Color Field
79Ancestors / A.M. Architect
Creative Direction
Product Development
Motion Design
Content Production
Print & Packaging
An interactive video sculpture, 20-song soundtrack & unique visual concept album.

79Ancestors, the cross-disciplinary record label co-founded by EFFIXX in early 2016, had ambitions to launch with a new product similar to the handheld LED projector developed for the Deru 1979 project—an object which would play an album through a built-in speaker, and a visual display-based component.  For our first artist signing, A.M. Architect, we used what we learned while creating the Deru projector to invent something wholly original from scratch, but aimed to introduce the ability for users to somehow interact and influence the content.
The Spectrasphere hosts a 10-song album and a series of video patterns which are visually modulated by user-controlled analog FX via 4 rotary knobs, gives viewers the ability to flip through songs, and introduces a unique hemispherical magnifying lens display.  We knew that in order to customize the experience beyond simple linear videos, an element of randomness would be required. So we introduced custom-built analog glitch circuitry to the video chain, much like a guitarist uses effects pedals before the signal is routed through an amplifier.  The way that textures from the lo-fi video are warped and glitched, viewed through the magnifed display, create a mesmerizing personal connection to the music— an A.M. Architect concept album about a “chromatherapy cult”. These unique aspects of the product make it the most beautiful artifact we’ve worked on to date.  

Light Instrument & Video Sculpture
Starting with the exterior housing, we began the design process by imagining what the Spectrasphere viewing experience should be like. Initial sketches were inspired by a concept film that the project’s musicians wrote about a character seduced by an enigmatic color therapy cult, culminating with a scene featuring a sort of viewing session apparatus. So the interface itself is comprised of a series of knobs and switches resembling an antique radio or television.

The Display

The concept apparatus was meant to invoke an intimate, personal viewing session, so we designed the display so that beautiful visual nuance is experienced by gazing through it from a close proximity. Variations in color and pattern are seen when the viewing angle changes, and turning the object’s knobs have the effect that the color channels are seperated, twisted, and torn apart pixel-by-pixel.

The analog video fx processor responsible for the Spectrasphere glitch fx are driven by custom-built circuitry designed by Portland-based video hardware wizard, BPMC.

The Microsite

Spectrasphere was sold directly through a microsite within
The Album
Light Instrument & Video Sculpture
Color Field was the first full-length LP on our 79Ancestors audiovisual label—a lush confluence of acoustic instrumentation and digitally-manipulated sample arrangements. We designed the artwork to nod towards the imagery from the artifact, the film, and the "chromatherapy cult" overall.

The Film
Setting the narrative
The project's composers, A.M. Architect (Daniel Stanush & Diego Chavez), are also filmmakers and we worked together to tease aspects of the overarching narrative concept into the object's launch campaign. The film was screened at film festivals around the U.S. before and during the project release.

More Information
Anthony Ciannamea
Creative Director
‍Video Content Design
Benjamin Wynn
Creative Director
Spectrasphere Production Lead
Mark Wisniowski
Spectrasphere Case Designer
Big Pauper / BPMC
Analog Video FX Engineer
Roberto Crespo
Hardware engineer & Design
Eli Pechman
Electronic Engineer, Assembly & QA
Yaniv De Ridder
Software Engineer
Jon Mendez
Case Manufacturing & Craft