I recently found this photo and it got me thinking about the situation of installing Digital Art. I mentioned Discontinuum in an earlier post about the background of Ocean of light, things moved so fast since then that some times interesting Ideas get left behind or on the kerb. Its definately a concept worth revisiting.
This particular Installation was an odd experience, setting up a digital art work in a catholic church in Engien les Bains in Paris, where Amelie was supposedly set. After you have left these locations sometimes you forget all the time spent with your head buried in code or working out the logistics in the strangest of locations. The installation invoked a lot which i wasn’t expecting. We’ve set up a ton of these things but for some reason setting up in a church changed the landscape somewhat despite our tendency to remain objective about our work. It was a digital Art festival called Bain Numerique, 2009, more about it on the squidsoup blog. Discontiuum as an interactive piece is quite straightforward, your image is taken and played back to you fragmented over time and space through the physicality of the LED grid, the location in this instance did distort the project. Not a big fan of churches, and our presence there seemed to get a mixed reaction. Most people, in general, were intrigued, but a few found our presence bit challenging which at times left me feeling a little at a loose end attempting to justify in French what we were doing, when I can hardly find the words to justify any of this in English. We found ourselves asking questions that we rarely ask, as they are not so relevant to our process. This resulted in taking a more figurative/narrative route by including recognisable imagery from the stained glass within the church. It helped this potentially invasive technological instrument seem more compliant to its traditional and visually established environment.
As usual we had other things to think about, we also had to set up a trio of ghosts using the French character set. After a load of baguettes, some loss of patience and a bit of over priced beer, we got it all ready in time for the show. It was all such a whirlwind I had almost forgotton about it all until more recenly browsing through iPhoto. When the event happened ite surprised us how many people were there. This was mainly due to the antics of body>data>space that led a gathering through out most of the exhibits across Engien and generally contributed to the overall madness.
Here is the video Ant put together for Discontinuum:
Discontinuum derived from on of our experiments from the previous year when we had spent an intensive weekend in the foyer of the TechnoPark in Zurich with the sole purpose of seeing what visual, spacial and aesthetic qualities we could achieve with the Baby Nova. One of the routes we took, that we were keen to explore further, was reconfiguring a realtime image from a webcam into the cubes space, where I created a virtual representation of the cube and from it’s 3d images mapped the pixel colours of the realtime image to the locations of the LEDs. I wasn’t t really sure what to call this process, but it was suggested that the image was being projected onto the cube, which is kind of true in a virtual and conceptual sense, but considering each LED “projects” it’s own light outwards rather than being projected upon this is an interesting paradox. A kind of virtual/real space inverse projection. Considering all the work we had done with interactive virtual 3d and stereoscopic projections to this point, it certainly felt like we were moving in the right direction.
in this particular installation we took still imagery from the church, mainly the amazing stain glass windows and intermittently inverse projected them from various angles stopping at the angle where the camera input originated.