OFFF Review: Art Consultancy Sosolimited.

OFFF Review: Art Consultancy Sosolimited.

PSFK talks to Boston-based installation artists, Sosolimited about performance, language, politics and TV remix boxes.

Catalina Kulczar-Marin
  • 16 july 2010

The three-day OFFF festival showcases top digital artists, web, print and interactive designers, motion graphics studios, musicians, and more.

PSFK was at OFFF Paris, and talked with Sosolimited to find out more about their process and work. Boston-based Sosolimited is an art and design consultancy formed in 2003. The group specializes in interactive installation and audiovisual performance. Formed by three MIT graduates with backgrounds in physics, computer science, architecture, and music, Sosolimited operates at the intersection of experience and information.

Who is Sosolimted and what is your vision?

We [Eric Gunther, Justin Manor, John Rothenberg] all met at MIT and worked at the same interactive design firm for years and, moonlighted as VJs at night doing these crazy performances in music – recently we quit our jobs and started Sosolimited, so now we spend a lot of time doing interactive and design work. The first piece we put our heads together was as re-mix of the presidential debates of 2004 and the idea was that we created this software that let us sample the television signal live as it was happening so we could get the video, the audio and the closed captioning for hearing impaired people so we know everything that people were saying – with this we built up these very complex transformations of language and video and audio and we could remove parts of it, we could add parts of it – statistics – we could change the sound of their voices and generally just change the way people watch television.

That developed over the past 6 years into what we do, which is a totally quantitative way to look at language and live television. We are trying to create installations that continuously watch TV. In the beginning we were performing with the software but now we want to condense the software into a piece of hardware and create these TV remix boxes.

For now, you have done plenty of these performances in the US with both political campaigns – do you see your work and have you done work like this outside of the US within politics? It’s such a great way to get a completely different message – like Hugo Chavez.

They [controversial political leaders] are the most interesting people to look at through these lenses because their message is so targeted and so different and they’re really trying to get a point across – it’s fun to cut in between and use their own words to alter they way the viewer is experiencing the debate. The big thing we do is never make them say something they don’t say – we will hide aspects of what they are saying or make it difficult and understand what they are saying or cross reference previous things they’ve said – but it’s a totally truthful system, in a way.

By the time you see it in TV it’s been deconstructed and reassembled so many times already – they all have speechwriters, they all have teams of people grilling them, they have make up on, there’s lighting, everything about it is produced – so who is to say that the thing they get on TV is the final say? You can actually take it, and take it apart on more time and put it back together again

Will you be doing anything in New York anytime soon?

We might be doing something for the Shanghai biennial.  It’s a rehearsal for all the artists who are doing the show in Shanghai – show their art in front of the public.

We are planning an installation piece where we do a 2-day long television remix where people come and sit on the couch.  There’s a TV and a huge screen behind them.  The people interact and choose the channel to create the composition that we will show in Shanghai.

Can you briefly talk about your commercial work?

At our old firm, we did a little bit of commercial work and for museums; when we started our company last September the first big job we got was for HBO – we made their holiday window display in Times Square.  When you walked past their window, there was a bunch of fake snow we had manufactured.  It was really light and when you walked by, fans walked by and made a snowstorm so you could move the snow around and all this HBO merchandise like Sex In The City slippers and Soprano ornaments would fly around. It was a physically interactive piece.

We are interested in moving more to the physical realm and moving away from the screen, so we have collaborated with friends of ours who are also designers and artists for a piece for a science museum, a 3-story sculpture made of LCD glass so that each of the pixels can go from transparent to black and opaque.  The piece is about patterns in nature. So you look up at this thing and see little black pixels swimming along the ribbon and you hear birds flocking all around you – this is going to be at the NC Museum of Science in Raleigh.

Why OFFF? What’s the connection?

We work on definite tangential stuff.  We are not directors of motion graphics or defined designers.  Our specialty is to take graphic design and animate it into real time to create interactive pieces; we are interactive designers, technologists. It’s a very cool opportunity to be exposed to.

We were invited once we got nominated for the Transmediale Award.  We were then invited to other things; once the snowball gets turning in the festival world, it keeps going.

Thanks Sosolimited!



(Contributed by Juan Marin)


Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Media & Publishing Today

CNN Launched An Entire Drone Division Of Their News Network

CNN AIR incorporates aerial footage into the corporation's ongoing news coverage

Advertising Today

Uber’s Breathalyzer Cards Let You Know If You Are Sober Enough To Drive

A new campaign from the ride-sharing service raises awareness about the importance of a safe trip home


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Design Today

Milk Proteins Could Be The Packaging Material Of The Future

A newly discovered casein-based alternative is biodegradable, sustainable and even edible

Technology Today

Intel’s New System Will Help Technology See And Understand The World

Joule is a tiny board for developers designed to bring powerful computer vision to cheap and easy-to-make prototypes


Ariel Waldman

Space Exploration, Education, Science, Technology

Design Today

This LA Hotel Is Designed Specifically For Cocktail Drinkers

The Walker Inn is a new Los Angeles "Bed and Beverage" experience that offers guests an intimate setting for their night cap

Education Today

Bringing Virtual Reality And Telepresence Robotics To E-Learning

This Learning Management System is embracing new technologies to reallocate teaching resources to where they should be going

Advertising Today

Interactive Art Exhibition For Dogs Provides Endless Fun

Installations created by artist Dominic Wilcox are based on activities loved by canines, such as fetching tennis balls and splashing in water


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Today

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Beauty Today

Design Your Own Custom Watch Faces

Customize your wrist device with Garmin's new app that lets you display personalized images or patterns

Syndicated Today

How The Olympics Taught Us Lessons In Cloud Analytics

Dan Vesset, group VP for analytics and information management at IDC, tells how cloud-based business analytics support decision-making

Arts & Culture Today

Artist Shuts Down Sexist Comments By Turning Them Into Images

Rora Blue explores social stigma in a photo series titled 'Handle With Care'

Arts & Culture Today

Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Kanebo's latest addition to the Evita line includes an application that dispenses cleanser in the shape of a flower

Mobile Today

Twitter Bot Will Warn You If You Are A Troll

An online tool developed out of Intel's Hack Harassment movement helps filter out or notify cyber bullies


Innovation Debrief: Boston
Business Concepts Born In 'The Hub'

Retail Today

Passengers Can Now Earn Airline Miles For Sharing Their Location Data

The Frequent Flyer app measures background data and gives travelers points that can be exchanged for tickets with participating airlines

Advertising Today

The NBA Is Releasing Two Original Shows To Stream On Twitter

The sports league announced a deal that demonstrates an interesting expansion of its content strategy

Automotive Today

Cadillac Concept Shows A Future Design Direction

The flagship sedan reveals the brand is continuing to hone and refine its luxury aesthetic

No search results found.