Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Projection Proposal (in progress)

Projection Location 1: Fire Escape Hallway. Library Left, Third Floor.

- All using campus walkway to access Campus Center.  Heavy traffic during class changes, meal rushes, etc.
- Mostly students, with access to meal plans.  Projections occurring at night will mostly be viewed by younger students, who have access to meal plans, and will be walking to dinner.
- Fellow artists who have attended the event.

Foot Traffic
- Audience will be based heavily upon foot traffic.
- Busy at certain times of day, as location will be viewed from campus walkway primarily.

Lighting Conditions
- Sheltered spot.  Will need to project at night, however.
- Method of projection (reverse projection) will require use of high illumination/low external light conditions.

Social Context
- Located at heart of campus, however, in location often overlooked.
- Will be up high, inaccessible, yet unavoidable.

- Towering, massive. 
- Large windows, split into frames.
- Inaccessible, impressive, will be viewed from below, typically in motion/while walking to destination.

Placement of Projector 
- In space, projector will need to be placed far enough from window to cover the projection space, but also away from the stairs, and in a spot not occupied by stair railing.
- Actual placement to be fine-tuned, based upon type of projector used. (Wide-throw = closer, Reg.-throw, further)

Architectural Elements
- Fire escape hallway in state of disrepair.  Location previously unknown.  Externally, up high, yet internally, easily accessible by stairwell.  Fire escape used only in emergencies, but typically disregarded in regular/normal day-to-day routines.  Piece should reflect an element of this "unknown" theme.
- Windows, the surface of the projection space, will need to be coated/covered in light-absorbing material.  Window configuration themselves are divided into progressively smaller frames, rising from bottom up, creating interesting opportunities for unique composition of actual piece to be projected. 

Projection Location 2: Faculty Lounge. Library, Third Floor.

- Fellow artists
- Students, staff, faculty, visitors, who may be aware of the show
- Location is difficult to discover 

Foot Traffic
- Located next to main campus path
- Heavy foot traffic at certain times of the day

Lighting Conditions
- Interior has controlled lighting
- Exterior is mildly light-polluted by path, building lights

Social Context
- Location is hard to detect, unless the viewer is deliberately searching for it
- Adds effect of surveillance

- Large, yet not overbearing
- Would be reverse projected onto library window

Placement of Projector
- Projector would be placed on counter, behind window, and beam across the room
- Space would be easy to project in: plenty of power outlets
- Minimal keystone would be required 

Architectural Elements
- Window acts as frame
- Frame is split into several regions 
- These regions could display different content, or act as one

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

project 3: preliminary artist research - Doug Aitken

The assignment for Project 3 requires the class to begin developing an artwork for public display, most likely in an outdoor location, using projectors to create a work geared towards viewing "in passing."  Although excited for the numerous possibilities that are presented in this assignment, I have experienced little outdoor projection art, having only viewed Doug Aitken's work Song 1, which was projected onto the concave surface of the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, D.C.

Having experience with this artist, and interested in investigating his works further to possibly glean information and inspiration on my own, I decided to research his work, with a focus upon his outdoor installation pieces.

Over the years, I've found that Doug Aitken has been extremely active in producing outdoor projection works, often using the environment surrounding the work to inform and strengthen its meaning.  For example, one of his most recent works, entitled Mirror (2013), is a work that was projected in Seattle on the prolific Seattle Museum of scenes taken from Seattle, the location itself.  He spent over 5 years gathering an immense duration of footage of the city in all weather conditions and times of day, which he then projected, according to real-life conditions actually occurring within the city, effectively creating a sort of hyper-realistic, yet cinematic, video immersion experience.

Looking over his famous outdoor installation pieces, I've discovered that the collision between the cinematic (created by the stylized, polished video work) and the realistic (generated by the video's projection into real-world circumstances) create a interesting friction that causes a sort of distortion of the way the viewer engages with both the work, and the location the work is featured within.  The landscape of the image becomes a necessary element of the piece itself, and all who engage and interact with the space are also forced to engage and interact with the art as well.

As well as the location of the projection, Aitken also crafts his works as not only physical pieces, but also as events, which he calls "happenings", a term invented by the Fluxus movement.  These "happenings" are often large-scale in nature, and well-publicized, planned, and funded, creating a dichotomy between the carefully controlled nature of these events, and the sporadic, unpredictable nature of reality.  Mirrors pushes and blurs this boundary, as it uses sensors and cameras focused upon real-life conditions, in order to cue in to pre-recorded video footage that mimics it.