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PULSE 2016: Prismatica

Andrew F. Scott

The Medeology Collective, Jim Gladman, Allesandro Imperato, Kelley McClung, Sound Art Matthew Akers

Cardboard 10’x12’x12′, 360 Projection Mapped 3 Dimensional Sculptural Form, Specifications, Software: VDMX, Module8, Madmapper, Hardware: Webcams, 4 x 3,500 Lumen Projectors

For ‘Pulse 2016’, the Medeology Collective created ‘Prismatica’, a live media art installation using webcam video feeds and audio derived from the local space. The work lies at the intersection between new screen media, sculpture and is an interactive funhouse mirror involving the projection mapping of the viewer onto a tessellated screen structure based on organic crystalline forms. These projected tessellations were mixed visually as a live input along with real-time effects of fragmentation, as a live-video performance. 

The screen form worked like a prism that distorts the imagery within it, and this social aspect of geometry, or ‘geometry as social metaphor’ is something we have been exploring in recent installation works. The notion of a community of fragmentation is played with and re-mixed into the work.

‘Prismatica’ plays with the dialectic of fun and frustration, as a fun-house mirror of alienation. The mirror process of live video feed presents a situation to the viewer of being able to ‘see’ themselves mediated through the technology and on the screen structure. When the viewer interacts with this optical illusion, they eventually become frustrated as the process of seeing themselves whole in the work is never complete. This can be seen as a mirrored perspective in an increasingly mediated society.

The audio aspects of the installation involved audience participation and their ‘audio selfie’ sounds were fed back into the performed visual environment, and tessellated with granular processing to complement the tessellated visual mirror forms.

In terms of aesthetics, the imagery appeared as fragmented or tessellated triangular mirror-like structures, a kind of prismatic video portrait. There was also be an oscillation over the evening between this photographic imagery and geometric abstraction, as well as graphical imagery based on the themes of self, community, the body, and identity. The viewers generated the video imagery live, but throughout the evening the collective changed the work’s parameters as an evolving process and social experiment.