Portfolio project
Ooo-Ya-Tsu, an art performance

Thibaut Devulder

We like to describe Ooo-Ya-Tsu as an art performance of "collaborative soundscape painting", exploring the interaction between the gestures of classical hand-drawing, animated computer graphics and electronic music.

Ooo-Ya-Tsu is the fruit of our collaboration with visual art collective Qubo Gas and musician Olivier Durteste (a.k.a DDDxie), which took place during a series of artist residencies and public presentations between 2013 and 2016.

2hD takes part in the live public performances of Ooo-Ya-Tsu, but also developed the computer programme that drove the interaction between the drawing instruments (pencils and paint brushes), the video projection on the canvas and the musical instruments.

A short video of the performance, filmed during one of our public presentations at the multimedia festival Les Pixels, in Beauvais (France)

What is Ooo-Ya-Tsu

The layering of watercolour painting and animated video projection during one of our Ooo-Ya-Tsu performances

Taking place in the midst of the audience, three visual artists draw simultaneously on a large paper canvas laying on the floor, using pencils and watercolour brushes. Each of their actions leaves physical traces on the canvas, but also creates flurries of colours and animated collages — superimposed by a video projection that tracks their drawings movements — as well as layers of sounds and musical rhythms that build on the musical performance of the musician, sitting next to the paper canvas.

Responding to these new sound patterns, the musician himself adjusts his own live composition using electronic music instruments, creating in turn new visual effects on the paper canvas and influencing the live actions of the drawing artists.

As the performance unfolds, a complex graphical and musical dialogue develops between its different actors — each influencing the others' work, while all collaborate interactively to create a unique sound and visual landscape.

Inspired by the principles of phase music, the different rhythmic and visual layers of this landscape come in and out of focus: sometimes momentarily revealing the different musical and graphical universes that constitute them, sometimes recombining them into complex abstract patterns. Until eventually, both music and projected animations begins to evolve autonomously, continuing to shift and echo long after the performance of the actors themselves is over.

Creating Ooo-Ya-Tsu

At the centre of the Ooo-Ya-Tsu performance is a custom-made computer programme created by 2hD, using the Processing programming language. This powerful language allowed us to develop a system that allowed linking all the different aspects of the performance, combining motion tracking, video projections, interactions with physical objects and simulations of autonomous particle systems...

A video showing alternative views of the performance programme in debug mode, revealing the interactions between the graphical particles, as well as the sound phasing partition (scrolling at the bottom).

The visual aesthetic of Ooo-Ya-Tsu is based on the dream-like imagery of French art collective Qubo Gas, whose work poetically combines painstakingly intricate paintings and collage techniques, with scales ranging from miniature to architectural.

Having scanned a series of artwork they produced for the performance, we programmed the system to dynamically recombined them into an near-infinite number of different collages.

These images could then be superimposed and animated onto the paper canvas, responding to the physical ink forms drawn on the canvas during the live performance, which are analysed by the programme in real-time using infra-red cameras.

The modular aspect of the Processing language also allowed us to combine existing programming libraries to interact remotely with the musician's live performance: triggering visual events in response to certain of his composition patterns or sounds, but also playing sounds directly on his electronic instruments in response to drawing actions on the canvas.

The resulting soundtrack of the performance is a layered composition of phase-shifting abstract samples, overlapping and structuring DDDxie's live electronic music:

Details of some of the watercolour images hand-painted by Qubo Gas and used by our programme to generate the animated projections on the paper canvas.

Despite its technical complexity, we conceived Ooo-Ya-Tsu so that the technological aspects of the performance remained mostly inconspicuous, keeping the focus instead on Qubo Gas' poetical hand drawings, the materiality of the paper medium and DDDxie's layered and minimalist sound compositions.

In 2013, the Ooo-Ya-Tsu performance was awarded a production grant from the prestigious Centre National du Cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC), in France.

Ooo-Ya-Tsu's public appearances:

Institutions supporting Ooo-Ya-Tsu:

The Ooo-Ya-Tsu performance was developed and produced with the support of: L'Aéronef / Le Cube / La Malterie / Pictanovo / Société Civile des Auteurs Multimédia (SCAM) / Centre National du Cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC) / La Gare Numérique

Are you an artist interested in interactive installations and performances?

