May 26th, 2009 | Richard Almond

The installation comprises an elevated viewing platform, pentagonal in plan, with projections of the 5 main timeline images located on screens along the perimeter edges. The screens are positioned over head height and their top edges are angled inward at 45 degrees. The space will be enclosed around its perimeter, with the projection screens acting like an angled ceiling. This, and the long journey to the installation via a stair represent the studio space and in particular the stairwell. Users feel confined and even oppressed beneath the screens which represent the looming rooflights. In its physical incarnation, the navigational aspect of the main images will not be required, since the user will be free to move between screens as they desire. The triggered animations, however need more thought. The screens will be hung on counter-weighted pulley systems similar to those found above theatre stages. Certain actions by the user will trigger the movement of the main screens, allowing glimpses of those special images which are located on screens behind the main screens. The counter weight system means that these special images, the ‘glimpses of the spectacular’ are only visible briefly, and the method to trigger these images depends on the screen that is being viewed.

Image 1 – the primary method of physical interaction between the user and the animation will be a series of pull cords, the use of which is reminiscent of operating blinds. The first image, like most others, has passive, non-triggered animation, but there are also aspects which will require human interaction. The shadow animations emanating from the lower window panes will be activated by a series of these pull cords.

Image 2/ Image 7 – there will be a section of the screen cut away which corresponds to the gap in the lower window panes. The user will be aware that there is something behind the screen and so move closer to the gap, from which they will be able to peer through to the next image, located on another screen behind the first. As the user moves forward towards the screen containing image 2, they will stand on a pressure sensor which will trigger the upward movement of the screen via the pulley system. This will reveal image 7, albeit only for a short time before the screen containing image 2 returns back to its original position, denying the user more than a glimpse.

Image 3 – both of the fluorescent light buttons will again be activated by pull cords, but image 3 requires a more complex, user-defined positioning method of interaction to control the smoke/stars effect. The device to achieve this effect will be a laser pointer embedded into a torch, which the user will pick up and point at the screen. Using a method similar to that used in the Laser Tagging project by Graffiti Research Lab, the user will be able to draw clouds or stars behind the glass, depending on whether the image is in day or night mode.

Image 4/Image 6 – a series of four pull cords will be connected to the slabs of snow which cover the central 4 rooflights. These cords will be looped, similar to those found on Venetian blinds, and the amount of snow seen on the glass will be directly related to the amount that the cords are pulled. When the user has pulled all 4 cords enough so that the glass is clear, the pulley system is triggered and the screen containing image 4 is lifter upwards, revealing image 6. Image 6 will be the opposite to the web-based version of the animation, and will initially be fully saturated. Drawn towards the vibrant colour, the user will be encouraged to move forward to explore the image in more detail, but as they move closer to the screen the image will become de-saturated, proximity sensors controlling the saturation based on the user’s distance from the screen. Again, the user is denied much more than a glimpse of this special image, and again after a short while the screen containing image 4 drops back into place.

Image 5/Image 8 – pull cords will trigger the opening and closing of the blinds within the animation, when fully closed, the screen containing image 5 will lift, temporarily revealing image 8.

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