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IHZ-Tower Projection Berlin, Germany consultants skudi optics, gallerie tristesse artist tofa - chris noelle manufacturers panirama light sources pani projectors Total surface 2,914 m2 Duration of construction 12 days completion date october 2007

Photographer tofa www.metofa.com

In 2007, for Berlin’s third consecutive Festival of Lights, light and media artists Skudi Optics presented the IHZ-Tower projection − a collaborative art project and part of the ‘Berlin as canvas’ PR campaign. The festival − Berlin’s biggest cultural event for architectural illuminations − transforms more than 40 buildings into public screens displaying artwork and light-shows, igniting the city in an electronic glow. Clean and functional by day, by night the tower becomes redundant; surrounded by only the dreary hue of dimmed lights. Skudi Optics decided to use the festival as an opportunity to transform the understated presence of this building into a site that would capture the attention of passers-by. Together with Gallerie Tristesse – an interdisciplinary platform based in the city – Skudi Optics invited 12 artists (1 for each night) to design a piece of ‘art’ for the tower. Chris Noelle, one of sf united’s key designers, was asked to create the look for the festival’s grand opening. Located close to the banks of the River Spree, the colour range of the projection was designed to complement lighting emanating from the Nightliner - a boat hired by the festival organizers, equipped with mobile coloured-spotlights – which was to pass by every evening during the festival. Adapting a familiar street-art style and pushing it into another dimension, sf united created a colourful piece of art using super-sized character illustration. Designed to appeal to everyone − regardless of age, the art was left open to interpretation. Noelle explains that ‘showing a character in this size has a totally different effect on spectators and consequently their opinion of urban art,’ he continues; ‘We had spectators from the age of 10 to 80+ and their reactions were absolutely positive. We heard surprising comments. Older people who were not connected to the subculture look saw totally different things in it. It was an interesting experience to confront them with the projection and to see their reactions.’ Designed to catch people in transit, crowds coming straight out of the theatre and those trying to catch the subway were both encouraged to stop and view the super-sized character in all its glory. With Skudi Opitcs handling the technical side of the installations, Noelle was left to concentrate on the composition. Due to the building’s surface which has a black window stripe running down the middle, Noelle found that the colour choice was the most difficult aspect to prepare: ‘Black outlines had to be inverted here and there to keep the character’s expression,’ explains Noelle. Pushing the contrast and ‘pop-up’ of the colours, the designer decided to use a black background for the image. Once on site, even the initial high-contrast artwork was washed out by lights

from neighbouring buildings and abysmal weather. After making the final colour selection for the image, a remix of the projection was created using a special photo session with long-exposure, digital SLR technology. The light-writing elements were developed on a construction site close to the projection, so the full size picture could be seen in the background with the special effects in front of it. By using different LEDs and a mobile power converter for the integration of lasso lamps, sf united was able to create a unique lightillusion scenario – undoubtedly the most beautiful output of the installation. For the final night, Skudi Optics organized an overview of the project. With all 12 artworks displayed consecutively, it was a chance for admirers of the project to see the whole output in one evening. For Noelle − who wanted to get a panoramic shot integrating the light-writing − the timing on the last night proved the biggest technical challenge of the entire event. However, despite a timeframe of only 30 minutes, the idea to work with 3D-characters and strobe lights to interact with the static projection and push the panoramic view deeper into the details was a success. Rain from the previous day even helped to achieve some additional special effects!

Bright - Architecturel illuminations  

Bright features 38 exterior lighting design from around the wordl. Challenging projects from toplevvel manufacturers, designers and artists...

Bright - Architecturel illuminations  

Bright features 38 exterior lighting design from around the wordl. Challenging projects from toplevvel manufacturers, designers and artists...

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