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Interactive Annual 16:

The Turn—Fredo Viola

Launch Live Site

“An original and engaging way to present the work of a multimedia artist. The playful interface makes you want to explore.” —Ingrid Bernstein

“Of all the entries, Fredo Viola’s felt like a true experiment in Web media. Grab a shape, change your color, friction, bounce and see what unfolds—you can’t help but want to explore and learn more about Fredo and what the heck he’s got cookin’.” —Hilary Read

Overview: Fredo Viola is a multimedia artist based in New York and signed under the label Because Music. Viola’s interactive, toy-like site, on which all content can be interacted or played with, offers performances of his interesting integration of voice and visual artistry, coupled with unusual video vignettes. Driving the experience is an innovative, atypical navigation scheme that generates music and integrates seamlessly with the video. Visitors drag-and-drop a series of shapes and adjust physics parameters like gravity, friction, bounce; when the shapes collide they generate sounds that, in conjunction with the interactive background music, create a unique musical instrument.

  • • The site structure is very simple and has only two interactive features: a menu of polygons and a video player with basic controls.
  • • Once one of the site’s twenty videos is launched, clicking on different segments turns it on its axis allowing the user to choose the angle from which to view it.
  • • The site, which originated from an idea Fredo and his friend Steph Thirion had, took three months to develop.

Comments by Aer Studio

How did the content affect the development of the interface? “Fredo Viola has a unique and quite complex technique to create videos that involves segments that at times are upside-down or sideways. The next logical step was to create a video turntable that could play the videos on their axes so users could see any segment they chose, right-side up. This simple drag-and-drop action is reflected in the rest of the site’s interaction design.”

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “It would have to be managing our ambitions with the limitations of the technology. Flash can be quite limiting.”

Did you learn anything new during the process? “Perhaps we have a deeper understanding now of Flash’s limitations with physics.”

How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on in the past? “Most of our previous projects followed the typical client/designer relationship. But it was hard for us to view Fredo as a client; if anything, because music was the client, we were collaborating with Fredo. He worked with us closely during the entire process and our role was to help him make the ideas in his head a reality and contribute with whatever ideas we thought could make the project better.”


Fredo Viola/Aer Studio, interface designers
Aer Studio/Guille Lopez, programmers
Fredo Viola/Steph Thirion/Aer Studio (Barcelona, Spain), project design and development
Fredo Viola, Because Music, client

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