Sunday, May 11, 2014

MDDN 314: Concepts & New Blood

So, the new project that I'm working on is a projection-based project. The idea is that we construct a "space" on which we project something. The projection should complement or express the physicality of the projection surface, or it could play with what the projection surface is made of.

I decided to very much express what the projection surface is made of. The other day, I was playing around with fabric in front of the window, and noticed that the light coming through from the sun was making the fabric glow in a really interesting way. Thinking ahead to projecting, I then decided that the projector could do an even better job at this than the sun, because of the dynamic nature and potential of projectors.

After considering the potential of the fabric, I decided what could make it even better would be to make the form of the fabric much more expressive. Rather than make it a dynamic entity which could be re-shaped and toyed with at will, I want to make it look very dynamic, as if it had been frozen in time, but actually make the form itself very static. The reason for this is that then the digital aspect of the projection can make the form seem far more fluid and dynamic than it really is.

I really want to harmonise the digital/analogue connection in this piece. Rather than making it all one or all the other, creating a unique harmonisation where rather than the normal analogue impacting the digital (buttons, knobs, dials, movement), I want to invert that concept. The best, most interactive way to present the digital was, in my mind, to have the projector projecting upwards as if onto the underside of a table. In stead of a table however, I propose to have a stiffened and formed piece of fabric. Above is the way I had to sit to projector to get it to do what I wanted!

This was the result. I was astounded by the effect it produced. The fabric glowed with a fairly high intensity, but not so bright as to blind. It actually felt extremely ethereal in the middle of my dark room, and had a "magic treasure chest" feel to it. It felt like something that was almost psycho-religious in a way.

To project onto the fabric, I wrote up a piece of processing code that made a whole bunch of triangles with shared vertices. I then had the shared vertices move around at different rates, creating an undulating triangular grid of different colours. If I had had more time, I would have tried to map some of the shared vertices to the "peaks" and "ridges" that I created in the fabric landscape.

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