Mixing light, animation, and scanned surfaces to give the illusion of life, Oddtoe is a projection artist, designing large-scale public works on buildings, sculpture and organic matter, like trees and boulders.
Projected art has the potential to appeal to mass audiences. Recently, city and cultural festivals have found the art form as an effective way to attract and entertain interested visitors to parks and museums. Projected art can alter a physical environment in an instant, transforming the side of a building, church, or industrial structure into something it’s not: a canvas for a visual story.
As a projection artist, Oddtoe has imagined a broader, more creative vision for the art form. Projection mapping technology is combined with both linear and game-based storytelling. Animation is projected onto robotics and kenetic sculpture. Kaleidoscope visuals light up surreal garden designs. With Oddtoe, projection art is one ingredient in a wider recipe of experience design.
A Site-Specific Projection Artist
When assessing a site for a projection art project, three things matter: surface, context for the art, the audience.
Surfaces for projection art vary from flat to intricate, from small areas to giant buildings. Before designing an experience in light, Oddtoe considers the contours and materials of the surface he’s working with. The intricacies of brick and masonry are obviously different than the smoothness of concrete and steel construction.
A good projection artist takes into consideration the context in which a piece is placed. Is a projected piece in a marquee location, a place of historical significance, a revered location? Is an indoor or outdoor location? If outdoor, what time in the evening will the piece be projected? Is the projection taking place at a concert, in a museum, or is it impromptu street art, seen alongside murals and graffiti?
And what is a projection artist without an audience? Understanding the audience, especially in the context of aforementioned location, is key. Impressive visualizations and innovative animation will mean little if there’s in the way of an emotional connection for the audience. Is the audience familiar with the location and its history? Are they young? Culturally-savvy? In the mood for something calming or will only fast transitions and pumping audio do?