The mapping workshop over two days was at time difficult to follow but it did give an introduction to the technique. The most salient point is that true digital mapping is not always necessary if one is wanting to project video or images onto a surface. The real essence of this technique is its ability to conform outlines to complex or awkwardly contoured surfaces so that the project appears to be naturally formed in that format.
Using meshes, the image can be transformed and altered to fit three dimensional surfaces. However, a simpler system used masks, which is the digital version of pieces of cardboard placed infront of the lens. I have a record of the lecture, materials and equipment, and some time after the residency, I visited Marius with Janet looking at possibilities for projection mapping her painting videos.
The first day was spent looking at the technical side of digital mapping and collecting photographic and sound material for our group’s collaborative project based on the neighbourhood of Peckham.
During our ‘coffee’ conference in a shop come restaurant each one of us visited the toilets which was a wonderland of notes and messages appended in any way possible. The effect was quite magical; it makes me think of some I could do for the project proposal.
Messages on the toilet walls where we had lunch. A strange form of Aladdin’s cave.
I took a great many pictures but ended up with using the recording of a road worker who asked, ‘where are you guys from?’ Peckham is a neighbourhood that has a rich immigrant tradition and I thought it rather poetic that someone who most likely was from immigrant heritage asked us, without knowing who we were, our provenance. I thought this would be an apt element in a work which responded to the heritage and architecture, both physical and social of the area.
The second day was spent making the video mapping presentations, one for each group. I spent a great deal of my time selecting, editing and composing various sound sources into one 36 second track. I would have like to have been more hands on with the video and get some experience of the process.
At the end, each group presented its work and one or more persons talked about the work and answered questions.
Our group made a collage of video and ‘found objects’ with a degree of format distortion. The blue hair clurlers in the centre referenced the pipes of the road works and the sound track contained the noise of pneumatic drills against concrete, phrenetic radio audio and the road worker mentioned above. Paola spent a lot of time preparing some cut out stickers of graffiti adhered to the walls.
Aristotle’s group was very aesthetic, with its colours and various images projected onto opaque, translucent and reflective surfaces of a found beauty salon cabinet. The effect was very lively and elegant. However, the projections were not really projection mapping by straight forward projections, masked and keyed to fit the various perspectives of the surfaces closely. The incidental spills of light added a touch.
Ash’s took the market motif and layered the videos to create sequential imagery on the wall and a separate image on the crate which contained plastic fruit. I like plastic fruit.
The final group with Janet was a simple and very elegant projection onto a plastic bowl painted white. This was the only example of true projection mapping showing images of Iris on Peckham’s streets. The image was reduced and fitted the bowl perfectly.