Outdoor projection

Practice Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

IMG_3342 2Figure 1

Fearing I may run out of time to experiment out of the gallery and write about it, I was compelling myself to simply begin to analyse what it was like working at a scale larger than the compact gallery space or indeed indoors at home – so on a dry evening I gathered the kit and installed outside, fig 2

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I tilted the projector up into chestnut trees in an adjacent garden that are some 20m high and used a moving, psychedelic pattern from YouTube and I was pleased with the intensity of light at some distance and height.

IMG_3334Figure 3

Working closer up, figs 1 and 4 demonstrate the clarity of the light and the shadows created using a pure red colour projection.

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Conclusion

My premise that you can alter the perception of surface, texture and reconfigure form using lit images, has carried out into a wider realm.  I fully appreciate that these experiments are simplistic and unrefined and others are creating much more ambitious and resolved work, however, I was not using Madmapper to develop the solution (neither was it applying the images from the Pause Project), at this stage and clearly much more can be done, but this is a small step forward.  Much more experimenation will happen beyond the MA.

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A Gallery Evening

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

Figures 1, 2

I took the opportunity to visit Argentea Gallery on 26th April, for an open evening for the artist Lúa Ribeira and her show ‘Noises in the Blood’ (31.3-12.5.2018), fig 1 and 2.

I talked to Lúa who had recently graduated from Newport University about the printing and framing process in response to the gallery space.  I was also able to walk the gallery once more and record some observations, especially at the lower level, as noted here;

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Figure 3

The smaller space in the lower gallery was being used for projection and the plan-chest as a platform for the projector which reflected my planned use of the facility, fig 3.

The projected image was successful, fig 4

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Figure 4

 

Figures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

I was able to check the hanging rail locations along with suspension, direct adhering and single hanging throughout the space, figs 5-11

I will use this information to feed into my installation plan drawings.

 

Notes for a Tutorial

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

 

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Figure 1

I was able to book an online face to face with Wendy McMurdo on 3rd April to reflect and frame my way forward in terms of exhibition production and refinement.

The Gallery Context

I conveyed the latest gallerist response to my draft work; I need to listen to views but also find ways to frame my own inputs and effectively synthesise the conversations and expectations.  Print sales are down globally so fretting about those is not to be focused upon – worrying about sales is short-sighted.

I need to regard the show as a ‘calling card’ for my work, for example creating site-specific projection can be propelled as a principle to other cities, places and communities.  I should think about how the show can leverage future commissions, i.e. the next project.  Thus, I need to list out who should be invited and also do an artist’s talk.

Documenting at the show will be a critical part of how to use it in the future even if key people cannot attend.  It is a step to building a reputation.  Think of the strategy through this means and beyond.  It is a spring-board.

The experience of designing a solution to the installation is a series of experimental moves and needs to be learned from and recorded.

Multi-Media

Develop a very clear strategy of using the chosen media;

Projection is impactful, about large-scale urban space and a contact to my professional background.  It is thus constrained by the gallery (its demands, expectations and dimensional limitations) so keep thinking beyond that space.

Think about using the archival material.

Fragments on the wall can be a method of display for the concrete tablets.

Do not over complicate the presentation.

Look at the circa 1870 book on the surface of the moon that was modelled in plaster, fig 1.  (The moon : considered as a planet, a world, and a satellite by Nasmyth, James Hall 1808-1890 Carpenter, James, 1840-1899)  Think of the aerial view of the city and the grid of maps/city planning.

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Figure 2

On Editing to date;

Think selectively what should be transferred to concrete. Can the series of circa 57 images (fig 2 shows 6 by way of example) be made into a zine and a small number selected for the concrete printing process?  Think about a web-based streaming of these images as well as the projection stream.

The concrete is a permanent embodying of the observation, a residue, a memoriam.

There is an anonymous blandness to the images.

Think about the concrete/zine/print/projection as a series of ‘carriers’ – for the images to be conveyed.

Look at etching one day.

All of this is the beginning of an artistic practice.  It is about art and architecture.

