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Why we're loving: Marshmallow Laser Feast, visual artists

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WHAT THEY DID

Marshmallow Laser Feast, part of the Prettybird collective, designed, created and programmed software that allowed U2 to create real-time interactive lighting for their new music video, Invisible. A cut of this video was shown as an ad during the Super Bowl – Bank of America is donating $1 to (Red) for every free iTunes download of the song.

What kind of work do you do? Our crafts include writing software and working with and appropriating technologies. Our work focuses on creating powerful, emotional and evocative experiences. Our output covers disciplines including installations, performances, films, music videos, online works and mobile applications.

What did you do for U2? We created software that used human movement and music to feed into a system that amplified the band’s live performance through a huge LED wall and "intelligent" lights. We gave the audience torches to make the experience more immersive.

How did you get involved with the project? Last summer, we had a meeting with Mad London’s Jefferson Hack, who is the creative director for U2. We discussed our ideas – videos, sketches, 3D simulations and interactive apps. Jefferson shared this with U2 and the director, Mark Romanek.

When did you start work on the project? We didn’t get the project fully confirmed until 20 December. We worked around the clock over Christmas, and the shoot took place during 8-10 January.

How did you design the system? It’s based loosely on a project we had done for Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors’ Showcase in Cannes in 2011 – so some of the framework was there, but we updated it.?We created a new software programming system called a Punkerator – the code name for the project was "Punk", so it was fitting.

What was U2’s response? The band loved it from the first time we showed them. We used an iPad to control the system so we could be front of house and illustrate the content. Mark and Bono were brilliant yet demanding – we owe everything to their confidence that this idea could be pulled off.

What other projects are you proud of? We are proud of our piece with Richard Dawkins at NDS last year; also our quadrotor show and our McLaren spot. On an art level, "laser forest" and our work for the Royal Opera House, "the measures taken", are exciting us right now.

What innovations do you think will happen in the future? Everything is possible, one robot at a time.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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