I’ve continued playing with projectors on the surfaces of architectural designs. (In Blender). As I’m trying to texturise 3d Models with online media (most likely screen captured videos of news channels), I’ve been testing its potential. These are the second round.
I’ve been looking for a way to do this for some time and FINALLY have made some headway. I’ve wanted to re-create the effects of a projector within Blender. These, as many of my tests are, are very simple and have no conceptual framework. These is proof of process and essential for me to look back at how my skills in this area have progressed.
Looking at the work I’ve done throughout the MA, the impact of the screen and device on the user is an essential element. This interaction between you the physical and what the device presents, the digital has been a perfect example of the imbalance between these polar opposites. I felt that I best achieved this through my work at Digital Meze, especially as it seemed to sum up a lot of images I had created beforehand that focused on the user and the television, or computer monitor.
‘Monitor’ projected a live stream of BBC News into an altered CRT Television to highlight the complexity of misinformation in the news. Using live news feeds in my work has been an interest of mine for some time, and although this conceptually worked, however the way in which it was presented through ‘Monitor’ wasn’t quite what I’d hoped.
In these tests, I’ve textured spot lights with images and increased the emission value to create the effect. I’ve tested this with screen captured videos of live news feeds but the render time is slow, and will take a while to display the examples. Whether its possible to stream a live news feed within this is not yet known but it feels as if its a crucial step to execute further work.
BLENDER’s CYCLES, UNITY + THREE.JS:
483 Lines is the latest installation by Seoul based studio Kimchi and Chips (Elliot Woods and Mimi Son) and is comprised of 483 nylon threads with projections calibrated in 3D to the 16m threads using Rulr, an open source node-based toolkit developed by the studio.
From World War II up until the recent end of analogue broadcasts, decades of living imagery had been constructed using the NTSC standard. This standard represents a moving image frame as 483 lines of modulated light stacked from the top to the bottom of a television screen, within each line there is an analogue continuum, like the groove on a record player. From Nam Jun Paik to the moon landings, pictures were being represented, archived and seen within this format, until the line made way for the pixel and the digital video revolution.
The artwork 483 lines magnifies this analogue video picture until it is 16 meters wide, and then folds this image several times so that it fits vertically into the gallery space, therein adding oscillations of depth into the image which can be activated by ‘tuning’ the projected video to match these waves.
The strictly arranged lines can be illusionary, creating a confusing architecture of horizons, whilst the video played through it displays a parallel past, present and future.
The installation is comprised of laser cut alignment sheets at each end with 2kg of tension on each string (1tonne total). The team used a pulley and a 2kg weight to tension each. Once the team finalised the 3d arrangement, they do a 3d calibration of the projectors to those strings and a 3D edge blend. Rulr allow users to create patches of nodes to calibrate cameras, projectors, tracking systems and other devices. 483 Lines was designed so that the projector would have to be in specific exact positions and angles. Unfortunately this was proving to be impossible so instead by aligning projected pixels to strings, Elliot and Mimi can figure out 4 degrees of freedom. The final 2 degrees are solved by measuring where along the string the projected pixel is landing.
Rulr was made using C++, on top of openFrameworks and runs as a standalone app in in Windows and OSX. It is currently in pre-release state aimed for release later this year. If you are interested in beta testing the software, try catching one of their workshops – next one is up in Amsterdam, part of Coded Matters series ran by FIBER.
written by Filip Visnjic, Creative Applications
Interview from the Gallery Text:
Dorine van Meel, the fourth recipient of the Nina Stewart Residency in conversation with Margot Heller, Director of the South London Gallery.
Margot: You’ve been in residence in our Outset artists’ flat next door for the past few months, but to what degree has that context had an impact on the work you’ve produced for the exhibition?
Dorine: All the works have been made during my stay, and the texts reflect directly on the enviornment I found myself in. Visitors might recognise specific details when listening to the narrators. Daily observations are mixed with reflections on books I was reading at the time – mainly biographies of female artists and revolutionaries, as well as feminist theory – and conversations I had with my female friends about the end of the world, the desire for a future, or the films of Agnes Varda.
M: Your interest in feminism has been manifest in all your work to dat. Where does that stem from and why do you think it’s particularly relevant today?
D: I arrived in London from Amsterdam at the same time as the economic crisis so I immediately joined the discussions about the presumed impossibility of an alternative to capitalism or an outsider perspective – against the backdrop of a postmodern worldview in which grand narratives are dead. To me however, neither irony nor cynicism are productive positions. In my understanding, feminism can open up a space in which to imagine the world differently, and invites us to act differently within the world as we find it. The relatively recent history of feminism not only shows us that even the most deeply rooted behavioural patterns are subject to change, but that change within society can come from unexpected corners. My research into feminisim also opened up new connections to my grandmother and mother, and their silent struggles, as well as to female artists from the past, like the painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, whose writing I refer to in the work.