The fluency of the work will articulate more deeply and translate into solid and coherent practice.

References

Image from https://archive.org/details/moonconsideredas00nasmrich accessed 3. 4. 2018

Gallery Preliminary

Installation Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

 

Figures 1, 2

Following the success of my image transfer technique I packed my bags to have a meeting at Argentea Gallery with Jennie Anderson the owner.  I was armed with A2 prints, my concrete tablet, laptop with Madmapper loaded and a digital projector.

Medium One : Concrete

The first discussion was about the concrete tablet as a form.  The sample pair of images have an excess of film which we agreed under certain light is too obvious; however, my planned trials would trim potentially all excess film, leaving only the print and a margin of concrete.

We looked at how the sample tablet appeared under the pool of lighting, figures 1 and 2.  We had a long discussion about whether a ‘free-standing’ piece to support the planned series of tablets would work in the centre of the space.  We agreed to look at Ikea ‘postcard’ shelving on supports, plinths and wall mounts.  The latter is problematic as the walls cannot be significantly drilled into as they are tanked as it is a basement.  We agreed that the track lighting can be adjusted to create a pool of light in the middle of the space as a viable option.

We chose perhaps slightly prematurely, to discuss the value of the tablets, highlighting the uncertainty as to whether each piece is unique, as it is handmade concrete with a hand-mounted decal print, but, conversely, as the print is perfected each piece, assuming the same print file, would look very similar.  I have four sizes to contend with too.  Add to this the lack of being an ‘established artist’ and the work being effectively a student project, it may devalue the work or at least not elevate it. The other factor in the midst of this discussion is the wish on the gallerist’s and my own part to have a commercial angle.  We concluded that the age-old maxim applies, price too high and risk selling none or very few; price too low and one’s work may never be regarded as valuable in the future.  It is a topic I shall return to, also when I have done the maths on the gallery’s commission basis.

 

Figures 3, 4

Medium Two : Prints

The valuation of prints is a more established methodology and my editions of three each (regardless of size) have achieved sales in the last year between £300-600, framed.  We agreed that I would list out my limited edition frames print values.

I have a set of 6 prints (c-type on Kodak Endura paper) dry mounted, masked and framed with museum glass at A2 size, plus the mask/frame combination.  I took two of these to my meeting as a sample of this set.  Despite thinking and visualising dimensionally, I have yet to model the various medium onto the Sketchup drawing.  Hence, I was slightly surprised at how little wall space one A2 print consumed, fig 3.  We did usefully rehearse how the left-hand wall (on entry) could take 5 hung prints then the primary one from the set would be on an adjacent wall, fig 4 as the focal point upon entry into the space from the spiral stair in one corner.  It is likely to be the Roundhouse image shown here as it acts intriguingly at macro and micro viewing distances.  I was pleased with this decision.

The black frames and masks work very well on the mid-tone grey gallery walls.

We briefly talked about one or possibly two images I intend printing, unframed, that would provide the viewer with the opportunity to ‘extend’ the feeling of depth in the space.  These will be 2m high paper prints.

 

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Figure 5

 

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Figure 6

Medium Three : Projection

The final test was centred on demonstrating the principles of Mapmapper software.  I had preloaded two of my images – from the recent Great Hampton Street shoot, that Jennie had not seen; both showing light through and onto surfaces, thus I felt most appropriate for projection.  We mounted both the laptop and projector in one corner of the space, fig 6, and projected onto the walls in the opposite corner, fig 7.  I was able to demonstrate that the images could be manipulated on the screen to appear in the correct ratio as shot and meeting at the corner line of the walls.  This went down well.

We discussed which corner should be projected from, as I was concerned that the source beam, and thus glare of the projector, should not be the first thing you see as you enter the space.  The walls are a mid-tone grey, but the brightness of the projector overcame what I was thinking may cause a dulling colour cast to the images.  I was achieving the transformative strategy I envisaged.

The lights can be turned off in this space and it is suitably dark, thus maximising the impact of projected images.  Fig 8 shows the views into the projection space from the principal space.

