Lighting up an entire town with projection mapping is no small feat, but that’s exactly what Digital Graffiti accomplishes annually. The festival, which took place May 18-20 in Alys Beach, Florida, brought together artists from around the world to light up this small town with spectacular projection mapping. Christie® sponsored this festival for a second year running, providing both the projection technology and Christie Pandoras Box media servers for artists’ use.
Artists exhibiting at the festival include John Colette, Professor of Motion Media Design, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), who participated with his students and as an Artist in Residence. Using Christie M Series projectors, Colette and 20 students from SCAD lit up walls throughout Alys Beach. Emilia Forstreuter, a visual artist and freelance motion designer, who has been a multi-year finalist at Digital Graffiti, used two Christie Boxer projectors for her installation at Caliza Court.
Colette says of projection mapping that, “It’s a growing area of practice that touches a lot of other areas like architecture and themed entertainment. There are so many applications of this technology, and Digital Graffiti is a great example of this being brought together in a very pragmatic yet also creative way. Every year it’s a kind of laboratory for seeing what you can do in this context and watching people in a live environment respond to different kinds of projected works.”
For Emilia Forstreuter, Digital Graffiti is a chance to show her work on a larger scale. At the festival, she worked with two Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors, each with 30,000 lumens and 4K resolution, and says that the high brightness of the projectors is necessary to create a large format and high-resolution image with the color depth and vibrancy that she requires.
Forstreuter says that she was “excited about the possibility of creating an immersive space based on the scale of the projection. At the same time, this is also the challenge. When I’m creating the work, I’m looking at a small screen and the speed of movement is very different when it’s scaled up. For this huge scale the movement has to be slowed down so the audience isn’t overwhelmed.” For the festival, she created an abstract study of the interaction of color and the in-between of 2D and 3D.
Artists had a unique opportunity at Digital Graffiti to witness how the audience reacted to their installations and to make changes in real-time. “It’s a great opportunity for young artists to see themselves differently in terms of seeing people respond in a very public and immediate context for their work. It’s not just to see what the image does, but what it does in relationship to the audience,” says Colette.
Forstreuter echoes Colette’s sentiments: “The space inspires me. People can move around, and no one has the same distance from the work. I’m not worried as much about the details of the surface of the house, the walls, the windows. I’m interested dissolving the surface and creating a new abstract, immersive space. If I can reach this I will find out by working with the projectors in Alys Beach.”
Ultimately, says Forstreuter, “I hope the audience just takes away joy from the experience.”