The Cube is a new platform developed by Google's Creative Lab and Semi Permanent which allows filmmakers, musicians, artists and other creatives to make interactive films where the viewer controls the narrative structure.
Six films - for example six concurrent scenes, or a music track sung in six different styles - are wrapped around a ‘cube’ which a viewer then manipulates to determine which sides they see. The audio is synchronised with the Cube’s movement so that only sound from the sides currently in view can be heard.
For a viewer, the experience is playful because they control which sides they are viewing. In a musical context, for instance, that means having a new form of control over how a song sounds - a bit like having a six-track mixing deck at their fingertips. For artists, it is exciting because they can’t guarantee what narrative path a viewer will take, meaning they have a chance to experiment with new ways of structuring film, music video, and video art.
The Cube can be experienced online, on a smartphone, or in an installation, and was the latest project to come out of Google’s Sydney-based Creative Lab.
The first public installation of the Cube - at Semi Permanent Sydney 2014 - was a collaboration between Google, Semi Permanent, and acclaimed Directors Steve Ayson and Damian Shatford, and was opened with a special presentation by WIRED Executive Creative Director, Billy Sorrentino. A physical cube, which housed the technlogy was commissioned with designer Henry Wilson.
Google Creative Lab
Google's Creative Lab is a group of creators, developers and filmmakers around the world who explore and play with Google’s tools and the emerging digital technology that surrounds us. They communicate the potential of these digital tools to make the world a better and more enjoyable place, and show marketers and creative agencies what’s possible.
Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney works with artists, writers and performers to use new mediums in new ways, in order to amplify or expand on existing qualities in culture and the arts. You could say we’re looking at what happens when you take the web away from computers and give it to artists and performers to play with.