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Your Thoughts On My Projections

Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/08/2013 - 4:20 PM

I've noticed that a projector is not a commonly used instrument in art. I experimented with projections and soon realised it is a very open and diverse medium to work with endless possibilities.

I would like to hear some of your opinions and interpretations of this collection of projections - aesthetically, conceptually and in terms of the subject itself (what actually is it? What does it appear to look like?)

I would really appreciate any comments and feedback as it is always constructive and helpful.


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Posted by: Paul Cowan on 05/08/2013 - 7:15 PM

Well, I'm very tired, but they just leave me feeling confused. I can't make out what they are meant to be.


Posted by: Roseann Caputo on 05/08/2013 - 7:59 PM

I can't tell for sure what I'm looking at, Conor. It could be I'm looking at something either through something or reflected on something. My first thought on the first image was Times Square in New York. Too much negative space on either side and it's a bit dark.

The smaller ones are also a bit dark and unfocused as in I'm not sure what the point of focus is or what it should be.

Can you enlighten us a little? What are you trying to show here?


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/08/2013 - 10:41 PM

They are not meant to be anything definite. They are open to interpretation and invite the viewer to make up what they associate the imagery with.

Some people have said they see large cranes lit up at a construction site they work at, some have said they see basic city structures, some people have said it looks like a futuristic city, in particular 'Blade Runner'.


Posted by: Patricia Strand on 05/08/2013 - 10:46 PM

I would really enjoy viewing this as it is being projected, rather than as a photograph. I'm not sure what the term is, but would that be considered "installation art"?


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/08/2013 - 10:48 PM

Yea the perspective constantly changes with your movement and view point in reality


Posted by: Tony Murray on 05/08/2013 - 11:15 PM

I think they are fantastic ! Nice works! I really like the deliberate gaps especially.


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/08/2013 - 11:33 PM

@Tony - Thanks! I wanted to add gaps and negative space - in some ways this can allow the viewer to look at the image as it is, or to fill the empty areas with what they associate the subject with. Whilst always remembering, less is more, and that all areas of the 'canvas' do not NEED to be covered.


Posted by: Tony Murray on 05/09/2013 - 12:14 AM

Conor, how did you keep from illuminating the ares behind the reflective surfaces?


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 12:23 AM

In some shots they are ever so slightly illuminated. All I had to do was tweak the levels of the brightness and contrast to get rid of the areas hovering between light and dark.


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 9:00 AM

Just bumping this thread to hopefully get more feedback. Anyone?



Posted by: Roseann Caputo on 05/09/2013 - 9:06 AM

Okay, well successful in it being open to interpretation, different, and something I have not seen before.


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 9:09 AM

@Roseann - When I am making art work of any form, I am constantly referencing other art, artists and so on, to help influence my work and help me with that piece in particular.

When I was pushing this idea further for the artworks in the OP, I went researching for some further guidance but could not find any work similar to it, on the internet that is.


Posted by: Andrew Pacheco on 05/09/2013 - 9:12 AM

As Patricia said, I too think they'd be best viewed as an installation. The photos seem to have the subject (the projections) set too far back in the frame. I understand that your intention was to include the negative space, but for my eye at least, I'd like to see the projections filling the frame more. That's the only way they'd work for me as a photo. I love the concept, and your use of the reflections. I really think you're on to something here.


Posted by: Roseann Caputo on 05/09/2013 - 9:18 AM

Dang! I wish we were talking in person because typed words don't convey emotions well.

I like the concept. I like when people experiment. I like viewing different visual ideas. But when it comes to purchasing prints to hang on a wall, I look for something I can relate to somewhere along the line. If your ultimate goal is to sell prints, I think they need to be closer to the subject and a little brighter. Something may work well for an installation, but not necessarily as a print. I would go to check this out in a gallery. I would not wish to purchase a print, however.


Posted by: Tony Murray on 05/09/2013 - 9:24 AM

Conor, what was the flooring used? I like the partial reflection, and the faded mirroring.


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 9:32 AM

@Andrew - I tried to provide a variety in the collection. Projection - City #5 would have the subject filling the frame more so than the other ones. Does it work for you better than the other images?

@Roseann - I completely understand what you mean. Most people purchase work for their home, so they might not have a personal connection with subject, some people might. So if you look at the piece, not with the intention of buying it but just as an artwork, does it work well?

@Tony - It is just the tiled floor in my kitchen/breakfast room.


Posted by: Roseann Caputo on 05/09/2013 - 9:55 AM

I think it has solid potential, yes.

If this were in a gallery, I would go see it. It's different than anything I've seen so far and I'm curious about it.

My goal is to offer constructive criticism versus just being critical. One is beneficial to artists making technical assessments of their work, the other is just fodder and worthless.

Of course this does beg the question of how easy it was to set this all up? Somehow I don't think installation art is any easier than painting. :-)


Posted by: Tony Murray on 05/09/2013 - 10:01 AM

@Conor, really? The first impression I had was that it was very large like a warehouse.


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 10:04 AM

@Roseann - Thanks for the comments. I had this printed A1 in my studio space in University. People were intrigued by it. I think viewers feel a need to understand what they are looking at. So some people kept trying to figure out what it was, an experience in which I think they enjoyed.

I appreciate your constructive criticism :)

In this case it was much quicker than a painting, not completely sure about easier though because what led me to this installation, were plenty of previous works and experimentation


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 10:07 AM

@Tony - Exactly. One of the main aspects I was trying to get across was an open interpretation to scale. The majority of people pictured either a very large city, monumental structures or large columns of light. Actually coming to think of it, I don't think anyone thought it appears as something small. In reality it lies somewhere in between, but that is all i will reveal :)


Posted by: Roseann Caputo on 05/09/2013 - 10:08 AM

There have been a few things I've seen in a museum that were similar in theme. Peaked curiosity and raising questions trying to figure it out. But it wasn't frustrating, but fun. When it becomes frustrating rather than fun, that's when you will lose people. And this is definitely on the side of fun.

