Tuesday, 29 January 2013

"State of Exception" at the Institute for the Humanities

Below are some photos taken by Richard Barnes of the completed installation in Sept. 2013.
More info and updates follow below.


3/10/13    Update on this installation: 

                    Link to original post on this topic.

An odd thing has been happening with one of the wall projections.  Each time the projector gets turned off at the end of the day, the Mac Mini that is playing the movie "forgets" the resolution of the display (projector).  So when the side-by-side projectors are both turned back on in the morning, the movie of the fence line going by is sized a little differently so that the tops of the projected images do not line up properly.  All I have to do to fix it is take the movie out of full screen playback and put it back into full screen.

What makes this odd is that both projections are powered by nearly identical Mini's and both are using the same version of VLC with all the same settings and it only happens to that one projector.  Go figure.

I did not want to have to stop by every morning and get up on ladder to make sure all was well., so I have the Mini's on wifi so I can use Remote Desktop to do what's needed.   And I have arranged for access to the web-based security cams in the gallery so I can get visual confirmation that it all worked.

This setup works great.  I have included a few shots of what I see when I do this maintenance below.

This shows the 2 security cameras on top on an iMac, and my laptop running ARD controlling the Mini that is projecting on the right wall in the gallery.  You can see the desktop echoed in the security camera view as it is seen on the wall.  Once I put the video loop back into full screen mode, I can see the images are correctly lined up. (Big thanks to the LSA IT group for their allowing me this access!)

Some of the comments that have been left by visitors.  I like the last one that talks about how powerful walking into the gallery over the "trail" video was for their experience of the installation


February 2013

So the installation that is a collaborative work of Richard Barnes, Amanda Krugliak (Curator of the IH Gallery) and UM Anthropologist Jason DeLeon is up and running as of Thursday January 24, 2013.

Here are a panoramic photo of the interior of the gallery:

You can see the
interactive pano
on line here:

Jason has been collecting the detritus of the illegal travel across the U.S. Mexican border for some time.  He brought boxes containing many 100's of backpacks and their contents to the Institute for Richard & Amanda to choose from.  Below are photos of the backpacks being laid out in the entryway, and one of Richard & me.

So we ended up building a wall by the door so you enter through a hallway.  On the floor of that hallway is projected video Richard shot walking along the fence and showing the dense trail of debris that is left there.  This photo is looking back to the door to the gallery, and also showing one of the walls with projection.

Getting the video onto the floor of the hallway was a challenge.  Because the projected image was going to be skewed, the video had to be pre-distorted to fit onto the hallway floor.  

I had to come up with a creative mount design that allowed for movement in 3 directions.  Below is what it looked like before it got painted.  You can the turntable top on which the projector is mounted in the left photo, and the screw coming out of the base to set the distance from the wall in the right.

This photo shows where it had to be mounted to hit the hallway floor.

Once inside the gallery, there are projections on 2 walls in a corner and an edit of interviews with Jason and 5 of his students about their experience.  And of course, there are backpacks floor to ceiling on two other walls, and 2 display cases with artifacts they contained.  Below is a shot of the nearly completed installation, with Amanda by the ladder on the right and Richard all the way on the right.

The projectors for the wall video are very short throw NEC units.  They have no zoom and so must be precisely mounted.  In addition to building the wall, Plant Dept. hung some additional Unistrut in the ceiling according to my specs.  We hung the projectors from there, making sure all the cabling was neatly dressed.

All 3 projectors are being run from Apple Mac Mini computers, because they gave us better looping performance than our Solid State media players.   We did use one of the SS players for the LCD screen.

It took a lot of time and patience, but we all think it was well worth it.


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