Interested in hosting Ooo-Ya-Tsu for a public presentation or an artist residency?

Ooo-Ya-Tsu at digital art festival Les Pixels

Thibaut Devulder

L'Association Culturelle Argentine (ASCA) has invited us to present our art performance Ooo-Ya-Tsu as part of the 8th edition of their digital art festival Les Pixels, on Thursday 24th November 2016, in Beauvais (France).

In the days preceding the performance, we will be also running workshops with local schools and associations, creating a large hand-painted and digital fresco for the festival.

After La Gare Numérique and La Malterie, this will be the third public presentation of our live performance Ooo-Ya-Tsu, an art collaboration with art collective Qubo Gas and musician Olivier Durteste..

Ooo-Ya-Tsu performance at La Malterie

Thibaut Devulder

Some photos from our latest public performance of Ooo-Ya-Tsu, at La Malterie.

Musician Olivier Durteste (left) composing a live soundscape, as I (right) recompose the digital collage projected on the paper canvas in front of him.

Yves Sabourin, during the public discussion after our live performance

Yves Sabourin, during the public discussion after our live performance

Special thanks to our guest Yves Sabourin — art curator for the French Ministry of Culture and former master-weaver — for his inspiring speech after our performance, comparing our work in Ooo-Ya-Tsu with the luxuriant garden motives of traditional Persian tapestries...

Artist residency at La Malterie

Thibaut Devulder

I am spending the week at La Malterie for an artist residency, to develop our art performance Ooo-Ya-Tsu and prepare for our next public presentation, on Thursday.

Together with collaborating artists Qubo Gas, we are dwelling a bit more on the subtle interactions between the physical drawings and the animated video projection on the watercolour paper...

Come and see the live Ooo-Ya-Tsu performance on Thursday!

Update 16/02/16: we posted some photos of the performance...

Another public performance of Ooo-Ya-Tsu

Thibaut Devulder

We are excited to announce another public presentation of our art performance project Ooo-Ya-Tsu on 4th February, at La Malterie, in Lille (France).

Our live soundscape drawings performance Ooo-Ya-Tsu will be followed by a public discussion with our guest Yves Sabourin — a former tapestry master-weaver at the famous Gobelins Manufactory and now art curator at the French Ministry of Culture.

Home of our artist collaborators of collective Qubo Gas, La Malterie is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the experimentation of arts, in the district of Wazemmes, in Lille, France.

If you are in the area, do come and join us on Thursday 4th February, at 7pm!

First Ooo-Ya-Tsu public performance

Thibaut Devulder

We are excited to announce that the first public performance of our art project Ooo-ya-Tsu will take place on Friday 9th October 2015 at 8pm, at La Gare Numérique (Jeumont, France).

Flyer for the event (© La Gare Numérique)

Flyer for the event (© La Gare Numérique)

The evening will also include an exhibition of light sculptures by maker artist Stéphane Martin and a DJ set by Ooo-Ya-Tsu's Jef Ablézot, a.k.a. Afrojaws.

This public performance will be concluding our on-going artist residency at the Gare Numérique.

Back in Oslo

Thibaut Devulder

From left: Jef Ablezot (Qubo Gas), Olivier Durteste (DDDxie), Thibaut Devulder (2hD), Dolby the dog and Morgan Dimnet (Qubo Gas)

Ten days into our artist residency at the Gare Numérique (Jeumont, France). Good progress on our Ooo-Ya-Tsu art performance, in particular on the phase music soundscapes that will be created during the live musical dialogue with the musician DDDXIE.

Back to Jeumont next week to finish the residency and rehearse for our first public performance!

Ooo-Ya-Tsu à La Gare Numérique

Thibaut Devulder

I have just started a month-long artist residency at La Gare Numérique in Jeumont (northern France) to finalise our performance art project Ooo-Ya-Tsu.

The Ooo-Ya-Tsu collective (left to right): Olivier Durteste (DDDXIE), Thibaut Devulder (2hD), Morgan Dimnet and Jef Ablézot (Qubo Gas)

Located on the Belgium border, La Gare Numérique is a former train station, transformed a few years ago into a platform for the development of arts and digital technologies, offering state of the art facilities for artists, dancers, musicians and makers to develop and present their projects.