Jennie was concerned about security and locating the laptop/projector driver in a safe place.

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Figure 7

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Figure 8

Conclusion

Overall I was pleased with this preliminary test of the three main media techniques. We discussed the potential for a short edition, hand-crafted zine and Jennie suggested that each cover be unique, thus emphasising the specialness of such an object.  She confirmed that she can execute card transactions on site.

Action Plan

I need to achieve the following;

1 To refine the concrete decal process to minimise film and work with the other, larger sized tablets.

2 To design a display solution from the options available for tablet display

3 A final edit of the prints from the set of six, and agree with the gallery.

4 Attach the hanging system to the rear of each frame.

5 To undertake further Madmapper tutorials and edit a stream of images

6 Develop the zine design for discussion at next gallery meeting

7 Consider laptop security during the show.

8 Find a source for printing 2m high paper prints.

Projection – Developing a Technique

Practice Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

In preparation for greater endeavours I have started using a demonstration version of Madmapper version 3.2.3 by GarageCube & 1024 Architecture along with a borrowed Optoma HD67 projector; this furthers my initial exploration.

IMG_1936

figure 1

I am fascinated by the concept of light entering the camera, then being emitted to create a new image that is impacted by the form, texture and angle of the imposed surface.  Taking this further I will be searching out precedents and techniques in a wider forum.

The imposition of an image onto planes and details was the first task I set myself, applying it at home in my principal domestic space (figs 2,3); I intended the outcome to be familiarisation with the software and how it interfaced with the projector.  I had already spent several hours watching and applying learning from Madmapper tutorials and those provided by Wesley Buskirk on YouTube.

 

figures 2,3

Day One

These are the results from my first ‘after dark’ trial on 9th March 2018.  I was pleased with the clarity and brightness, that is to say, the image reproduction; there is an obvious ‘lining’ effect on the images when viewed close up (e.g. fig 4).  I used my Roundhouse (2017) image of an ‘heroically shot’ plastic chair (fig 4), as it had high contrast and very clear structure.  What fascinated was the visual intersect of the ribbed image and the slatted form of the wooden shutters, illustrating the marriage of imagery and form. Figure 5 shows an internal corner projection with the shadow of objects and the reflection from both walls of the image from the glass frames. 

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figure 4

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Figure 5

Day Two

Here are the 10th March 2018 trial images.  This evening was primarily focused on manipulating the dimensional forms of paired images onto walls at home with the projector deliberately aimed at an angle, to emulate the potential to show dual images in the gallery installation onto internal or external corners. This involved positioning the images on the screen (fig 6) and then manipulating the frame in real time to accord with the eye’s view of the projected image (fig 7).  I learned how to create plural images that appeared dimensionally ‘correct’.

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Figures 6, 7

 

Figures 7, 8

I also tested an abstract image shot in Amsterdam (2017) onto a corner to deliberately distort and further disrupt the image, figs 7, 8.  I created a ‘virtual’ 3D cube in the software and pasted 3 images onto the surfaces then projected these, figs 9,10.

 

Figures 9, 10

The potential for creating a video within the projection stream is initally tested here, fig 11.

Figure 11

Next Steps

1 I will purchase the full version of Madmapper software with a view to buying a MiniMad hardware companion.

2 I need to understand how I transfer an edited stream of images onto MiniMad, to then connect into and drive a projector.

3 Test the equipment at Argentea Gallery with a view to going the final piece.

4 Search out a building in which I can run a parallel projection project at larger scale, to test the transformational concept.

Projection – Developing a Strategy

Practice Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

There is a need to analyse and contextualise my strategy to apply projection within my Final Major Project and its manifestation in the exhibition. It is my intention to create clarity for the viewer, as well as myself as the creator, to conjoin but have an experiential distinction between art framed conventionally, art as concrete form, objects as record and projection.

