Part of a touring exhibition Umea was a series of light and ice installations meant to introduce the Swedish culture around Europe . This piece specifically was a large structure made of 48 tons of ice cubes with a light projection mapping designs that reflected the Northern lights. This piece is specifically designed and created to promote the Umea cultural society, by bringing the “Northern lights to Cities across Europe”. The use of ice as a pixel screen is a really creative system. This not only allows people on the exterior of the structure to view the light display, and glimpses of the interior, but creates an immersive space within the ice structure itself, transporting people to the northern sky.
This fits with Colangelo’s themes in the trans-local sense, as people are encouraged to take photos and share the experience with those who have interacted with it in different cities, as the focus is on an international cultural sharing experience. This piece is also large and visible in scale not only to an observer, but also in that the public can interact with the entire space, from exterior to interior.
Project Blinkenlights was a light installation in the Haus des Lehreres building at the Alexanderplatz in Berlin that transformed the building front into a giant low-resolution monochrome computer screen. The installation was created by the German Chaos Computer Club and went online on September 11, 2001.
The project fits in Colangelo’s framework in the following ways:
The project is very large scale, and transforms online massive media into public facing messages in the physical world.
The project gives control of a public space to the mass public instead of any particular authority. People are able to interact with the system in many ways through mobile device. Some novel uses of the screen are for people to call a number, play Pong or send animations for display.
The messages displayed on the building facade are the continuous representations of the project’s ability to connect space, technology and people. The mass public are able to engage with each other through either direct interaction or emotional resonance from distance.
The generative video for LED media facade of Rockheim (Norway’s national museum of pop and rock), Trondheim. The facade is a relatively low resolution but wraps around the “box” in all directions with varying pixel density.
The “box” design of Norway’s National Museum of Rock and Pop Music was inspired by the museums’ collection. Photorealistic images of album covers of Norwegian music are printed across hundreds of panels of glass.
The interesting part of this is that the outer shell of the box sort of represent the inner atmosphere of the museum. And From the outside view, the “box” coordinates with the building pretty well. The old looking museum forms an obvious contrast to the modern-looking box.
Dan McCafferty, Patricio Davila, Symon Oliver, Jessica Leong, Jan Hadlaw
Nuit Blanche, Toronto Public Library Parkdale Branch, Toronto, Canada
This display by the above artists was created by the Public Visualizations Studio mentioned in the interview with Colangelo. It engages residents of Toronto’s Parkdale, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, to share their vision of what Parkdale’s future could be and to learn new media tools at the local library themselves.
This takes Colangelo’s sense of public engagement to another level. It publicly faces an alley the works created were projected on the library during Nuit Blanche. (Toronto’s is in October. Lame. I know. Montreal’s in Februrary: a true Nuit Blanche, non?).
Full disclosure, I walked by that library every day during this period and often went in and had no idea this was happening…
Light House: 888 Collins is a full facade lighting installation by Ramus Illumination. The project uses light as a communicative device about weather data. The lights illuminate real-time weather data as well as forecast the weather for the next data every hour. Lighting animations display different weather conditions: wind causes the lights animation to ripple radially, rain causes a vertical animation, etc. Essentially changes in the weather conditions are shown on the facade.
I think this piece lends itself to Colangelo’s ideas about massive media because of its scale, prominence on a major street corner, visibility, and it engages media from an outside, changing data feed (the Bureau of Meteorology). The project misses the concept of being “trans-local” but I think it would be easy to incorporate if there was a way for online users to change the location which weather is being broadcast from and if the facade could be live-streamed as an abstract weather data source.
Interactive Art Installation for LAX by Moment Factory
Montreal-based media and entertainment studio Moment Factory created seven interactive capsules based installation inspired by the romance of travel and the importance of passenger experience for Los Angeles International Airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal.