La Gare numérique will also be hosting the first public performance of Ooo-Ya-Tsuon Friday 9th October 2015, at the end of our artist residency.

After L'Aéronef, Le Cube, La Malterie and l'Hospice d'Havré, La Gare Numérique is the fifth art centre to host us for the development of our collaborative art project Ooo-Ya-Tsu, a live drawing and sound performance I am working on with art collective Qubo Gas and musician DDDXIE.

Update: the public performance has been announced!

La Malterie

Thibaut Devulder

In preparation for our exhibition with Pictanovo about our Ooo-Ya-Tsu collaborative performance project, I spent a few days working with Qubo Gas at La Malterie — an experimental music and visual art centre in Lille (France) — to sort out some of the technical aspects of the project, such as calibrating the video projection and remotely tracking the motion of drawing gestures with brushes and pens.

We will continue working on the animation and graphics of the performance in two weeks time at the Hospice d'Havré.

Artist residency with Pictanovo

Thibaut Devulder

We have been invited to present our collaborative performance project Ooo-Ya-Tsu as part of the Experiences Interactives exhibition, starting in 29th May 2015.

Hospice d'Havré (Photo ©  Bruno Parmentier )

Hospice d'Havré (Photo © Bruno Parmentier)

The exhibition is organised by Pictanovo, a French association supporting the development of visual arts in Northern France and one of the main sponsors of our project.

The event will take place in the stunning Hospice d'Havré in Tourcoing and will showcase over the summer 2015 a selection of art projects supported by the organisation.

Prior to the exhibition, Pictanovo has kindly invited us to continue developing our visual and musical performance during a week-long artist residency in the exhibition space.

In collaboration with art collective QuboGas and musician DDDIXIE, our performance project Ooo-Ya-Tsu is also supported by the Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée (CNC), L'Aéronef, the French Civil Society of Multimedia Authors (SCAM), Le Cube and La Malterie.

Ooo-Ya-Tsu on Arte TV

Thibaut Devulder

The French digital creation centre Le Cube hosted us for a week last April in Paris, to continue developing our live drawing and music performance Ooo-Ya-Tsu.

As part of this artist residency, the Franco-German cultural TV channel Arte came to film us and interview our collaborators, the collective Qubo Gas, discussing how the Ooo-Ya-Tsu project fitted in their wider practice as visual artists.

Qubo Gas collective interviewed by Arte, during our artist residency at Le Cube, in Paris (photo © Qubo Gas) 

This video is also available online on the Arte Creative website (photos above © Atelier A).


Thibaut Devulder

The Fabrica Art Gallery, Brighton's famous visual arts organisation, has offered to host our Ooo-Ya-Tsu performance for the Brighton Digital Festival 2014, next September.

Fabrica Art Gallery  (Photo by  Dominic Alves  )

Fabrica Art Gallery (Photo by Dominic Alves)

Based in a former Regency church in the heart of Brighton, Fabrica commissions contemporary visual art installations specific to the building.

As part of the presentation of the project, we prepared this short description of the project, for once in English:

Constructed as a cycle, the Ooo-Ya-Tsu performance sketches a poetic landscape around the interactions of visual art collective QuboGas, designer Thibaut Devulder, musician Olivier Durteste and a custom-made computer programme.

Ooo-Ya-Tsu takes inspiration from phase music and conjures up the imagery of mobile collages, in which new strokes, colours and sounds are overlaid and combined at each sequence.

The performance develops in three phases:

  • A creative phase, during which the different performers step in sequentially to create and compose the graphical soundscape.
  • A chaotic phase, as the richness of the interactions takes over the performance, claiming back control over the creative process.
  • A rebirth phase, as Ooo-Ya-Tsu subsides and settles into an autonomous animated fresco, extending its visible existence into the digital space of the performance venue.

While based on a complex technical system, Ooo-Ya-Tsu keeps at its core the visual universe of the QuboGas collective: hand-drawn sketches on paper, in pencil, ink and watercolour. Digitised, these shapes and colours are combined with the soundscape composed by Olivier Durteste.

Ooo-Ya-Tsu offers a contemplative take on a collective artwork, where human gestures bring forth an infinite virtual fresco, an autonomous universe of sounds and graphics.