Mission To Cuenca

Projection on the serpent body.

I went on a mission to Cuenca, Ecuador just lately. Clay Bodine, one of the founders of Fishbon, and former board member, Laura Inks-Bodine, moved down there last year. They’d set up Fishbon Del Sur and were putting on their first full-blown event.
I brought down three old projectors to leave there and some lighting and other equipment.
The goal was to learn how Cuenca worked and try to meet local artists and work with them. It all happened. Together with Lakomuna,Kym Cochran and myself, we created a serpent that snaked through Clay and Laura’s courtyard. The three projectors shone close-up footage of Ethan Turpin’s Video Feedbacteria along the Serpent’s body as way of making abstract snakeskin. What was really cool was that the imagery projected through the material to the other side. This helped pull the piece together.

insideTheSerpentInside the body.


The Lakomuna serpent head.

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Hoptopia Projection

Zach Rosen is passionate about beer and especially figuring out how to pair it with other elements as a pathway to perception. This last weekend, Brew Reverie, a company  he helped found, put on Hoptopia, an extravaganza based on this very theme. Naturally there were many delectable beers to sample, all of them from local breweries, but there were also foods to try specially concocted by a master chef to match a particular beer’s intricate flavors. And it worked. The tastes balanced each other to a tee.

In two rooms upstairs, we set up video, sound and lighting to pair with two other distinct types of beer.

Hoptopia Pairing Room One
Hoptopia Pairing Room One

In the one room, we used yellow and reddish imagery of slow moving lava lamps globs and colored suds and bubbles to create the ambience. This, backed by  yellow and red lighting and the right ambient music, actually matched the served sample very well. Perhaps you’re thinking that it was all due to  directed perception on the part of the sampler. But I assure you, I walked in there with the remains of a dark beer from the downstairs  and it didn’t jibe at all. However  the crisp, slightly sharp and complex sample beer from the room did!

Hoptopia Pairing Room Two
Hoptopia Pairing Room Two

In the second room, I don’t think we did quite so well. The scene was wonderful; We aimed three projectors at the floor flooding it with overlapping black and white water imagery that gave  it complexity and depth. Unfortunately the sound for the room didn’t register and left it feeling oddly empty. The green lighting didn’t help either. In my opinion, this combination didn’t match the proffered beer. In retrospect, I’d say that the video worked but should have been slightly slower, the sound could have been vastly improved and that red and/or blue lighting would have worked much better than the green.

It’s all an experiment.

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Testing Flatlite for the First Time
Testing Flatlite for the First Time

Yesterday, my friend Ricardo gave me several boxes of lighting that were being thrown out. It included a collection of something called Flatlite. I’d heard of this before but never seen it. They’re flattened strips of electroluminescent wire that can be cut to shape and apparently sequenced. It needs a pretty hefty transformer to make it function. Happily two of these were included.

My friend, Erika Woo, came by and we checked it out.

The strips we have are pink when not lit up but turn white when turned on. I tested them with lighting gels and, lo, they accept all colors.

She suggested we visit the Flatlite video gallery to see what people have done with it.
Check it out. It’s very cool and, as it turns out, is very expensive stuff.

Now we have to figure out what to do with it and how it can be sequenced.

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