Within the Pause Project, there is inevitably an opportunity to see sub-sets of images that could be denoted in a multitude of ways, for example by building use, interior/exterior, surfaces, marks, remnants and so on. There are however numerous images that cluster into a veiled view, through windows, some of which are so obscured it as if one is looking ‘at’ a window, or through a fabric; all of which hint at spaces and a presence of life beyond – a form of translucently.  This led me to ponder the strategy of showing on a suspended screen, to emulate a ‘view through’, that would invite the viewer to gaze at the stream of related images on the projected surface, from all angles, such as Edmund Clark’s ‘In Place of Hate’ (Ikon Gallery 2018) figs 1-7. This show largely utilises bed sheets suspended from the gallery ceiling, six in total.

figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

I am however enticed to consider an alternative, or additional, strategy; projection onto walls.  Whilst this may seem a simple notion, it has a conceptual shift, as there is an implication of both sculpture and transformation. Lucy Reynolds in her Tate Etc article Experimental fields of Light and Shadow describes the progress of multimedia art” occurring outside the auditorium, among the freely moving audiences of alternative art spaces and artists’ studios during the 1960s and 1970s, projection was being reinstated as a visible component of interdisciplinary art practices, finding new potential at the confluence of performance, sculpture and installation.” On reading this I foresee the architectural forms of the gallery, and indeed other planned experiments in wider spaces, as the three-dimensional surface that can be projected onto, i.e. a sculptural opportunity.  The choice of projected images provides a fertile opportunity to transform and thus modify the viewer’s perspective of the architecture and its enveloping space.  Taking this beyond the gallery has significant potential. There needs to be a dual understanding of the dimensions and juxtaposition of the wall planes as well as the imagery and its precise projection.

figures 8, 9

Cotton, (2015: 41) in her chapter If This is Art, cites Georges Rousse who works within disused architectural spaces, meticulously crafts an image almost in reverse, thus applying Wall’s maxim of a farmed tableau, by setting up a viewpoint from a fixed camera point, then manipulating the space through the application of surface treatments such as paint to create a shape that only defines itself from the fixed viewpoint that is then recorded on camera. Cotton,“Rousse’s act is about making a discrete table within a physical space, crafting another dimension into the picture plane.” These two stills, fig 8, 9, from the short film about Georges Rousse and his Loin Cafe work show the finished star form obliquely and as captured by his camera at the final stage.  The Herculean effort that is invested into Rousse’s image making is no less than the scale and management that Gregory Crewdson commands. My strategy will be conceptually different (involving the temporal projection onto three-dimensional surfaces and then recaptured images to record the effect) however, I cite Georges Rousse for his interventions into disused space and his ability to challenge visual perception in doing so.

Conclusion

Through judicious editing, I have the opportunity to think sculpturally, and thus three-dimensionally, about the projection onto surfaces that, if successful, will offer a rethinking and temporally reconfiguring of spaces in both the gallery context and beyond.  It is a demanding surface to work on and the technology needs to be harnessed to perfect the construct of this form of display. 

There is also an opportunity to position the imagery as a memoriam to past existence of space and place.

I will be drawing out further research and experimentation as the project matures.

References

Reynolds L. 11 May 2012. Light projections in The Tanks. Tate Etc (accessed 4.2.2018) Tate Etc. issue 25: Summer 2012

Cotton C.  2015. The Photograph as Contemporary Art. London. Thames and Hudson

List of Figures

fig 1 – 7  Philip Singleton, February 2018. Edmund Clark exhibition, Ikon Gallery, (accessed 4.3.2018) Gallery front page:  https://www.ikon-gallery.org/

fig 8, 9 from Documentary / Georges Rousse Art Project in Miyagi(accessed 4.3.2018) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSQtrKtdYEg 

 

Image display : A Review

As part of the Informing Contexts Module at Falmouth University we have considered the status of the image and how it is consumed.

