Projectors are just cool. I am sure there is a more intellectual to express my love for projectors but often simple is best and my love is very simple in nature. I love light being thrown and caught to create a non material image. Whether it is a film, still images, or some variation being projected there is a little part of me that is drawn to the process. As one might expect this leads to myself having an interest, well more admiration for projection mapping. This first and sadly only time I have been witness to full projection mapping was during the summer of 2014 in San Antonio, Texas when I went to a local cathedral to watch the history of the city told through projected light and lasers. The result was a fluid and enthralling fifteen or so minutes that transfigured the building in front of me into countless images capturing San Antonio through the decades. This automatically had me thinking of the potential for epics thrown across Nashville’s Parthenon or short narratives crafted with laser for the side of a uniquely shaped building. There hasn’t been much work done with this yet but I see amazing potential for a special niche or narrative, art, and entertainment.
Another exposure to projection mapping is the work of the music duo Pomplamoose. Pomplamoose began online crafted very clever covers and original songs housed in what they dubbed as VideoSongs, a genre of music video influenced by the film movement Dogma 95. When they began writing their second and third albums they abandoned VideoSongs for more stylized videos with many featuring single take projection mapping done in there basement. These video (which I’ll link down below) not only expanded the projection value of their videos by simply putting time into scoping out the set but also started to craft a visual idea of false identity within their videos. The singer, Nataly Dawn, and musician, Jack Conti, are shown side by side and in contrast with projected versions of themselves who are often more stylized whether by looking completely alien or by simply being shown as rock stars with their instruments. Even though they have now moved away from projection mapping their videos still carry to desillusionment between the performers we know to be “normal” and the performers as they adopt costumes and personas. This disconnect between truth and character is a reflection of many music videos that place the familiar musician as something they are not aka Micheal Jackson as a zombie/werewolf; but Pomplamooses videos did this before creating full narrative music videos which provides an interest context for those narratives. Of course we know the king of pop is not a were wolf but the video is not aware of that where in Pomplamoose they address it through their motifs and tradition.
Projection mapping has a lot of potential across multiple platforms. Use in both live and recorded form shows immense promise. All we need is creators with the time and dedication to apply themselves to the new art form. Even if you do not have the money to show a exhibition on a building even a simple projector can create an amazing experience.
San Antonio Projection:
Pomplamoose Projection Music Videos: