Dekmantel 2016

We were approached by Dekmantel and Bas Van De Poel with an ambitious concept for their 2016 festival campaign. The idea was to create a launch video that took the perspective of a super-intelligent computer, that analyses various aspects of reality before finally ‘corrupting’ to reveal the line up of the festival.

We explored areas of machine vision including facial recognition, edge detection, landscape scanning, gesture detection, vector fields, and data corruption. The aesthetics associated with these areas of interest were studied in-depth and many experiments were required in an attempt to replicate them. The aim was to create a bold, but complex visual world for the film that drew directly from the raw aesthetics of machine vision.

A loose, abstract narrative was then stitched together to explore this world, as if an artificial intelligence was analyzing our planet at various scales, before finally departing into the cosmos. The signal is then disrupted to reveal a stream of corrupted data in which the festival line up is revealed.

The other aspect of the campaign involved creating ‘computer plotted’ portraits of the headline artists in animated gif form, that would then be released across the artist’s social media channels without any mention of what they were for, in a kind of guerrilla, viral campaign. Again the style for these portraits was directly informed by the actual way in which computers recognise faces. Over 30 artists posted their portraits, leading to many entertaining comments from fans trying to put two and two together to figure out what they all meant.