This is a review of display methodologies from Format, the Derby (UK) based, biannual photo festival 2017, visited on 8th April 2017

This year’s Format theme was Habitat.  I was able to to visit seven venues.  The festival ran from from 24 March to 23 April.  The scale, light conditions, fabric, lighting and environment varied hugely across the whole city. Image viewing aside, it was a very positive opportunity to visit so many venues in one visit including buildings that are not normally open to the public.  All areas were free to visit with the exception of the Cathedral tower which was a timed booking for  a small fee of £1.

As part of my practice I am considering constantly the scale and medium in which to display my work and the successes and pitfalls of display extremely useful way of gaining a deeper appreciation of the curator/director’s role and challenge.

I carried around with me a small camera on the day, this is a series of images chosen because they illustrate the numerous aspects of image exhibition.  Images are all my own with the exception of figure 6 which is from my colleague Chris Northey.

Projection

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figures 1, 2, 3

Figure 1 was at Quad,  this end of the gallery was blacked out which provided the right environment for both the floor standing and suspended screens, to create maximum impact.  The suspended projectors threw an image slightly wider than each screen to create a completely lit panel, the overspill light was lost into black fabric behind.  The two screens worked in syncronicity with a blend of video and stills.

Figure 2, also at Quad, was a conventional wall projection, it was possible to pass in front of the image as it was a closer ‘walk’ than figure 1.  Both figures 1 and 2 were strong and successful.

Figure 3 was in an old, disused school venue known as Pearson. The projector was at ankle level and the angled screens were approx 1m high and floor standing.  A half sphere was placed in front, to emulate a human eye.  A more intimate project. Engaging and successful.

Outdoor

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figures 4,5,6

An engaging installation into Cathedral Green featuring work in 5-sided back-lit boxes (of differing heights) as well as a series of horizontal panels set into the walkable grid, some 150mm above the normal grade.  The work viewed at night is especially dynamic and the quality of the transparency prints was very high and consistent.  As far as on could tell this piece was being viewed by festival goers as well as passers by. It was commissioned by Format and First Art and captured images locally as well as from international artists.  This was particularly of interest as I am hoping to work on a project as a permanent installation in Birmingham.

Reflections

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figures 7,8,9

Simply to show the difficulty of working with glazed frames and overhead lights not installed for display, in these instances from stairwell lighting and windows opposite (figure 8).

Using the Space

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figures 10,11,12,13

These images demonstrate the diversity of spaces and responses in Pearson building. Figure 10 illustrates a tower of interlocking, card mounted images.  Figure 11 board mounted prints mounted off the wall to create a shadow gap away from the wall surface; a counterpoint of highly refined images and the cracked and neglected wall surfaces. Figure 12 neatly shows a through colour acrylic sheet with image printed onto the outer surface and then suspended in front of another image on an mdf shelf.  Figure 13 provides a whole room view of two wide screens made from OSB board painted on some surfaces and left raw on others (one assumes a curatorial device to set off each type of image group).  The tall space and the related windows were masked to prevent too much light spillage into the space.  The lower portion of windows was utilised for naturally back-lit images.

Hanging Sheets

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figures 14,15

Figure 14 was taken in Pearson Building and showed a composite image printed onto translucent sheet, with excess unprinted areas above and below ingeniously used to frame the image and mask the frame beyond and also provide a high level suspension. Figure 15 was from Pickford’s House (part of the Derby municipal museum group) and simply used the main trusses passing through the space as a rail to suspend large fabric drapes with images printed upon them as an intervention across the centre of the main upstairs space.

Striking Backgrounds

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figures 16,17,18

Figures 16 and 17 were found in Quad. 16 uses a repetitive image pasted across the screen wall to act as a vibrant backdrop to a line of high colour production prints (red framed!).  17 shows a paper print pinned to a panel of timber; a slightly distracting backdrop as it did not bear a reflection of the image (as 16 clearly does) and I made the assumption that it was used to create a suitable surface for pinning a number of prints.

Figure 18 is a simple freestanding screen which acts as the pinning surface for a series of 8 images which were actually printed on a single roll of paper.

Links

Main website http://www.formatfestival.com/

BJP Review http://www.bjp-online.com/2017/03/format-festival-the-low-down/

ends