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Lady Gaga and Intel Paid Tribute to David Bowie at the 2016 Grammys with Help from Smart Technology, Robots and 3D Printing

by • February 15, 2016 • No Comments

bowieIf you ponder of it, there’s quite no advantageous man to pay tribute to David Bowie than Lady Gaga. Theatrical, androgynous, and wildly creative, the two have created a few of the many outlandish onstage characters in the history of music performance. Lady Gaga has named Bowie as the many influential man on her career; without him, she says, she never may have had the confidence to vary of Stefanie Germanotta into her outrageous vary ego. Being asked to pay tribute to the recently-departed Bowie at the 2016 Grammys, and so, was a massive honor – and one not to be taken lightly.

Similar to Bowie, Lady Gaga is a devotee of style and innovation, and how they can be incorporated into art. For her performance at the Grammys, Gaga enlisted the assist of massive, multi-innovation corporation Intel.

“I love artists. And I ponder what’s so awe-inspiring of this collaboration is which I get to shine a light on all of these scientists which are, you understand, artists in my opinion,” she said.:”All of the things which they turn it into, which they research, which they invent…they are dreamers, and which is at the essence of being an artist, is having a sturdy vision which you chase after.”

curieOne of the core elements of the massive multimedia performance was in addition one of the smallest. Intel’s Curie module is a button-sized microdesktop which can be incorporated into wearable innovation – in this case, two rings which Gaga wore throughout the performance. Those glowing orbs which Lady Gaga wore on her hands during her tribute weren’t just there for decoration – they were in fact controlling the light and images projected on the screen behind her.

“The Curie system which we put together can recognize motion, gestures, and the actual location,” said Curie engineer Lakshman Krishnamurthy. “We take all which information, it goes to a server, and is utilized to generate the visual influences.”

And and so there were the robots. During the tribute, Lady Gaga played an upright piano, much like to the instrument Bowie famously utilized onstage – except which Bowie’s piano never danced. Gaga’s piano not just danced, but it did so in ideal choreography with her human dancers. This was in addition thanks to the Curie desktop. The Intel team placed several of the microdesktop modules on the body of choreographer Richard Jackson, who and so ran through several of the dance movements which may be utilized during the performance. The Curie modules tracked his movements and were and so utilized to “teach” the three robot legs supporting the piano to replicate the movements of the dancers with whom it may be sharing the stage.


The entire performance turned out to be a brilliant explosion of light and sound, but my favourite part is the quite beginning. The lights come up on Lady Gaga’s face, and as she begins to sing the opening lines of “Space Oddity,” what seems to be brightly colored paint drips down her face, finally coalescing into Bowie’s iconic blue and orange lightning bolt across her eye and cheek. A spider (of Mars?) and so bursts of the lightning bolt and skitters across her face preceding morphing into a full moon on her forehead. It is an awe-inspiring series of influences which lasts just seconds, and seems amazingly real (particularly the spider) – but it’s all just light.

Below is a appear at the Intel making-of system for the performance:

The greatest difficulty, according to Intel’s Paul Tapp, was which Lady Gaga may be singing while the team projected the images onto her face, meaning which the projections may have to be exactly matched to her facial movements. To ensure absolute accuracy, the team took a 3D scan of Gaga’s face, and so 3D printed it in several various expressions so which they may practice.

The final outcome was a haunting and attractive introduction to the fittingly surreal spectacle which followed.gaga

“We wanted to turn it into an expression of not just David Bowie’s magic, as not just a visual artist and musician who combined music, innovation, style, and art, but in addition to show which there is magic which can be created with innovation,” Lady Gaga said. “That it’s not just big machines, and desktops, and the Internet. You can in fact turn it into imagery which is otherworldly – moments, events, experiences which have never happened preceding. To imagine the unimaginable, to see the unseeable, ponder the unponderable, invent the uninventable – and so which is quite what the performance is attempting to say. And which’s what he was, and is, forever.”

Watch Lady Gaga’s performance at a lower place. Discuss in the 3D Printing & Bowie Tribute forum over at 3DPB.com.