Welcome to Hypercubist.com

From 2006 through 2011 I published a modest blog called Quantum Cinema. Billed as “a space for both theoretical and practical dialogue about the future of cinema” the blog functioned primarily as a repository for my speculations about the future of moving image technologies.

In 2006, the idea of independent creators working with volumetric data seemed very exotic. I began independently researching the available volumetric capture technologies and LIDAR seemed like the best tool for the job – but an expensive and unlikely tool for artists.

When the LIDAR-based music video for Radiohead’s House of Cards dropped in 2008, I realized the future of volumetric moving images was approaching more rapidly than I had expected.

But the real turning point was the release of the Microsoft Kinect in 2010. Suddenly YouTube was flooded with hackers/artists using the video game controller to create glitchy volumetric video meshes.

As the medium progressed it became clear to me that volumetric capture was set to outpace other aspects of a fully realized media ecosystem for volumetric data. So I put the blog to bed and focused my efforts on speaking and publishing my theoretical position on volumetric aesthetics: Hypercubism.

I see the defining attributes of volumetric (or object-oriented, depending on your point of view) aesthetics as symptomatic of a paradigm in which capture is four dimensional (length, width, depth, time) and playback (or real time rendering) remains three dimensional (no depth, or simulated depth). Those defining characteristics are:

  1. object-orientation
  2. temporality
  3. compression
  4. simulation

In 2010 I delivered a Hypercubist Manifesto at Pecha Kucha Berlin.

In 2013 I gave the opening keynote address at the NODE Forum for Digital Arts at the Frankfurt Kunstverein, presenting my Introduction to Hypercubism. The text of my talk was printed as a pamphlet and is reproduced here.

Fast forward to last week, in a cramped editing suite on a rainy night in midtown Manhattan. A group of artists, storytellers, and technologists assembled to share projects, experiences and nascent volumetric technologies at the first meeting of the NYC Volumetric Filmmakers. It inspired me to renew my efforts in telling the stories of this community, and ultimately, the Hypercubist movement.

It is my hope that this blog can be a space for the community to converge, share knowledge, and explore the aesthetics of the future of the moving image together. I offer up my existing thoughts and writings as a point of departure. Let us embark on this journey together as we stumble towards the holographic future.

Gabriel Shalom