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Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Culture" in Brazil

I'm getting familiar with this place. The production team and curators have kept us very busy with events, parties, gallery shows, artist talks, etc. I've been looking forward to getting busy with the next project. Until then I'll share a little Culture.
We went to the 2nd tallest building in Sao Paulo the other day. It's close to the House of Art. You can see in this pic the house down below.
The building was inspired by the Empire State building.
"Paulino's" as they call themselves still use public pay phones. This is one of the nicer phone booths next to the banking district.

As a group we went to the Pipilotti Rist Exhibit . There were some inspiring pieces and then there were some that had no justification to be shown in a gallery of this caliber. If a well know video artist can't get the color balance correct on her camera, why bother. I have a problem with Video Art and poor camera calibrations. These should be the basics before you call yourself an artists. (and no, it was not intentional).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Red Bull House of Art

I was invited by Red Bull USA to House of Art in Sao Paulo Brazil. The objective is to have 10 artists from around the world converge on a building for one month. Each artist comes from different mediums and different countries.
The first gallery show on Nov. 10th is an exhibit of past work. I showed my "Circles of Light" 2002 installation.

Most of the artist arrived Nov 5th. Coming from the US I had visa problems and could arrive until Nov. 10th day of the gallery show. The local production team built a new Circles installation for me. 12 bicycle rims with fabric stretched across. They did an amazing job. All I needed to do when I arrived was map and mask the video to the circles. Easier said than done. I've mapped this numerous times but this time I created a new 8 minute piece.

Assuming I could create the resolution at 640x480 not 720x480 I created the templates in After Effects. Once on site I realized After Effects doesn't support a video out option for real-time monitoring at 640x480. So I had to export single frames, launch them in QT and see how close my video was masked and mapped to the circles. I had to do this with 20 still frames throughout the video to make sure it was properly positioned on the circles.

I finished the installation a couple of hours before the doors opened at 8:00PM. No time to go back to the hotel and clean up after being up for 48 hours.
The 10 other artists are all amazing and each of us are excited to see what we can come up with together for our Dec. 6th show.
The gallery opening turned into a party after 10PM. At Midnight the power went out across 2/3rds of Brazil. Fortunately for us we were on generator power. We were the only building in the city that was illuminated. Sao Paulo can be dangerous at night. We no street lights, no metro, traffics, nothing. No one wanted to leave so the party went on until 3:30AM when the power came back on.

In this photo it looks like there is only one building on the block during the blackout. In fact we are in the middle of the city in the middle of the block.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween SF CA Paul Oakenfold show @ Regency Ballroom

Sean and I started a technical install for the Martel and Nabiel show @ Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. We know this building well and have the confidence of the ballroom management. We started install Thursday afternoon. We had to rig an "X" shape over the dance floor. From the X we suspended 12 4x9' strips of mesh fabric. We originally had a 6 point star configured with more opaque material in the center but it blocked the view of the stage.

5 projectors were placed around the X. Hundreds of feet of VGA/RGBHV cable was strung around the balcony. All of this was connected to two matrox cards to two laptops.
Using Modul8 I was able to move the images around the 4 legs of the X with screen sizes 3072x768.
We had to use high contrast images with bright colors. Even oranges and reds were lost in the mesh material.

That is, if the lighting guy wasn't blowing us out.

In addition to all this was a the main 15x20 screen on stage.
From all angles of the room you saw multiple layers of the images.
The dancers in the photo are just for scale :-)