The film FLIGHT has a large emphasis on projection. In this film, the pyramid, made from front and rear projection screen, comes to life by animating a world for the birds to fly through. The first video example is Media that we created to project on the Pyramid for Denizen in the Zero 1 biennial 2012.
Video by Colin Mcdonald created for Denizen, Zero 1 Biennial 2012
Projection will not only be used to create a landscape on the pyramid but will also be used create images on the birds themselves. The second video example is by the group WIFE, The Grey Ones, which shows how effective this tool can be.
WIFE is visceral, live, contemporary, dance, interacting with original, projected, animations and music
Both of these ideas can be done utilizing front and rear projection. The artist Miwa Matreyek is an expert at this, and her work can be seen in the third example. “Myths and Infrastructure. She also incorporates shadow.
Miwa Matreyek who uses animation/dual projection/ and shadow.
FLIGHT is final film in the series of experimental films and is the journey of the soul from the physical world to Nirvana. The scene opens to a three sided pyramid which houses 15 birds that have just feasted on the carrion of an animal. They are content and are singing in celebration of their survival. The birds open their wings getting ready for flight as projected images of cellular forms and decomposition fill their wings. The 3 sided Pyramid also fills with projection of worldly landscapes.In the apex of a powerful harmonic chord, hair projects from the chests and shoulders of the birds freeing them from the weight of the physical world. The hair then gets pulled to the sky taking the birds to the next world. The projection on the pyramid changes to images this journey. Sikha
A Vulture with a full wing span. Open Arms, ready for flight: Photo found online.
The aesthetic of long hair. Unshorn: Photo found online
Painting that starts to describe the aesthetic, and color palate.
This is the first mock up using trusses as support mechanism for the pyramid set. The Trusses would also work as structures to house pulleys for the Bird puppets in Flight as well as Theatrical lighting.
This is the 1st prototype of the pyramid structure that was built for the Zero 1 biennial 2012 festival in San jose. Here we chose to build a frame as the main support structures instead of using the trusses. Tina Matthews and Colin McDonald were the other designers.
This angle shows the ability to shoot from all sides of the set as the pyramid functions not only as a stage but as a sculpture for projection. For shooting FEAST and FLIGHT I will improve the structure by using specific high gain projection material cut to size, custom cut Aluminum, and welded joints for stability.
The costume design for FEAST is highly involved as we will be developing 15 Bird costumes displaying five different families of scavenger birds. The costumes can be worn or taken off the performer and played as a puppet. The focus is on the headwear, the neck, and the wings. The first head piece prototype was constructed in 2011 for the performance Chicken. The first photo is a picture from this performance. For this prototype I used a stretched wire frame and casted resin eyes that were implanted with LEDs.
Over the summer we developed a bird mask out of raw hide for a puppet that we used In the performance Denizen. The second and third pictures shows the effectiveness of the raw hide as a material as well as the utilizing of black plastic to inform the neck and body.
The goal is to incorporate the two prototype designs for the head pieces of the Bird costumes that will be used in FEAST with influences from the Artist Rebecca Horn, “The Raben” and “White Body Fan”. Which are the fourth and fifth Photos.
Chicken– A performance using fiber optics, led’s, projection mapping, and electric sound.
Bird Masks made from raw hide. Design by Tina Matthews and Brook Jennings
Bird Puppets made from raw hide, and black plastic bags used in the Performance Denizen at the Zero 1 Biennial 2012
Rebecca Horn’s “White Body Fan”
Rebecca Horn’s “Raben”
FEAST is the 4th film in a series of experimental films that I am directing for my thesis work at the Digital Arts and New Media Program at the University of California Santa Cruz.
FEAST starts with a shot that pulls back to unveil pockets of birds that have collected to feast on the remains of an animal. Bird masks and wings will adorn the performers. Scarcity is abundant and abundance is scarce. All will have food but some will have more scrumptious parts than others. It’s a line of skills, strength, quickness, diversion, and strategy. All have their tactics. After the feast the birds come together in song. Belting a beautiful chorus. A funeral, a Wake. Community, family, celebration.
FEAST is a commentary on the importance of a healthy ecology by integrating the human relationship with the natural, social, and built environments through the representation of Scavenger bird behavior tactics and human social feeding behaviors. Scavengers are an important part of the energy flow of the food chain and an integral part in understanding the community and ecosystem processes. Scavenger birds have a high tolerance to survive with the ability to digest carrion that has already started to decompose. However with the loss of habitat, the pollution of human bi-product, and climate change, the biodiversity of these birds is being lost. The birds represented are habitants of California with a specific focus on the California condor, as it is an example of and unbalanced ecosystem where humans have impacted its environment almost to the point of its extinction.
The other commentary is on human social feeding behaviors, the social dynamics that arise in the community and the family by way of gathering to feast together. In the human world this performance is a Wake, the celebration of a life passing, giving the physical remains back to the Earth and the soul free to pass on. In this picture Queen Mae and the Bells performed Table Manners where we explored the idea of hunger, and habits. The Table was fit with a contact microphone that amplified the scratching and scraping of utensils on a glass top. The dripping of water from the ice sculptures signified time passing. In this story, food was never brought to the table, instead the beings had to surpass feelings of hunger and understand that the company of each other could fill the appetite of the soul where food could not.