The project was initiated by Jason Richardson in his role as curator of the Griffith Pioneer Park Museum in Griffith New South Wales Australia. Jason approached Scott Baker in his role as Abre Ojos, an audiovisual artist, to collaborate on a projection mapping workshop to be run at the Park in-conjunction with the Griffith International Sculpture Symposium.
The long weekend in June 2016 was chosen as that enable two full nights of working on site to develop work and train the workshop participants.
There were many email and phone conversations around how this was going to play out with limitations such as time, the unknowns of the workshop participants skills levels and how the technology would work in the environment. It was decided to draw on both Jason and Scott’s significant back catalogue of audio-visual content to work with for the weekend. Jason is a regular participant in the Disquiet Junto project as well as audiovisual output as Bassling. Scott has been working on the audiovisual Abre Ojos project for ten years and as such has a broad collection of video clips, audio reactive generative animations and other content to draw on.
A comparison to an athletics meet where a runner trains to be ready for the big race whatever the conditions is a fair metaphor in this situation. With so many unknowns and a limited amount of time, the years of combined experience made us confident we could make something happen.
An email from Scott on the 18th May brought the project structure together:
Projectors:2 X EB-1751 Epson projectors – 2600 lumens1 X Unknown but about 2000 lumensComputers:Scott’s MBP – Yosemite 10.10.5 running Resolume Avenue, Adobe CC, Lumen, HeavyM, VPT, Ableton Live, Maschine, Komplete, Arturia Synth pack.Jason’s MBP – Yosemite running VPT.Cables & Connectors15m VGA cable20m VGA cable5m VGA cableVGA Splitter – 1 source to 2 outputs (good for mirror projecting)Male>Female & Female>Male VGA connectors4 X 20m extension leads3 X 6 output power boards1 X Safety switch 4 output electrical power box2 X 5m stereo 1/4 cables4 X 1m 1/4 cablesControllers2 X Korg Nanokontrols USB1 Evolution X-Session USB/Midi1 X Beatstep Pro USB1 X Maschine Mk1 USBContent220+ Abre Ojos video clips and loops150+ Abre Ojos audio samplesBassling video clips and loopsBassling audio samplesSo the idea would be to set up “creation stations” where we match systems (laptop with audio-visual tools, projector, controllers, audio output (chat about this in a minute)) then the participants, in teams, each build an audiovisual piece for a sculpture of their choice. Everything is done in the box so the software tools we require will have to cover the content generation for both audio and vision.Creation Station IngredientsAudio creation tools – either software on the laptop or even an iPad with a range of audio tools.Video creation tools – using either provided (Abre Ojos & Bassling) content or a content generator (After Effects, Lumen, Resolume – or other free or cheap generators)Video projection tools – HeavyM free or HeavyM Live, VPT (free) or MapMap (free)Audio Output – small PA or amplifierVideo Output – projectorUSB or MIDI Controller for both live audio and video performanceMisc cables, connectors and power leads to make it all work.Each station should also have a large tarpaulin (I have one, you got any? The park or the council have any?)Torches/lanternsA table (card table, trestle table)Roll of gaffa tape and some cable ties ;-PEither you and I can be a team or we split up or rotate thru the groups (or all of the above) helping out with the audio &/or video aspect. Then hopefully in the time we have there are a number of completed pieces that we can then document indivdually and as a whole installation. Day 2 would be either doing the sculptures we didn’t get to one day 1 or refining the existing pieces.Audio output*1 X Behringer Europort EPA150 small portable PA*This is the only hitch- what have you got that could generate sounds- even a bass/guitar amp(s) would be awesome. How ever many audio output devices can be sourced will dictate how many “creation stations” there are and thus how many sculptures we can do at each time. Once each one is done we could do a live jam and document that as a mini performance.
Three of Seven – River – HeavyM had a bug on the Mac where it wouldn’t activate the single video layer no matter what we tried. We moved to using VPT which is an amazing FREE(!) video mapping tool. It allowed not only multiple video layers but also allows Syphon inputs meaning that we could load video into some of the mapped sections and feed a live stream from Resolume into it as well. VPT’s interface is a bit counter-intuitive but once the basics are understood and you save your masks it is a fabulous tool! Using Resolume meant that there was full midi control and audio reactive animations could be used. Out of all the sculptures the process for this one flowed the best.
Four of Seven – Water is the Driver of Nature – Jason did this one all by himself using VPT. He had a number of processed video clips that he had shot with an underwater camera at the local pool that he used for the content. We recorded a chunk of video of Jason changing clips live on the sculpture but did not use live audio for this one. Jason provided a track he had previously made for Disquiet Junto which was added to the video in post-production.