Video Projection and 4x5 Camera Installation Test
3D Photograph Screencaptures
The exhibition I propose for the Tech Lab will create a portrait of Surrey by using photographs and snapshots to reveal aspects of everyday life against the backdrop of the local landscape and the city. The exhibition will be based on snapshot photos of local people posing for the camera, or being caught in candid moments in different locations around the city. The images will not be shown as traditional photographs, but will be presented in two forms: as a video projection installation, and as photos that can be viewed as 3D scenes using an augmented reality app for mobile phone or digital tablet.
The video installation will recreate the moment when a photo is taken, putting the viewer in the role of the photographer. The setup will include a projected video with footage of popular locations where locals frequently take pictures (Mud Bay is the location of the project test). The video, projected almost the full size of the back wall of the TechLab, will show footage of the landscape or cityscape upside down and slightly out of focus, a large format camera placed a few feet in front of the wall will show the same scene through the camera focusing glass but positioned the right way up and brought into sharp focus, suggesting the significance of representation and image making in understanding the visible world. The projection shows the landscape scene briefly interrupted as a group of people take their place to have their photo taken - in the camera, the movement is frozen the instant their portrait is taken and, eventually, their picture slowly disappears as the usual activity of the place continues. The installation will have three scenes taken at different locations in Surrey.
The second part of the exhibition will also be based on photos of various locations in the city. Here, snapshots of places and people will reveal the everyday drama of life in our city. I will present four to six framed photos (8x10", 11x14" and 24x36") of indoor and outdoor scenes casually composed like snapshots. When each photo is viewed with a smartphone or tablet using an augmented reality app it will become a three dimensional image, the viewer can look into the scene and behind objects to see elements that are not visible in the original framed picture.
There is an element of voyeurism in the way the viewer interacts with the 3D photo, assuming the role of photographer as they choose where to look by moving the mobile phone camera. The depth of the image lets us see beyond what is initially apparent and, as we see more parts of the scene, different narratives that can potentially change our interpretation are revealed. I use this medium for its potential to make visible what is latent in the image - like the latent thought in Freud's theory of dreams, the augmented reality image is initially hidden but when revealed it offers new layers of meaning. Since the viewer must move around the photograph to fully see it, the medium also creates an active - physical - interaction with the photo object. To further connect these images to the way pictures are taken and shared now through mobile media, the narratives and titles of most images in the series will make reference to conventions from social media and online image sharing (my example 3d Photo for this proposal is titled: "LOL 142nd St."), and I will show their location in a Google view map. This work uses the same techniques used to produce my current augmented reality project "seductive Grotesque", in that project virtual 3D sculptures are visible when looking at wood sculpture bases in the gallery with a mobile phone using an Augmented Reality app.
Project proposal site - examples and installation view
seductive GROTESQUE Augmented Reality Virtual Sculptures http://www.filmnoise.org/seductivegrotesque-ar.html
Alternate Project Proposal - Video and Painting Project
An alternate project I can present in the TechLab is a video and painting installation bringing together imagery from Surrey's past and present, combining images taken from the Surrey archives with contemporary video footage of city streets. This project would be similar in form to one of my previous installations titled "Capriccio", where I used matte painting (a movie making technique used to visually combine filmed footage and painted scenery) to combine Vancouver locations with architecture and landscape from other parts of the world. In the project for the TechLab, I will present three videos juxtaposing video footage of a public place in Surrey with painted backgrounds showing the same location as it was earlier in its history.
Two of the videos will use paintings based on historical photographs from the Surrey archives showing places of social activity, such as the street outside a storefront or restaurant. The third painting will depict the area planned as the Port Mann Townsite in the early 20th century, it will be a visualization of what this city could have looked now if it had been realized. The video will combine this imagined plan with footage of the area now, contrasting the promise of prosperity of the model town proposed, used at that time for real estate sales and financial gain, with the reality of its later history. The final videos will be seamless combinations where the past coexists with the present unencumbered by the passage of time, making some of the stories of this area visible in the present.
Capriccio Video and Matte Painting Project