The Sanctuary

A mobile art installation bringing people together to celebrate music

In 2017, we were approached to create another custom art car, The Sanctuary, for a private client in the Bay Area. The concept we were given was “Gothic Cathedral”.  The goal of the project was to create a work of art that would evoke reverence and reflection during the day, yet would transform into a sound stage and point of celebration at night.  The client was quite specific at the onset of the project, he wanted us to pull out all the stops and design something completely unique.  With these criteria in mind, we had a 6 month period of designing the mobile installation from top to bottom.  Everything from the framing and structure, to the artistic facade, to the interior deco needed to be designed from scratch in order to fit together seamlessly on a mobile platform.

The Digital Ambiance team assumed the roles of lead show system design to create a cohesive lighting, laser, and pyro show and of project producer, managing the finances and coordination of assets.

Once the design was approved, a year and a half long build commenced.  Tesseract’s full time fabricators worked around the clock to assemble the pieces that were meticulously designed and produced by hand.  LED strip was embedded into each facade panel and each pixel was counted and mapped to ensure that smooth effects could be programmed once complete.  Audiowaska worked hand in hand with Danley Sound to develop a custom stadium-caliber speaker system based around the infamous Jericho drivers. We partnered with Future Weapons to create a laser show based on Kvan’ts 36 watt audience scanning RGBY laser projectors.  Digital Ambiance developed custom software to accurately map nearly 120,000 individual LED pixels in Madrix.  Custom pyro emitters were developed by Graywrx Fabrication featuring the capability to change the color of the fire and trigger the effects via DMX control.  The interior deco was designed and fabricated by Katherine Tincher Design, making the interior feel more like a high-end victorian lounge than an art car out in the desert.

The Sanctuary debuted in August of 2018 with a crew of 15.  The show ran nightly from a remote front-of-house booth that wirelesly linked to the main car.  This allowed the show designers to program with a full view of the installation, creating beautiful coordinated effects across the lighting, laser, and pyro systems.

DJ’s and musicians including DiploSkrillexAphrodite, and many more headlined throughout the week showing a diverse range of acoustics and even a performance from a gospel choir to round out the mix.

After the debut, it was clear that The Sanctuary had made an impression on everyone that had attended, with articles written in The GuardianSF GATE, and Billboard highlighting our success.  Future plans for the mobile installation include appearances at some of the west coast’s biggest festivals along with continued appearances out in the desert for that special week in August/Sept.

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