Using motion design, live-action film-making, 3D animation, architectural design and other forms of media-making, a few Moment Factory’s seven capsules include a multimedia “Welcome Wall” for arriving passengers, a “Bon Voyage
Wall” for those departing, and two Portals that respond to real-time arrival and departure data for 16 countries, as well as the physical movements of individual travelers. The terminal’s focal point is the 72-foot Time Tower, a real time clock built around the terminal’s main elevators with a motion sensitive interactive surface composed of 6,480 square feet of LED surface. Depending on the time of day, the physical movements of individual travelers will trigger the Time Tower to respond with corresponding media capsules and seemingly shift its architectural form. At every hour, for example, the Time Tower will shift to Dance Time , a Busby Berkeley inspired capsule in which travelers are given a glimpse into the inner-workings of the tower, revealing a fleet of glamorous dancers gracefully twirling the clock’s gears in perfect time.
The idea here was to give the travelling passengers an emotional and visceral experience by using media that transcends the floating, almost ephemeral experience of an airport and the corresponding architecture by anchoring the travelers in this place while still respecting their experience of being at an airport.
Body Movies, created by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael
Lozano-Hemmer, aims to transform public space with interactive projections ranging between 400 and 1,800 square meters, depending on sites in different cities.
Thousands of photographic portraits were taken ahead of time in the host city, and are shown using robotically controlled projectors. However, the portraits only become clearly visible inside the projected shadows of the passers-by, whose silhouettes can measure between two and twenty-five meters depending on how close or far away they are from the powerful light sources positioned on the ground. A video surveillance tracking system triggers new portraits when all the existing ones have been revealed, inviting the public to occupy new narratives of representation.
This project precisely represents Colangelo’s view on “media abound in these agglomerations of space, technology, and people”, and become “connective tissue that allows us to communicate with one another and our environment in unprecedented ways”. The installation invites viewers to actively interact with the projection by only revealing details when a viewer’s shadow is overlayed onto projected images. It creates intimacy and connection between individuals and also broadcasts the message to a larger community because its massive volume and high visibility.
21 Obstacles was an interactive game projected on the Promenade des Artistes in Montreal.
Created by Daily tous les jours (the same studio that created McLarena,) 21 invited passersby to play the game using their mobile phones to control a ball through obstacles. The obstacles were controlled by a second installation – 21 Swings – which was composed of a series of swings that anyone could ride on. Each swing had the additional component of being tied to a single piano key, so multiple swingers could create an interactive musical number.
The entire installation embodies Colangelo’s vision of massive media not only due to scale, but because of the layered interactions in a public space. The projection made the building performative outside of its mundane existence as an office building. The dueling installations also created a fun, competitive relationship between strangers on phones vs. swings that made public participation in the urban environment inviting.
I’ve always found the architecture and engineering of bridges to be both beautiful and facinating. After reading Colangelo’s piece and entering into an internet click hole, I choose this piece by Moment Factory. This data display uses the existing structure of the bridge to bring to life urban data from social media in Montreal. This project highlights the “collectivity” aspect of massive media, the virtue of physical and networked visibility, “collectivity remains part of the magic of public space: that we experience the same thing at the same time and can sense one another doing so too.”
“As cities and their citizens become increasingly nocturnal we have to think about tactics that architects, artists, and lighting designers are using to create buildings that maximize both their day and night-time functions? Hint: slapping a big rectangular, opaque screen on the side of a building is not the answer!” – Colangelo
The GreenPIX Zero Energy Media Wall in Beijing is a giant glass curtain wall containing the largest color LED display worldwide as well as the first glass integrated photovoltaic system in China. The wall contains a large-scale display made up of 2,292 color (RGB) LEDs light points and is comparable to a 24,000 sq. ft low resolution monitor screen. The wall harvests energy during the day with glass solar panels and using that same energy after sunset to light the facade.
This wall is the first public digital art space in the heart of Beijing, and it was created with the hope to encourage a new generation of media artists to create site specific and socially relevant projects that could be displayed at this scale in the city. The low resolution of the wall’s LED pixels contrasts directly with the high resolution commercial scale screens and imagery that is seen constantly in big cities like Beijing and around the world.
According to Colangelo’s framework, a wall like this can allow for new media artists to engage with the urban fabric of the big city and its citizens as the audience. Ultimately the wall itself makes a statement about the crowding of modern cities with so many smaller high resolution, high energy commercial displays by countering them with a grand monolithic, low-res display that allows artists to play with transparency and saturation to abstract their works.