Fixed Install - 2015

Nocte: Ascent

Nocte: Ascent

Arts & design studio Nocte put a 2x2plus to work for Ascent, their interactive campfire for the NightRay Outdoor Fest.

Lasting one night only, the North Face NightRay Outdoor Fest aimed to bring together outdoor-fans in celebration of the adventurous human spirit and the curious mind. Festivalgoers could enjoy a night filled with workshops, talks and inspiration set in the beautiful French countryside.

London-based creative studio Nocte, known for its responsive light-based creations, was commissioned by festival organiser The North Face to create a sculpture for the festival that would captivate the audience. Nocte responded with Ascent, an interactive installation that both blurred and highlighted its surroundings through light.

Director of Nocte, Andrea Cuius, explains the design: “Basing our design process on an interactive campfire, we created bespoke LED sculpture as a centrepiece, complemented with DMX lights underneath audience seating. This created an enclosed and inclusive space.”

The interactive element was driven by social media, Cuius goes on to explain: “Another interesting aspect of this project was the interaction with the audience: in collaboration with Octagon, we developed a small web server to catch all the tweets including #neverstopexploring in real-time and fed the data to disguise, so whenever a tweet was received, the LED sculpture, as well as the DMX audience lights and the screen content were immediately responding.”

Cuius has been working with disguise for many years, usually through United Visual Artists as a creative coder. He chose disguise for its flexibility and robustness: “It’s a really powerful tool which I can customise by creating modules and devices, so in this context I can use disguise as an open platform with industry strength and standards.”

Another reason to choose disguise was the amount of video content that needed to be sequenced and played back. Cuius ended up with 400Gb of hi-res video content, for which he needed a powerful media server. “With disguise I could load and playback a 90GB HAP video in an instant and seamlessly scrub the timeline to preview the content. All in all the system was rock solid. It handled 400Gb of content, DMX outputs and several highly demanding custom modules running for 24h straight."

Besides the sheer playback power, the preproduction process was also improved by using disguise", says Cuius,“because of the nature of the project and the different outputs connected to the system, disguise was fundamental in the pre-production stage. I needed a tool to easily pre-visualise and sequence all the different fixtures in one place, as all elements were meant to work together to create a unified experience for the audience. disguise was used to simulate the entire environment, helping me to get a feeling for the overall lighting, and the experience for the audience.”

Specifically, Cuius appreciated how flexible disguise is with screen content, and mentions this helped him greatly on-site: “We originally planned to install a custom shape projection screen on the LED sculpture, but due to weather conditions we were forced to move the video content to a video wall. Thanks to the way disguise manages video projection, I could easily move the 400Gb of content in less than an hour without going through the long process of rendering and encoding.”


Find out more
Find out more


Tour/Event Name

Nightray Festival, organised by The North Face


Show Producer/Designer


Set Fabrication