M: The exhibition title, Between the Dog and the Wolf, is drawn from that research, and chimes with references to duality which permeate the show through the voices, scripts and imagery, as well as in the way they are presented in the gallery spaces. What’s the source of the phrase and how did you come to choose it?
D: In her essay, Woolf’s Darkness: Embracing the Inexplicable, the American writer Rebecca Solnit mentions a French expression used to refer to the twilight: ‘entre le chien et le loup’/ I understand it as the moment the night starts its battle with the day, the moment one is no longer able to distinguish the dog from the wofl, when the civilised foregrounds its savage side. If one thinks of the dog and wolf as one creature, the title of the show reads as an internal dialogue between its dual sides. It resonates with my rejection of the idea that any single subject can exist in isolation because we are formed of many. Helene Cixous, the French feminist writer, says it best: “Our customers demand simplicity. You are always full of doubles, we can’t count on you, there is otherness in your sameness.’
M: The scripts you’ve written are both puzzling and captivating, like a stream of consciousness in which disconnected observations, reflections and ideas somehow manage to flow thanks to the rhythm of the language, recurring imagery and momentary glimpses of cycles of thought. The words: ‘this was before the internet, and at bedtime I tell him dragons don’t exist, fear the real world instead’, prompt an association between the fragmentation embodied in your script with a navigation of a digitally mediated world. This is reinforced by the imagery of the projections, which equally seem to portray a dream-like or meditative state of mind. The words themselves are poetic and I’m intrigued to know how far they, and your work more broadly, embrace a sense of nostalgia for a pre-internet existence?
D: I find that a difficult question, nostalgia implies a longing for the past which it might falsely romanticise. I guess the strawberry iMac and the pre-internet reference locate the subject very precisely in the early nineties, a time in which images could still get lost or forgotten. I was a teenager when the internet entered our homes and many of my childhood memories are coloured by the digital forests and desolated hotel lobbies of computer games like Myst and Labyrinths of Time. I believe there is still an offline world out there, although one might need to force those encounters more consciously than one did in a pre-internet era.
Arduino / LEDs Test:
1. LED A to B when sensor is activated.
2. LEDs brighten as distance sensor is activated.
3. Reflective Background, LED shines through Prototype cutout.
4. Blocking projection light and successful back projection.
My first tutorial we discussed my aims, objectives and general themes of my project. Although there are many creases still to iron out, my project will revolve around the themes of identity, media creation/consumption, and virtual space.
We discussed potential techniques. One of which I certainly intend to carry out. I’m looking to create multi-media cityscapes, and therefore am interested in including elements of light and maybe even sound. For the lighting, we talked about the possibility of setting a variety of different coloured LEDs in molten wax casts. Given that glass’s melting temperature is much higher than wax, hopefully the heat will have no effect on the lights….. Though I will have to wait and see. I’m aiming to carry out this test as soon as possible and therefore have a few things to put on the shopping list. Including: An Arduino, LEDs, Wax and an Ice cube tray.
Moving on, we talked about the hilarity of media consumption, specifically within the news. How can, what should be the most delicate information, be broadcast as entertainment across the world. I am no angel with this and certainly have fallen into the trap of watching the news daily, but after a while I can’t help but think that much of it is a gross exploitation of sensitive information. Of course there are fantastic news stories, and necessary information must be broadcast, though it is the manner at which different broadcasters curb these stories to either satisfy their own views, or the views of their audience. And thens there’s the question of ratings…
This can be nicely exemplified by Sky News’s new Conflict tab on their iPad app or the way in which they advertised for Oscar Pistorius’s Sentencing. There’s no doubt that many people across the world have found Oscar’s case both abhorrent and, for the fact that it was broadcast, incredibly captivating, but his sentencing is not Christopher Nolan’s most recent release, and in fact stars no actors, but still they insist on editing their advert as if they’re selling tickets at the cinema. The moody strings and dramatic cuts to slow motion shots of Oscar as he listens to his fate resembles the sort of editing technique that would be used in almost every Oscar nominated trailer.
We discussed my interest in embedding BBC news live into a painting of a family in their living room. It aims to highlight the growing issue of daily news consumption and it’s effects on it’s audience. In this piece, I aim to mirror project the live images onto a canvas. In the gallery, I’m focused on it’s first impressions, whether the audience take it for what they came to see, art, or whether they begin to use it as another information point. Including live data and media into artworks is something I will look into doing. Another idea is to include the live tide times, weather reports into work, however I’m keeping these on the back burner, as I’m not quite sure how i’d approach it yet.
All in all, the tutorial went well. We talked about a range of topics that loosely bared some importance to my project proposal, as well as some techniques in executing them.
A great day!