“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
— Arthur C. Clarke

Refraction Labs is the alter ego of Shadi El Hajj, a Generative Artist based in London.

RL has been around for over 15 years.

RL is creating Generative, Data-Driven Art, and Digital Dance performances for a broad range of international clients and festivals.

RL is in search of the Computational Sublime.

RL is modelling complex systems and chaotic processes, intricate and delicate algorithms visualising the structure of the universe.

RL is exposing the non-dual nature of entity and process.

RL is physical and biological phenomena, laws of gravitation, particle physics and spring dynamics.

RL is form emerging from a single formula driving a billion particles.

RL is visualising the collective patterns hidden below the surface of the tangible world.

RL is revealing the numinous, bridging the macro and microcosm, rendering the infinite tangible.

RL is summoning archetypal images, bringing to light archaic symbols hidden in the depth of the collective psyche.

Refraction Labs is about creating magic through technology, turning light into colour.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
— Arthur C. Clarke

Refraction Labs is the alter ego of Shadi El Hajj, a Generative Artist based in London.

RL has been around for over 15 years.

RL is creating Generative, Data-Driven Art, and Digital Dance performances for a broad range of international clients and festivals.

Refraction Labs is about creating magic through technology, turning light into colour.

Selected Clients

Ontologies of Desire

Digital Dance

2016

  • Projection Mapping
  • Fluid & Particle Systems
  • Kinect V2
  • OpenGL / OpenCV

Ontologies of Desire explores the relationship between an AI researcher and his digital offspring which comes to life and discovers a world of form, movement and emotions.

The generative visuals are driven by a bespoke system that captures a 3D scan of the dancers who interact with virtual simulation models.

The Archetypes

Generative Art

2018

  • Fluid & Particle Systems
  • Unity
  • OpenGL / GLSL

The Archetypes is a Generative Art project inspired by archetypal symbols shared across all humanity and embedded deep within our collective unconscious.

The challenge behind the project is to animate particles through physics formulas, and let emergent behaviour suggest these images and symbols.

Photon Rain

Digital Dance

2012-2016

  • Projection Mapping
  • Fluid & Particle Systems
  • Kinect V2
  • OpenGL / GLSL
  • OpenCV

Photon Rain is a Digital Performance where dancers paint with their bodies, creating a mental space filled with shadows gliding in ephemeral lightscapes.

A bespoke system detects the dancer’s movements, maps them to a fluid and particle simulation system which drives the “light paint” projected on stage.

Experiential Maps

Mercedes-Benz

Signal Noise

2019

  • Unity
  • Ray-tracing
  • Custom Shaders
  • Fluid & Particle Simulations

As part of a vision project commissioned by Mercedes-Benz to reimagine the future of driving, we designed this in-car maps prototype.

The maps combine topographical information, city data, navigation and state-of-the-art rendering to provide passengers with an experience that is both functional and emotional.

Road Safety Dataviz

Ford

Signal Noise

2018

  • Dataviz
  • Three.js
  • WebGL

Ford Smart Mobility commissioned us to design and implement a compelling data visualisation promoting road safety and illustrating how big data can help reduce accidents.

The dataset used to create the generative visuals consists of 40 million data points of 100 dimensions each.

Atlas of Digitalisation

Siemens

Signal Noise

2018

  • Dataviz
  • Three.js
  • WebGL

As part of their online presence at Expo Dubai 2020, Siemens asked us to design a series of interactive visuals illustrating how six major cities are responding to Digitalisation.

These Data Portraits, part of Siemens’ “Atlas of Digitalization” are implemented in WebGL and run on all major platforms and devices.

Get in Touch
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