Projection Mapping thoughts. Telenoika Mapping Workshop from Telenoika on Vimeo.

The development of perspective illusion in Europe didn’t come from an individual artist. There was no single breakthrough moment. The refinement of the technique was a collective, communal activity, forged in workshops and apprenticeships.

So, it’s fitting that the development of projection media around the same notions of perspective would be communal in the same way. Now, we’re back in Europe, but as a single focal point for a movement that’s truly global, now no longer controlled by guilds or the like, but as flat and open as the Internet.

Roberto Fazio sends us a couple of videos that show how participants are getting hands-on with the medium at the Telenoika workshops. At top, ideas about what this mapping business means from a number of artists:

Joanie Lemercier (AntiVj)
Roberto Fazio (RFStudio)
Santi Vilanova (Playmodes/Telenoika)
Eloi Maduell (Playmodes/Telenoika)
in Telenoika Mapping Workshop. Fabra i Coats, november 2012

Those participants work collaboratively, spreading the technical knowledge of how to get started with the medium, but then working together to find aesthetic and artistic ideas. As Roberto puts it, the resulting work explores “a relationship between space, the atmosphere, the architecture, using light as an instrument.”

And while the spread of projection mapping to more venues could be viewed as robbing the idea of its novelty, these artists see it differently. “It is becoming a new format, beyond the hype or fashion,”muses Santiago Villanova. In that event, its spread is a sign of greater value, not lesser.


More video from the workshop:

Telenoika Mapping Workshop 2012 (english) from Telenoika on Vimeo.

  • Good to see it moving “beyond the hype and fashion”, because the mapping work I’ve seen over the last couple of years has been pretty vapid, if spectacular. In fact, our large-scale outdoor projection work is deliberately non-mapping-based, since we think it’s interesting to see how an architecture reacts to non-tailored, or partially tailored geometric forms.

    Obligatory documentation:

  • I agree with the below, having seen, like anyone these days, a number of mapping installs of late; spectacular, yes, but what does it MEAN? The screen as an artistic and cultural form has a whole history. So does architecture. Beyond the obvious level on which these forms combine in projection mapping and represent a new engagement with public space, what does it mean to do this? And (and this is my real point here); where’s the theorizing underneath the flashing lights and geometricity? I’m not pointing fingers here – I haven’t sat down and tried to work this thing through theoretically myself. But I’m sure someone is! Who is theorizing this thing? Who’s mapping the mappers?

    • I don’t know – it’s an awful lot to ask the projection mapping itself to mean something. It seems to me that it’s a medium, a platform for any range of work. I don’t like differentiating the “content” here, but it seems a stretch to suggest that projection mapping itself has to provide all the meaning. And, if you do have a meaning you want to convey, then it seems you’d better master the technical discipline of projection first, so that doesn’t become an impediment to what you express.

      It’s a bit of a conflict to say that the mapping tends to gimmick, but then also ask the mapping itself to provide all the significance — because that would suggest something gimmicky.

      • (and just thinking out loud, so feel free to argue!)

        • Cheers Peter – I totally agree with you that mastering the technical discipline of projection is fundamental. But I don’t think it is out of the realm of expectation to ask that the projection mapping mean something in itself, or, rather, that projection mapping projects are informed by an analysis of the medium. It’s a medium, yes, but media are not mere blank carriers of content, they have specificities, implications, effects and affects. I think what I’m objecting to is the idea that the spectacle of the thing might over-code or obscure the necessity for the thing to be meaningful.

  • Glad to see Santi and Eloi growing. These people are great and their work an inspiration.


  • DJ Salisbury

    Interesting to see discussion regarding “meaning.” I am a theatre artist (director-writer) and I’m working on a Broadway bound musical about superheroes. Video mapping technology will be integrated into our show design concept, but our intent is to have it create ‘meaningful spectacle.’ We are searching now for artists and production teams to help us expand the theatre gong experience where various video technologies augment storytelling rather than upstage it.