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Press coverage for LUMA Festival and our installation piece "Shoulder's of the Past"
Check out Ryan Uzilevsky's insight into the art of Projection Mapping during his recent interveiw for Cadillac Magazine.
We have been featured on the list of most spectacular video projections in the world at CNN.com
" Art has existed long before the gallery, 7000 years compared to 150. Architectural scale sculpture, the merger of art and architecture is at the very essence of the earliest art forms. "
What is painting with light?
Yes, Thomas Kincade did coin the term "painting with light"...but his description was only metaphoric, he was still using oil paint...
Similar to an animated sidewalk chalk perspective drawing, architectual "video projection mapping" uses a forced perspective and the illusion of depth to create a greater visual impact.
The result is a large scale immersive experience that is unlike any other.
We re-define the term "painting with light" as the practice of using actual light as a medium
We can achieve this through the manipulation of advanced display technology and clever use of optical principles.
A NEW MEDIUM IS BORN
We exist in a world where digital screens and displays are not only at our fingertips, but they’re also becoming integrated
into our environments. The idea of “pixels everywhere” is a tantalizing thought when you consider its impact on how we communicate and share experiences.
Compelled by the desire to truly move people – whether in spirit or action –we now have the tools and knowledge to virtually transform physical structures using extreme-scale visuals. This growing global demand for bigger, bolder visuals fused
with enriched content, is pushing artists and content creators to think beyond the traditional canvas. Bringing together concepts
like projection mapping and augmented reality with the right technology opens the door to approaching any surface
as an edge-free canvas.
Historic buildings, national monuments, water, glass – these are all fair game for the digital artist’s brush. Artists bring their
own style and aesthetic values to the canvas, demonstrating the breadth of creative possibilities using projection mapping
as the tool.
Any structure, any shape, the world is our canvas. Share the experience.
Projection mapping taps into both science and art to expose and enhance what we know about the world. Egyptian temples, French castles and Abu Dhabi mosques transition from grand artifacts to living structures when projections start
to tell the story and relate to us its culture and beauty. Some of the most clever work done with projection has
stepped well beyond just using structures as canvases. The structures instead come alive. Spirals on historic domes
spin. New cars at auto shows shape-shift, even appearing to move and turn through virtual streets.
Exploring what’s possible when a projection canvas gets a third dimension, and when brilliant graphic designers
and technicians try their best to boggle the minds of spectators.
A FEW EXAMPLES
A BRIEF HISTORY
The specific art form of transforming a large surface using projections traces back several decades. But the influences
go back many centuries. We find references to pinhole cameras projecting images of their surroundings dating back
more than 2,000 years to ancient Greece and China. In 17th century Europe, candles and oil lamps were used as light
sources for “magic lanterns” that projected images painted on glass slides onto surfaces.
Going back some 80 years, people started using slide projectors to transform concert and theater stages. Productions
on Broadway and in London’s West End dabbled with projection as early as the 1930s. By the 1950s, projectors were
being used to blend theater, opera and dance productions with massive projected backdrops.
In the late 1960s, specialty companies like the Joshua Light Show used everything from carousel slide projectors and overhead projectors to 1,200-watt airplane landing-strip lights to rear-project imagery onto the stage backdrops of rock concert venues.
Also at the end of the 1960s, the “imagineers” of the Walt Disney Company started applying projection technology to small, very
focused surfaces. For the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, Disney’s creative engineers shot the faces of five actors singing
the attraction’s theme song and then projected the 16mm film output onto busts. The ghostly, disembodied singing heads were
what some technical observers say was the first commercial instance of projection mapping onto a complex curved surface.
By the 1980s, artists started taking their work outside, using powerful, large-format projectors, forerunners to today’s architectural projection spectacles.
While artists found ways to push the limits of slide projectors, the introduction in the 1990s of bright, computer-driven commercial projectors was the big moment for the art form. More brightness led to greater possibilities and ideas constrained
by limited light started to get turned on. Computer graphics sped production and made full-motion video and graphics
possible without film.
As the equipment became brighter, portable and rugged, mapping outdoor structures evolved beyond simply projecting
onto large buildings as screens. Instead, intrigued artists started looking at the shape, contours and colors of a structure,
and wondered how they could work with all of that. The first few years of using large-format projections for business
has had much to do with the “wow” factor of scale and the sizzle of mind-bending visuals. Ancient churches virtually
collapsed, angels appeared, sea creatures swam inside office tower windows, buildings de-constructed and reconfigured.
While the best projects told stories, many were about visual tricks that stunned onlookers.
Projection mapping is quickly becoming a widely requested communication experience as a complement to large events and installations for brands, governments and entertainment.
With the increased popularity of this form of communication and its definitive and universal “wow” factor, artists saw it as
another option for creating experiences and dialogue through digital art. In the early days, an artist would painstakingly
paint over images on slides to create layered content that they could project. The development of digital technology, as
well as software for warping and blending images onto irregular surfaces, has brought us to the point where if we can
conceive it, we can achieve it digitally.
Projection mapping as we know it now is quickly becoming a catalyst for how we approach visual communications, giving
us a new way to market ideas and products, entertain large masses…to simply tell stories on a much grander scale, while
also transforming and enhancing average-looking surfaces to make them more aesthetically pleasing. The big driver behind projection mapping projects is using compelling visuals blended with stories, information and even calls to action, to create profound experiences. Artists pioneered projection mapping, but a lot of the early commercial work was done by technology and events companies. As the technology has improved, and the tools have grown more accessible and easy to use, we’re now seeing artists and content creators take the lead on the most innovativeand ambitious projects.
- Christie, Book of Transformations