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Friday, June 02, 2006

It’s Red Bull Ascension time again.

This year Ascension will be held in NY. Williamsburg to be exact.
I arrived in NY on Sunday with a 4 day setup for a one night party.
It’s a celebration of electronic dance culture and all it’s art movements.
As the visual coordinator I was in charge of finding talent, setting up video suites and screens and projectors.
The Visual artists for the Event were
Honey Gun Labs
VJ Tek (OVT)
Reality Engine
VJ Moto
Livid Instruments
VJ Culture
Play Motion
W/ Screen support from Marco at
However, it was Pedro and Guillaume from Reality Engine that did most of the setup. They worked their asses off making setting everything up.
I had a palette full of gear shipped from San Francisco to NYC for this show.
This was about a 14 projector show with all projector and cabling in the ceiling.
My digital camera has a broken LCD screen so I don’t have any really good pictures of the show. I extracted a few still off my Sony PD-150 and my phone camera.
The venue is a new space that hasn’t opened yet. Red Bull likes going into a raw spaces and having control of what, where and how we can create an immersive environment.
On the flipside of this…Construction was still in process, which slowed our ability to setup. Plus, all the dust in the air was hazardous to the equipment.

We pulled some long nights. On Wed night before the show I was still setting up as the sun was rising. (I wasn’t the only one there. The guys from Freak Factory that put the rooftop together hadn’t been home in days).
Knowing that I had another 20 hour day in front of me, I got back to the apt. for a couple of hours of sleep.
Friday the following the day I woke up sick as a dog. Vomiting in the streets of New York with aches and pains. I don’t know what it was, but I was really hurting and I had to breakdown all the gear. Fortunately Pedro, Guillaume, and Brien from OVT were there to do most of the work. (I owe them one).
The outside deck was the gem of the venue. A city block long and 150’ wide. 3 domes and a large stage with a garden sat on top of the roof.
We had planned to setup a 2 screen installation for VJ Moto but due to rain we had to pull his installation.
Inside on the upper floor we had the main stage we had 8 projectors.

The VJ booth was built on top of a Red Bull Bar. It actually worked out perfectly for the equipment. I setup a small projector and sent all preview images through a real-time quad display and out to the projector that hit a translucent 2ftx2ft piece of light defuser for a screen. This way the audience could see our preview monitors and so could the VJ. This prevented people from asking us for a Red Bull Vodka.

Downstairs we had a challenge of setting up 3 screens and 4 projectors. Every angle and projector point was difficult. It worked in the end but we had to do some creative rigging.
(All this after the fact that the venue was still being built an hour before the doors opened.

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