65th anniversary of afad

Challange

I was commissioned to design a live projection for the 65th year anniversary of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, my home university. The goal was to support the show celebrating the anniversary with live projection. This took place at the City Theatre of Pavol Orsagh Hviezdoslav. It was important not to overwhelm the audience with too much action, in order to keep the focus on the speakers.

Concept

With the projection I wanted to give honour to all the former students of the university, the people who kept the school moving for the last 65 years. The projection was meant to serve as a memorial of sorts for them. I was provided the complete database of graduated students of the university.  

Closing credits

I thought that the theatrical atmosphere would serve well to reveal the names in the form of movie closing credits. Timing was also important, I wanted all names to scroll through by the end of the anniversary.

Development and design

The projection was developed in vvvv. The framework provided me freedom to easily work with the large XML database (approx. 2600 names) on the fly. After splitting up the names to single characters, I was able to create a dynamic grid from the letters. The names were placed into continuous columns and rows, displayed by a monospaced font designed by David Chmela (a former student of the school), called Expander. The names were placed in chronological order, from the first students up to the recent graduates.

In order to break up the repetitious closing credits I created various set ups to animate, distort the letters or even form new images using them. The speed of scrolling was also adjustable, in order to synchronise it with the length of the venue.

Control

In order to give myself the best control over the code for the live performance I connected vvvv with an OSC controller for iPad, called Lemur. Lemur allowed me to assign different knobs, sliders and buttons to control specific nodes inside vvvv. This interface gave me nearly infinite options to work with the grid of letters.

Credits

The project was developed at the Media Lab of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava.