Music artist Nicole Moudaber lights up tech-forward hub ArtsDistrict Brooklyn with all-night performance

lights on walls at nicole moudaber performance at artsdistrict brooklyn
Custom-built for multimedia creators ArtsDistrict Brooklyn hosted DJ and producer Nicole Moudaber’s inmersive audiovisual show on July 29.
Photo courtesy of Seth Miller

Turn it up! Electronic music artist, producer and philanthropist, Nicole Moudaber became one of the first DJs to perform at the tech-forward arts hub, ArtsDistrict Brooklyn, a 25,000-square-foot art complex in Greenpoint, on Saturday.

The musician and radio host performed a thundering techno set as part of a massive, nine-hour immersive audiovisual show with live music and digital animations displayed on 360-degree screens covering every wall and column of a reclaimed warehouse along the East River.

Hundreds of attendees danced through the night surrounded by a 3-D world designed by Cinetica, a digital media studio specialized in virtual production.

A DJ and label owner, Moudaber created the show around the concept of women’s extraordinary power through history. With motion capture, the visual studio turned an image of the performer into an avatar inspired by sci-fi and the legend of Medusa, the Greek mythological figure of a winged female creature with snakes as hair who could turn her enemies into stone. The larger-than-life avatar, projected onto the walls of the ArtsDistrict, emulated Moudaber’s own movements to depict a super-human known as an unstoppable female force.

Nicole Moudaber as medusa
A 3-D visuals studio and a new media studio came together to create a nine-hour movie-like show of the mythological figure Medusa, synchronized to the music performance. Photo courtesy of Volvox Labs

“The meaning behind this is the divine power of women that we don’t normally talk about,” said Moudaber. “I am inspired by the ancient women warriors, gifted female mediums, fairy godmothers and witches. Also, matriarchies we had 6,000 years ago that, somehow, someone destroyed just like it happens nowadays. If people don’t like you, they cancel you. If a man is threatened by a woman’s power, he’ll smear her, but if it was a man with all these powers … people would praise him. They would think he’s a hero and they would call him a god. But, somehow, we didn’t get those titles. I’ve always questioned, why?”

Moudaber is at the forefront of the record label and global party brand, MOOD. The reach of her company has led her to curate InTheMood festival on stages at Electric Daisy Carnival in New York, Las Vegas and Orlando, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, California’s Escape, and BPM Festival in Mexico and Portugal.

Her most notable releases include the production “Intentionally” and remixes for New Yorker and Grammy award-winner Louie Vega and Grammy-winner, Honey Dijon. The release of her collaborations with Meduza and Skin will come later this year.

For her Brooklyn appearance, the projected imagery was turned into a movie-like storyline by the interactive design and experiential Brooklyn studio Volvox Labs, based in the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, better known for their work with visual technology in Times Square.

Cinetica designed a 3-D world ruled and protected by Nicole Moudaber’s avatar.P hoto courtesy of Volvox Labs.

“Projects like Nicole’s feed our souls,” said Creative and Technical Director of Volvox, Kamil Nawratil. “Once the fans find themselves outside this Brooklyn interpretation of a portal to another dimension, the sheer size and scale of the projection is a show on its own. High-definition images through 40 projectors hitting walls in 360 angles around the venue are masterfully synchronized to the live music.”

The Volvox team had to figure out how to map the visuals around the space positioning the content in a way that the focal points would always be visible, without making it feel too crazy or too “claustrophobic,” as Nawratil out it, for the audience. They also managed the technical part of receiving real-time inputs from Moudaber so the show would come together.

moudaber show at artsdistrict Brooklyn
The venue will have a new virtual design show around Artificial intelligence and humankind’s greatest minds in the upcoming months. Photo courtesy of Seth Miller

The show had five “easter eggs,” which Nawratil described as “hero moments” where visuals are prepared to work with specific moments of the DJ’s track, with special nuggets that made everybody look up.

“Those are just a little bit different to the rest of the night because they just got a little bit more love,” he said. “It’s all about the journey that the goddess is going through.”

The result was a high-energy visual narrative of an empress protecting her utopian, tech-forward domains from destructive creatures.

“I can’t think of a better time to launch this womanhood out in the open and in the universe,” said Moudaber. “I feel that it’s my mission to restore women’s status quo. Maybe it is being restored anyway.”

The state-of-the-art space, ArtsDistrict Brooklyn, formerly the House of Vans skatepark, opened as a 3-in-1 venue last year, “purpose-built for the world’s most innovative immersive creators,” according to its website.

Next up, ArtsDistrict Brooklyn will present “Limitless AI”, a package of five high-definition pieces or chapters of psychedelic cinema described by the producers as a love letter to humankind’s greatest achievements. Each chapter showcases either some of the greatest minds in science, the world of subatomic particles or the cosmos through virtual design, colors and light. The show’s final chapter, “SuperStrings AI,” is made using the brainwaves of a musical artist performing live in front of visitors and turned into patterned visuals that pulse and evolve in real time. Tickets will be available later this month.