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The In-Between Archives: Live Visual Design & Production Student Project

Developed over the past 18 weeks, The In-Between Archives is a third-year student project by BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production Joshua Warnes & Jason Phillips [JP] that celebrates the connection between nature and technology.

A technologically complex project that connected mushrooms [that’s right, mushrooms] with unique and responsive visual content creation and sound, we asked JP and Josh to share a breakdown of the key elements of their concept and installation. 


Plant to MIDI conversion [PLIDI] was a centrepiece of our project. We used the electrical signals created by mushrooms. These were then assigned to MIDI notes to show control for many other elements within the project. 

In the first instance, PLIDI was used to manipulate chords in synthesisers in multiple instances of VCV rack, this was then routed using our sound desk to create fully immersive 6.4 surround sound for the project. PLIDI was then sent to lighting to trigger lights on the mushrooms for when each one “talked”, this would then send a signal to change each light to a brightness comparable to the intensity of the electrical signals within the mushrooms.

Finally, PLIDI was used for creating generative video in a custom-coded patch in salvation on our Avolites AI server which created video from our MIDI notes using custom shader code which was sent to our MADRIX-powered LED strips on the underside of our mushroom set piece.

The In-Between Archives, 2024
The In-Between Archives, 2024
The In-Between Archives, 2024
The In-Between Archives, 2024

Tree Stumps

Our project featured an element with raised transparent Perspex decks that had stumps underneath that held screens powered by HIVE player 1s. These circled between mushroom-related facts and mycelium-style content.

We also included low-level screens featuring the same content on the floor level of the installation to maintain accessibility to the exhibition as much as possible.

Video Roof

We used ROE CB5 with a disguise gx1 media server to create the effect of the audience’s digital footprint being tracked in the sky above them by using camera tracking and notch to create and implement different styles of tracking systems.

The style of tracking on the roof was controllable by the audience touching different mushrooms, each different model mushroom would select a different theme for the roof experience. This used capacitive touch boards and timecodes to control our disguise server.

The In-Between Archives, 2024
The In-Between Archives, 2024
The In-Between Archives, 2024
The In-Between Archives, 2024

Augmented Reality (AR) 

AR was used throughout the exhibition as a key element to elevate the audience's experience of creating that link between nature and technology.

Our exhibition posters had a QR code at the bottom which linked to an Instagram filter which contained more details of the experience, featuring 3D mushrooms coming out of the poster to entice the audience to share the poster with their friends.

We used ROE Vanish 8 to create a holographic layer in front of our mushrooms showing the spores of the mushrooms rising up, turning into binary and joining the cyberspace in the roof. This was controlled using our Green Hippo server and was matched to the audio out to the room, this controlled the intensity of the content to match.

Our project featured an AR mushroom that, similarly to the vanish, showed its spores being converted into binary and rising into the sky, however, this mushroom was physically built by our on-campus Industry Partners – TAIT and their scenic department, and the AR effects were created using an in-camera filter on Instagram to make the effect specific to each audience member.

We wanted to make sure that the AR integration during the experience was not limited to those with social media or pre-installed apps. To combat this we created an IMAG screen with cameras around the exhibition that were controlled by the audience from a plinth at the centre of the event space. They were then able to select the different live cameras with pre-created effects which were then displayed on a large screen for all to see.

The In-Between Archives, 2024
The In-Between Archives, 2024
The In-Between Archives, 2024
The In-Between Archives, 2024

A hugely collaborative affair, JP & Josh worked with a multitude of fellow students, industry partners and sponsors to bring the project to life.  


  • Jason Phillips & Josh Warnes - Project Leads, Interactive Visual Artists and Video Control
  • Alex Chun – Lighting Programming and Operation
  • Euan Macphail - Audio System Design
  • Adam Bailey - Audio Routing
  • Ethan Tailor - Audio Routing (Cont.) and Audio Operation
  • Jessie Watters – Set Creation (excl. TAIT’s giant mushroom)

Industry Partners


  • Bluman Associates Ltd - 2x D3 gx1
  • TechLED - MADRIX licence and Nebula processor
  • HIVE – 2x BeeBox PLUTOs & 8x PLAYER_1s
  • DMX Productions – discounted MA3 Node hire
  • Yorkshire Mushroom Emporium – discounted mushroom kits

Find out more about studying our BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production course in September 2024 at our next Open Day. Alternatively, get in touch with the team on to arrange an individual campus tour around Production Park.

Ready to start your Academy of Live Technology journey?