yU+co, in partnership with Getty Research Institute, has created a new digital initiative that celebrates the 100th anniversary of The Bauhaus. Through an online exhibit that accompanies the physical exhibition at the Getty Center, Bauhaus: Building the New Artist explores the Bauhaus vision in new ways, allowing users to actively engage with the techniques of the Bauhaus masters, and to test their theories with three interactive exercises developed by yU+co which were inspired by the lessons passed from master to student at the school.
The Bauhaus: Building the New Artist online exhibit was led by Robert Checchi, yU+co's Director of Museum and Special Projects who joined the company last year following 12 years as the J Paul Getty Museum's Sr. Exhibition Designer. "This project incorporates all of yU+co's wide range of skillsets -- design, 3D, modeling, animation, web design, production, video, editing, etc. Much like the Bauhaus school's objectives for all artistic disciplines to work in harmony," Checchi said. "All of our skillsets came together on this one project."
The Bauhaus: Building the New Artist consists of three chapters devoted to the school's teaching methods within which yU+co created three very distinct interactive modules. The Kandinsky Form and Color Exercise invites users to pair shapes with colors in much the same way Bauhaus professor Vassily Kandinsky did. Users can drag colors to shapes and instantly see how their choices compare with Kandinsky's theory of the relationship of primary shapes to primary colors. For the Albers Paper Exercises, yU+co created a series of video tutorials showcasing Bauhaus master Josef Albers' challenge to his students to think deeply about the art of construction by using a single sheet of paper to create a dimensional sculpture. After watching the videos users can download the paper templates and build their own sculptures at home.
However, it was the third interactive exhibit -- Schlemmer's The Triadic Ballet -- that proved to be the biggest challenge for the yU+co creative team. Oskar Schlemmer's iconic stage production techniques highlighted the interconnectedness of costume, choreography, color and music. Performance of these elements expressed the total work of art -- a central principle of the Bauhaus. The Triadic Ballet interactive allows online visitors to create their own unique version of Schlemmer's famed dance production by combining 3D models with choreography, costumes, and music that culminates in a unique performance. The result is a real time animated dance that incorporates all of the user's choices and is viewable in a digital 3D space in 360 degrees.
"What's really exciting is that we've created a customizable performance for the Triadic Ballet that was previously impossible for audiences viewing a single ballet paired with a specific costume." Checchi added. "Now, because the interactive is web-based, anyone can combine the three ballet animations with five 3D costumes and three music selections to experience the Bauhaus principles in action anywhere in the world."