<tesseract> research laboratories ARCHIVE SITE -> tesseract faq

Who were Tesseract Research Laboratories?

Tesseract Research Laboratories was founded by Cindi Drennan and Justin Maynard in 1997. Cindi (from South Australia) and Justin (from Western Australia) met at the Institute for Interactive Multimedia at UTS in NSW, where they had been employed as part of a new team working on the production of interactive multimedia projects in the mid 90's.

Both saw the creative potential of taking emerging technologies into the realms of live performance and installation. Justin had seen the presentations of live image manipulation at an event at WWDC, and brought the idea back to Australia. Cindi had come from a background in art, sculpture and film making and wanted to use new technologies to push the boundaries of Cinema and film making into more immediate and experimental art forms. Being young and full of creative passion, they decided to boldly forge ahead and risk all for art and electronica.

They established their live video performance act in 1997, exploring the use of digital media for live performance and image projection, and immediately tapped into the seething and creative sydney subcultures that were crying from boredom with the unimaginitive club scene.

Working full-time on the project to realise their dream of creating immersive environments and live performance interaction, the couple performed as duo VJs and presented at over one hundred events in the first three years of activity. Blossoming with ideas and inspiration, they embarked on projects to project images on walls, build screen sculptures, modify hardware, establish VJ networks, hold conferences, tour with bands and produce their own events. All this while endeavouring to survive, pay rent, deal with what life throws at you, and have respectable careers in Sydney.

During their most active period Tesseract were recognised as being among Australia's leading improvisational image innovators, presenting distinctive and original live performances involving image projection and screen sculptures.

Within the partnership, roles were shared, with specialisations in some areas. Cindi focused primarily on conceptual and artwork design, and did most of the media production, screen design and sculpting, and Justin focussed on research, IT and AV networking, and dealt with most of the hardware and software preparation and rigging. Cindi often worked solo or in partnership with others, still using the name Tesseract. As the projects became more ambitious, Tesseract collaborated with others - such as Liquid Labyrinth - and were involved in establishing networks of VJs such as vidi-yo nexus and eyecandy. Tesseract also involved other creative people in performances, most notably Brian Murray (deceased 2006 in a motor cycle accident) who successfully modified the Panasonic MX-12 video mixer to add reversable luminosity keying functionality. His loss to the community is still deeply felt.

Perhaps the most highly regarded projects of the collaboration were Video Combustion, an experimental performance improvisation to bring together many video performance artists in a live choreographed visual symphony. Also highly regarded were their live visual performances at Dance Tracks at the Sydney Opera House.

Due to a deep sad rift in their relationship, the professional venture finally faltered in 2003. They endeavoured to continue the collaboration, but the emotional impact of their differences led to the necessary decision to no longer work together.

The collaboration called Tesseract terminated in 2004, and will not be resurrected. The former partners now pursue their ventures independently. The parent company was restructured in 2007, by mutual agreement, into Illuminart Productions Pty Ltd (of which Cindi Drennan is the sole proprietor).

Here ends the Tesseract.

Tesseract thanks the following people for their support:

Brian Murray | Alex Holver | Heidi Ho | The Crew at The Studio (Sydney Opera House) | Nick Ritar | Kirsten Bradley | the Stealth Video Ninja Crew | Sean Healy | The vidi-yo nexus | Luke Dearnley | ProjectroomEyecandy | Liquid Labrynth | Imperial Slacks | Jaqilen Pascoe | Pete Erskine| The Asylum & McRent | Alex Davies | Kurt Wiley | Michael Ney | Samanta Ray | Australian Network for Art & Technology | National Association for the Visual Arts | Metro Screen | Digital Salon | Clan Analogue | Electrofringe | Audiovision | VJcentral |
Many, many others, too numerous to mention...
thank you all for your support and contribution to live video performance and projection arts.


How did you come up with the name tesseract?

A tesseract is a fourth dimensional geometric shape, which is represented in three dimensional space and time as a 'hypercube'.

It is a complex multi-dimensional shape, sometimes described as "a cube in space and time, in which every face of the cube is actually a doorway to a cube in a parallel universe" and also as "the shadow of a fourth dimensional cube, cast in three dimensional space and time". However you look at it, fourth dimensional geometry is a complex concept for we three-and-a-half dimensional beings to comprehend. For the geometrically and mathematically inclined, a number of links below will take you to further information about the scientific exploration of the tesseract, with some interactive examples and demonstrations.

When we first began working together we spent about two months brainstorming the name amongst ourselves and with friends. Colleague Simon Housego suggested the name Tesseract and it immediately appealed, inspiring our audionvisual explorations of space, time and hyperdimensionality.

VJing is a temporal and interactive art form which we combine with spatial elements of structure, installation, interaction, and information architecture. We research and develop new forms of artistic expression and communication in time and space, and the tesseract represents our endeavours in multi-dimensional presentation.

Where can I see a tesseract?

interactive 4d model
Animated example on mathworld
Build a tesseract - simple applet, excellent demonstration
description of the experience of 4d travel
The Tesseract (or Hypercube) - a guided demonstration
What is a tesseract - laypersons description
Wrinkle in time fan club