Posts Tagged ‘projection mapping’
Posting this amazing glimpse into iMappening 2014, the Media Arts and Practice PhD program’s annual show, at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Polyangylene and Book of Luna (with Clea T. Waite) make a colorful appearance!
Book of Luna…
The iMappenning catalog…
“Dollhouse Desert”, a collaboration between Karl Baumann, Nicolette G.D and I, was screened last week at the State of the Arts 2013: the Future of Fulldome Festival. The host was the Vortex Immersive Media Dome at L.A. Center Studios. This is my first excursion into the fulldome format, and I found it incredibly fun and challenging.
The unconventional orientation of the spectators translates into a whole new vocabulary for camera motion and field of view. Fulldome is a medium that can both create the visceral impression of swallowing the viewer and offer moments of poetic stillness. “Dollhouse Desert” immerses the spectactor in a surreal mental landscape in which claustrophobia and the call of the void become complimentary affective states that seamlessly alternate.
The sculpture of found objects with tests projections was presented at the Media Arts and Practice division’s annual exhibition, iMappening. The test projections give a good idea of the effect of animation on the very disparate textures of the objects. The bear particularly, with its fluffy, silky coat, was mesmerizing to watch. Reactions were enthusiastic, especially from the youngest visitors! I think it can legitimately qualify as an “attraction”. Adults, more discriminating, would walk around the sculpture to peer at individual configurations of objects, attached together, often in aerodynamic and precarious configurations, through armature wires inserted into chains of objects.
Assistant Dean Michael Renov qualified the 3D collages as surrealist, which actually led me into a whole theoretical investigation for my dissertation over the summer. The sculpture is not quite finished – as you can see, the two by fours that serve as its support structure are still visible and I am currently experimenting with different filler materials such as ping pong balls and styrofoam pellets to created a topologically interesting landscape around the objects.
I also designed the poster, catalogue and postcards for the exhibition – the steampunk/Muybridge unicorn being of course the perfect allegory for the Media Arts and Practice program!
This is the new jellyfish and insect inspired design for the Polyangylene robots! They use a hexapod chassis base and an Arduino microcontroller. The glowy letters are shaped with el-wire, a beautiful, flexible material that gives you neon without the expensive glass-blowing part. The bots navigate their environment thanks to two ultrasonic sensors and communicate with participants through a microphone and flex sensors hidden in their feather/tentacle neck ruff. They communicate with each other through Xbee radio signals. These bots also have a fondness for synchronized dance moves…
Here are shots of the objects I have been gathering and painting white for the Polyangylene sculpture. Polyangylene, my dissertation project, is an interactive installation that consists of a sculpture of found objects onto which I project animations that transform these objects into colorful kinetic stages/props for mini-narratives that are also projected, as text, onto the sculpture. If you are interested in hearing more about Polyangylene, please explore the “bio+” section of the blog!
The origin of these objects is varied: found on the street, in my apartment, at swapmeets, dollar stores…
For some reason, I ended picking up a lot of old toys. Perhaps because toys connote triviality, ubiquity and ordinariness (key qualities in the objects I was looking for) while escaping the type of fixed meaning that functional objects tend to be pigeonholed with. Toys also tend to have pretty weird and interesting shapes. Phones, laptops, printers and monitors also found their way in because they have become, as much as cleaning brushes and cheap ornaments, the material backdrops of our lives. They also have screens – useful for creating this effect of a projection within a projection or story within story that I want to explore in the piece.
Here is the latest draft of the experience design/ concept for my dissertation project, Polyangylene – simultaneously a projection mapping sculpture, a robotic interface and an audiovisual book.
Projection mapping is an evolving artform that so far has been mostly an insider phenomenon within the VJing and electronic festival scene, in spite of roots in the longstanding medium of theatrical design and the growing number of competitions and conferences that are dedicated to it (one the most prestigious being the annual Mapping Festival in Geneva). It is frequently paired with DJ acts or used as a promotional gimmick for slick ad campaigns. The medium achieves aesthetic effects, however, whose innovation and significance have not yet been adequately critically adressed. What is the future of projection mapping’s cultural impact? With its knack for transforming irregular surfaces into surreal architectures, it speaks to a new vision of urbanism and the city, as a polymorphous and playful space justified by its spectacular ambiance as much as by its functional value. If we imagine a daily life framed by these dynamic monumental sculptures, what different kinds of cognitive and emotional sensibilities will we see emerging?
Tony Oursler is a contemporary example of the type of technologist-entertainers art historian Barbara Stafford calls “technomancers”, scientifically informed thaumaturges that use digital effects to produce heightened sensorial experiences that bring the visitor to the brink of the spiritually bizarre. A wonderland of spectral apparitions, Oursler’s work is where garden meets cutting edge projection trickery, using sculpture as an animated surface, thrusting dimensional color in the dark space of the gallery. Under the guise of avant garde multimedia, eminently contemporary, art, Oursler’s work most closely resembles the 18th century phantasmagoria shows of Jean-Gaspard Robertson, who awed post-Revolutionary Paris with his elaborate magic lantern technology, projecting the wispy ghosts of guillotined aristocrats onto mirrors and smoke in the ruins of a convent, showcased by a performance that incorporated newly discovered electrical effects and a “magical” ritual inspired by the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries. Oursler’s installations are less interactive, but demonstrate the same fascination with the spectral transformation and deformation of the human form: bubble heads with giant eyes and mouth, decapitated talking heads, heads wreathed in vapours, flickering lights.
In the vein of (immobile) light and space artists from earlier decades such as Dan Flavin or Robert Irwin, Licht makes sculpture from light and shadow. One can imagine an interactive variant where the play of bright, dim and dark is crowd-sourced by an online community, or algorithmically indexed to sensor information measuring the trajectories or body data of the visitors. Or offering a counterpoint to the natural time outside. In any case, presenting new expressive possibilities for data visualization.
Me posing in front of the set I designed for a viral video to promote Fox’s “Rise of Planet of the Apes”, coming out in August, directed by fellow USC Cinema student Thenmozhi Soundararajan. I created some scientific animations and projected them on three layers of scrims, to produce a 3D effect without the stereo. The whole thing is supposed to represent a TED talk from the future. The melty shape to the left is a brain. Awesomely, the fabric we used – voile – added a shimmery grain to what is otherwise an ordinary digital-looking 3D model…
Will be projecting 3D animation on a tower at Rhythm and Visions, a live cinema event featuring audiovisual collective D-Fuse
I will be projecting Nano Flow on the tower of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts building, a stereoscopic 3D animation visualizing a flow of nanobots as hybrids between machines, jewels and single cell organisms. The event will also feature audiovisual collective D-Fuse, artists, VJs and DJs Scott Pagano, Brian King, Trifonic, Brian LeBarton and MB Gordy.
The game I made a month ago, Bunnybot should probably be re-named Neon Helix – because now it’s all about traveling through floating helixes composed of bubbles and luminous cubes in a deep dark cavernous space. S3D competes with conflicting depth cues (smaller helixes are placed in front of the screen), giving the player an impression of navigating a spatial paradox.