“Mirrsaic – Now” by Prokop Bartoníček (2012)

Artists,Projection,Reference — miles @ 12:39 pm

Over a period of several hours, geometric light-shapes move across a wall. For a brief moment, they overlap to spell the word “NOW”. Bartoníček and his collaborators used sunlight and mirrors to achieve this effect. Much like a sundial, this work considers how light functions in time. To that end, Bartoníček astutely points out that readily available lighting and design technologies have produced art that is “often oblivious to the basic rules of light, time and space.”   

More here.

“New Slaves” by Kanye West (2013)

 

In 2013, American hip hop artist Kanye West employed urban projection as a marketing tactic for his then-upcoming album “Yeezus”. He staged 66 projections worldwide, in cities such as London, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, Miami and Toronto. I think this project might have benefitted from a more considered use of the projection surface, though this probably wouldn’t have impacted its virality.

More here.

“Time Tilings” by Pablo Valbuena (2013)

Artists,Projection,Reference,Technique — miles @ 9:34 pm

time tilings [stuk] from pablo valbuena on Vimeo.

“Time Tilings” is a series of four site-specific interventions created for the Artefact festival. These interventions project light onto floors, extending existing tile patterns to stark, line-based animations. Unlike some of the more theatrical projections we’ve looked at, this one shows a great deal of sensitivity in the way it modifies the existing architectural context; it heightens the tile-work, but does not overpower it.

I found a fascinating text on Valbuena’s website called  “Projection – Injection – Incision. About Pablo Valbuena’s ‘Extension Series‘”. It describes Valbuena’s work as follows:      

Like an architect, he draws lines to expand this space. This way, he unites the actual and the virtual in one and the same reality.

More info here.

Note also that Valbuena showed a projection work called “para-site” at the Mattress Factory in 2011.

“Golden Tiger” by Le3 (2012)

Golden Tiger from Le3 on Vimeo.

“Golden Tiger” by French design studio Le3 features a projected tiger running through the streets of Paris. The tiger animation is projected from the window of the car, and the speed at which it plays is governed by the car’s speed. It is refreshing to see an urban projection which uses motion as its premise.

More information here.

Design Assignment 2: …30, 29, 28…Need Thoughts Fast…27, 26, 25…

Here are some ideas and questions that summarize my interest in stock photos:

– Stock photos represent ideal worlds in which bliss, love and stability
are normal.

– How can we reconcile the perfect/false worlds of stock photos?

– Do stock photos point to prevailing notions of normativity?

– A game-ritual grants us temporary access to the hyperreality of stock photos.

I staged the intervention in the Stever House television room. While not exactly a public place, it is a room where students gather to relax and socialize. I was wary of carrying out the performance in a space that would interfere with people’s work or daily consumption patterns. Perhaps my hesitation to bring the project to the public in earnest reflects an underlying insecurity regarding its premise – or my own communicative abilities. I don’t yet feel confident framing a personal obsession as something that has intrinsic value for others. Still, I feel that stock photos embody important cultural ideals that I have yet to fully articulate.

I announced the performance in a public Facebook event as follows:

“Some friends of mine need help. They say they have no thoughts left. They just stand around holding empty banners.

All I know is that there’s not much time to act.”

The event itself was an interactive game show, in which I was the host and organizer. Participants took turns standing in front of a whiteboard, providing stock photo people with new thoughts. I used an openFrameworks projection mapping library in order to calibrate the projection to the whiteboard surface. I also placed portions of the image around the perimeter of the whiteboard in warped perspective. This reinforced the sense I was trying to communicate – that this whiteboard was an unstable portal to another world (the world of stock photos).

Concretely, the participants used dry-erase markers to write words on the blank banners that the fourteen photos featured. While participants stood in front of the board, generic call waiting “muzak” was played from a hidden speaker, along with a synthetic voice counting down from 30 to 1. The audio was meant to convey a sense of urgency. I recall timed fitness evaluations in High School gym class that relied on similar tactics. A quivering instruction box read “Help! We have no thoughts. Give us some thoughts while there is still time.” Graphically, this instruction box took cues from Soviet era graphic design.

Technically, the project worked well – the audio provided a crucial sense of limited time, and therefore unease. The projection itself was clear and visible on the whiteboard.

Regarding the failures of the project, there is one that is particularly glaring. I found it difficult to establish a coherent tone for the project: it wavered uncomfortably between a sincere attempt to help virtual people in “crisis”, and an organized mockery of those very people. The project relied on the idea that stock photos depict perfect people and scenarios onto which we are obliged project our own ideas – but I never verified this premise independent of my own feel for it. Basically, I found it difficult to communicate what this activity was, and what ends it was meant to serve. I was curious what words people would use to contextualize generic imagery, but I must consider the likelihood that this curiosity didn’t extend beyond myself.

It seemed like the participants (the six that showed up) generally enjoyed the performance, judging from the video of it in which shows a friendly climate with an undercurrent of humor.

A future iteration of this performance might employ high resolution images. The ones I used were low quality, since it would have cost >$100 to purchase the photos in full resolution.

Software Tools used:

openFrameworks 0.8 with ofxMtlMapping2D
Photoshop CS5
Adobe Audition CS5

Design Assignment 1: Observations on Hillman Library

“Untitled” by Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1991)

Artists,Reference — miles @ 1:47 pm

In this public installation, Gonzalez-Torres uses the billboard format to provoke a public dialogue about the AIDS epidemic. The billboard features a photograph of an empty bed. Although the work has enormous personal significance (it was prompted by the death of Gonzalez-Torres’ longtime partner), it is difficult to see how a public unfamiliar with the artist could connect it to AIDS.

More here

“Image Fulgurator” by Julius Von Bismarck (2007/2008)

Artists,Reference — miles @ 1:43 pm

Fulguration means “a flash like that of lightning”, and Bismarck’s “Image Fulgurator” closely fits that description. The device operates via a “reactive flash projection”, that is, it projects an image on an object at the exact moment that a photograph is taken. In effect, it is a means of manipulating the photographs without the knowledge or consent of the photographer. Unlike conventional image manipulation, “Image Fulgurator” physically alters scenes, which makes it an attractive instrument for détournement.

 More here

“Model It” by Jacolby Satterwhite (2010)

Artists,Reference — miles @ 1:41 pm

Disclaimer: Satterwhite doesn’t include much information about this project on his website. I attended a lecture he gave at Bard college, and this is from memory.

“Model It” is a performance in which Satterwhite dances in front of various storefronts to songs that his mother wrote. His performance is extraverted and swanky – a puzzling counterpoint to his mother’s incoherent, rambling music. It is an intensely personal work, emblematic of an ongoing creative dialogue between Satterwhite and his mother.

More here

“Time/bank” by e-flux (2009)

Artists,Reference — miles @ 1:39 pm

“Time/bank” is a currency created by the founders of the e-flux journal, Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle. Drawing influence from existing time banks, “Time/bank” proposes time as a unit of economic exchange, by way of “Hour Notes” (one is shown above). Interestingly, 2009 also saw the introduction of the Bitcoin, the open source cryptocurrency. Since Time/bank relies on fixed measures of time, it is both straightforward and stable, in opposition to today’s opaque and volatile cryptocurrencies.

 More here

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