the Sunken Meadow?' And he says, 'I don't know.'"Laughing with delight, Mr. Gordon said: "It is kind of a secret little spot. That's how it feels to me."
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