Projector Party

Projector Party, February 2011

Projector Party

Back in February I threw a little unofficial lightpainting party and advertised it on the DesignKids list.  It went really well, and for months I’ve meant to throw up this blogpost showcasing the results.

What you need:

  • A projector
  • An empty background (roofs & porches are the best, inside you get too much ambient light reflected off of side-walls).
  • Images (& a way of getting them onto the projector)
  • A canvas (in our case, bodies!)

Extra guidelines (what we learned at the party):

  • If you’re using live models, and even otherwise, it’s best to plan ahead and schedule sittings.  There’s a limit to the amount of time people are willing to stand around, (especially in various states of undress in the middle of February.)
  • The other side of that is to collect a set of images to project before the event.  Group them according to pose, (i.e. all of the group-shots together, all of the portrait/close-ups, and all those that could go either way.)
  • National Geographic photos and pop art both look really, really good.  Kandinsky, too.

Our party also happened to be rather small (<20 people), which is one reason why it went so well.  If this were to be a larger-scale affair, it might be best advertised to designers as a free evening with projectors & models.  Then we could solicit petitions for slots of time with them.  We never moved past body-as-canvas in the 2-hour-long party, but there is a whole lot more of the medium to be explored, (possibly with the projection of video, or projections of photos of people on themselves, (possibly recursively nested), or projection of people on things, instead of things on people).  Asking people to develop their ideas beforehand might encourage more innovation.  And screening those ideas is going to be more and more important as the party size increases.

Special thanks to Brian Scoles (B.A. Philosophy 2009) and Rachel Hamburg (M.A. English 2011) for their creative contributions and for helping coordinate, and to all of our other attendants/models who may or may not want to be identified.