creation by Paula OS in PatchWorld VR

It’s our second-ever Patchathon - returning to the virtual/hybrid A MAZE. Berlin “international games and playful media festival.” And we’re all still basking in the glow of the results. An incredible gathering of international artists got to learn new skills and explore ideas with one another and expand our image of what Patch can do.

Playground for the mind

In a period of just a few days, these artists discovered Patch - some of them donning VR headsets for the first time in their lives - and built fantastic new instruments and environments. By the end of the week, their mission was to build their own tools for a live performance and capture roughly three minutes of themselves playing live to share with the A MAZE. festival audience.

The results covered the full gamut of imaginative possibility. You’ll see reinterpretations of Russian poetry, evocative futuristic alien audiovisual etudes, ambient landscapes echoing with vocal performances, trippy bassline generators, four-player integrated ensembles with live coding interwoven with VR, and field-recorded videos and ephemera and 360-degree perspectives melded into the virtual. Just watch:

Artists exploited everything in their training and background, collaborating with one another and our development team. Singers found ways of integrating vocals. Musicians looked for live performance interactions, practicing in their headsets. Visual artists worked on workflows for importing 3D assets and working across media with music and sound.

The works

The results are stunning even after just one week - and we expect even more in the future. Some selections:

Where, When, How by MOWUKIS + Ted Pallas

Parallel Metaverses by LauraLuCas + Nesso + Ivan Abreu + CNDSD

Digital Garden by Alexandria Rowan + Matias Villaplanas

You can check out all the participants' creations - along with last year’s Patchathon productions - on our community page:

Hands-on with the developers

Patchathons are a chance to push the development and documentation teams, too. Each day’s check-in on Discord invariably involved chatter between developers and artists, pushing new builds and deploying fixes and features, adding docs. And our team worked on new video tutorials, which we’ve shared online so you can explore, too. It’s a rare chance to get a walkthrough directly from the folks who conceived and coded a lot of what you see shown.

Those are all on our YouTube channel, but here are some highlights.

The development team worked with participants on all elements of getting started, producing sound, and making elaborate custom visuals. A good glimpse into all of that is this tutorial on effects - like having a VR-native effect pedalboard:

For all Patch can do, there’s really no comparing with the power of Duckie and interactive, uh, squeaking. Now you definitely see the potential of subpatches:

Check all the current tutorials on our YouTube channel.

The big dance

The big night was Saturday, as we all joined live on Zoom to present the participants' work, show off to the public, and celebrate - with host Peter in front of a green screen in Berlin with the A MAZE. visual team, Melodie and Edo looking on, with everyone else connected online. The full presentation is available from A MAZE., at the end of day four (cued up to the start for you).

Participants (nearly all of whom showed final works):

Alexandria Rowan (US)
Corey Bertelsen (US)
Damian T. Dziwis (DE)
Francesco Corvi [Nesso] (IT)
Gilbert Nouno [Til Berg] (CH)
Juan Orjuela (DE)
Laura Luna Castillo (US)
Louise Nornes [Tonal Huldra] (UK)
Louis-Louise Kay [Mowukis] (FR)
Malitzin Cortes & Ivan Abreu (MX)
Matias Vilaplana (US)
Warja Rybakova & Irina Shutova [Neslob] (DE)
Patrick Hartono (AU)
Paula OS (AR)
Ramiro N. Alvarez (AR)
Robbie Lynn (US)
Ted Pallas (US)
Tomson Fauster [BitNet01] (IT)
Vincent Cellucci (NL)

And our expert jury:

Muki Kulhan (SXSW, MTV, BBC), Jury president
Marie-Laure Saidani (Music curator, MUTEK)
Joshua Hodge (Founder,
Fabien Siouffi (Founder, Fabbula)
Yannick Hofmann (Head of Hertz-Lab, ZKM)
Michael Connor, (Art director, Rhizome)