Which I hope means that because of everything that you've put into it, you don't value it less because it's not a painting. :-)


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 05/09/2013 - 10:10 AM

The problem with your projections - is not your projections - it's because we can never see them like full screen. I know all the reasons - but still - it's like looking at a 5 X 7 photo and trying to see what the mosquito is doing on the lily pad that is 4 feet away.


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 10:14 AM

@Roseann - Ah good, I was worried there that you were going to say my images were verging on frustrating lol.

I take it you are referring to my other discussion about photography and 'easy' art. I definitely value all mediums of work equally. I'm actually trying to get a chance and work with all mediums before I evaluate what works best for me. This exercise is very useful because each medium you experiment with subconsciously influences the next medium you work with.

I really advise everyone to try every art medium, it will help you enormously. Don't knock it 'til you try it :)


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 10:17 AM

@Roy - I know what you mean. So do you think they should be viewed in large scale for best viewing? I had presented these both as A1 prints and projected onto a wall at about 100 inches which looked great.


Posted by: Tony Murray on 05/09/2013 - 10:21 AM

I for one really like the ambiguity in the projections. It gives the impression / (illusion) that an event is occurring (present tense) rather than a snapshot of something that has happened. Really nice work Connor, great vision and artistry. I hope you pursue this further.


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 10:35 AM

@Tony - Thanks! I have another two series of images. One series is projections onto the body which I will be posting in the near future. The other is a hybrid of urban and rural environments, not sure if they are of a good enough quality to post up.


Posted by: Tony Murray on 05/09/2013 - 11:01 AM

What are you using as a projector?


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 11:02 AM

Just a standard projector


Posted by: Andrew Pacheco on 05/09/2013 - 11:24 AM

City #5 certainly fills the frame more, but I still feel it gives a perspective of a far away subject with a ton of negative space around it. I do enjoy minimalist works and negative space, but in this case I feel there is too much going on in the frame to consider it minimalist.

The one that works best for me is City #1. The reflection in the foreground makes me feel a sense of depth and leads my eye out toward the original projection.

Some works are very difficult to get a sense of online. I'd really need to see prints of these in person to make a determination. I don't know if emotional connection is always a factor to buyers. A fair amount of people just buy things because they look cool, or would be just the thing for a certain spot in there home. I think that's especially true of abstract and impressionistic works.


Posted by: Roseann Caputo on 05/09/2013 - 11:27 AM

Tony - Yes! My feelings on the first one being Times Square because I felt the movement because it was happening at the moment.

Conor - I have to avoid many traditional ones due to allergies. I still like working in the ones I can, but I don't have a lot of space or a good surface from which to work. When you get to more of the digital, that's going through an entirely new door. :-) Enjoy Wonderland.


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/09/2013 - 3:27 PM

Yea I really think I'm going to explore into this area and see what happens!


Posted by: Carmen Hathaway on 05/09/2013 - 11:01 PM

Conor -- great results with VPT (Video Projection Tool) -- have been researching different applications also.

Freeware to experiment with available here for anyone wanting to check it out

An amazing installation piece I came across -- what this artist is doing is inspiration + + +


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/10/2013 - 8:36 AM

@Carmen - Thanks. That is a brilliant video. Not just a talented artist but a great dancer and performer.

The possibilities with video mapping are endless, but it is something which I haven't really tried yet.


Posted by: Roseann Caputo on 05/10/2013 - 9:43 AM

Conor keep us updated on this please? I should say if you make any alterations or you develop it further, etc. But especially if you get it into a gallery. :-)


Posted by: Carmen Hathaway on 05/10/2013 - 9:45 AM

You're very welcome Conor -- video mapping is endlessly challenging. Rabarama set the bar with her 360 degree innovation


Posted by: Jerry Browning on 05/10/2013 - 9:47 AM

I like the pieces andI love where this is going Conor...I'd like to see you use you your cityscapes into a video like Carmen stuff


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/10/2013 - 12:38 PM

@Roseann - Yea I will :)

@Carmen - I would be out of my depth with video mapping, but would love to try it if I had the time.

@Jerry - Thanks, I appreciate it.


Posted by: Carmen Hathaway on 05/10/2013 - 12:51 PM

Conor -- if you're using single lens projection without mapping you've achieved a terrific facsimile of video mapping.

Really interesting that your scale model is small. At first glance -- your setup is reminiscent of the Van Gogh alive installation -- have a look at the site -- the video labelled 'Private Event' is a stunner.

My first video projection venture in exhibition created impetus + + + to investigate possibilities.


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/10/2013 - 1:18 PM

@Carmen - Yea I just used a single lens projection. The objects were in a variety of positions and distances from the projector. By changing my viewpoint from the projector to other areas of the room, I was able to capture the projection in a whole new perspective which accentuated the objects making them appear as large sculptures.

I had a lot of fun playing around with the projector as a tool for art.

That website and video you have linked is amazing. Truly inspirational.


Posted by: Conor OBrien on 05/13/2013 - 3:06 PM

I mentioned earlier that I had created some other projections where the human form was included. I have just uploaded them now, so here they are.

Two of the images have the city projected onto the body creating very futuristic imagery. It transforms the body into a robotic state - almost like a cyborg.

The other two images show a photograph of a burning car projected onto the body. I used a hooded character to play with the stereotype that he committed the crime, or at least that is what the public perception would be.

Just thought I would share these with you. Again, I would appreciate your feedback and comments. The previous comments were very helpful.


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