Projection mapping is the trend du jour these days — in the past year we’ve seen it pop up on structures varied as centuries old Czech clock towers to futuristic Frank Gehry buildings. Though the technique is essentially founded on optical illusion and achieves its dazzling effects by manipulating the appearance of architectural structures and three-dimensional space, here’s a rare demystifying look at the creative and technical process behind producing one of these audiovisual light performances.
Artist Romain Tardy (aka Aalto), of the visual label/VJ collective AntiVJ, dispels the smoke and mirrors typically associated with projection mapping and takes us through each step of the conception, design and construction for his recent performance with electronic musician Nosaj Thing at Lunchmeat Festival 2010 in Prague. Tardy spent two weeks prior to the performance customizing his design to the MeetFactory venue as the artist in residence in Lunchmeat’s first residency program. Assisted by a small team of carpenters, Tardy and his crew constructed a wooden framework for the stage design and covered it with more than 500 polystyrene triangles to make up a beautiful grid-like projection surface.