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Isaac Julien Uses projectiondesign® for 9-screen Multimedia Installation


‘Ten Thousand Waves’ reproduces 35mm film as uncompressed video

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Reinforcing its reputation as a company that is at the forefront not just of technology but of internationally renowned visual arts, projectiondesign has supplied nine of its F32 DLP® projectors to British artist Isaac Julien for his latest art installation ‘Ten Thousand Waves’. Having been shown successfully in several cities across the world, ‘Ten Thousand Waves’ has landed most recently at the Norwegian Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo, where it is playing as part of a wider exhibition called ‘Unfinished Journeys’ until 20th May.

Isaac Julien uses projectiondesign® for 9-screen multimedia installationJulien is a long-time user of projectiondesign technology and, commenting on his use of the F32 for ‘Ten Thousand Waves’, he says: “When you are putting on a piece of work like this, you rely on a fantastic image. You need a certain colour depth, you need colour saturation and you need depth of field. Contrast ratio is also very important. projectiondesign projectors give us all this and more besides.”

The AV system for ‘Ten Thousand Waves’ was designed by ArtAV. Nick Joyce, the company’s owner, says all nine of the F32s are running at 1080p resolution.

“The unique thing about this system is that we output uncompressed, high-definition video, ” Joyce adds. “We started with 35mm film as a source, then went through a digital intermediate copy that remained completely uncompressed. So the image quality is highly accurate and true to the imagery that Isaac has shot and edited.”

As well as the projection system, ArtAV also supplied its own media syncroniser, integrated with Blackmagic Design HyperDecks and a 9.2-channel surround-sound system using Anthony Gallo Micro loudspeakers.

Nick Joyce says the nature of the room at the Oslo museum brought another of projectiondesign’s advantages to the fore:

“The space in the room was tight to install the work. It’s a listed building and we weren’t able to fix anything at all to the structure of the room. So there were a couple of instances where we had what seemed like impossible projection angles. Being able to use short-throw lenses with the F32s was an absolute must. Without the choice of lenses, the installation simply wouldn’t have worked.”

Inspired by the Morecambe Bay tragedy of 2004, in which 21 illegal Chinese immigrants were drowned off the Lancashire coast in the UK after becoming cut off by the incoming tide while collecting cockles, ‘Ten Thousand Waves’ examines contemporary Chinese identity and the story it has taken from the country’s centuries-old mythology.

Julien spent many months in China researching for the work, before filming in a number of rural and urban locations with an entirely Chinese cast. “The Morecambe Bay disaster was a great tragedy and also a great controversy, ” Julien says. “And it made me ask a lot of questions. Where did these people come from? Why did they come? What did they leave behind in China?”

‘Ten Thousand Waves’ offers three different narratives set in different times in Chinese history, and Julien uses the simultaneous projection of multiple AV content streams to allow these narratives to weave in and out of each other. Once inside the installation, the viewer can focus on a particular story, move from one to another, or step back and allow the diversity of the artist’s content to make its own unique impact.

Maria Dahl Aagaard, Product Marketing Manager at projectiondesign adds, “We are especially proud to know that our projection technologies have been used by Art AV for this installation by such a respected international artist as Isaac Julien at one of the world’s finest cultural institutions.

The final word goes to the artist himself, Isaac Julien:

“When I show my work to a curator or a museum, I recommend projectiondesign because their projectors just sing with my images. I’ve worked with them for ten years and have never been disappointed.”


About projectiondesign

projectiondesign is a Norwegian company that designs, manufactures and markets a range of high performance projectors for professional, business and consumer applications. Amongst its core markets are high-resolution scientific visualization, visual training and simulation, medical imaging, broadcast and post production, public media and entertainment. Numerous industry milestones that distinguish projectiondesign’s award winning, innovative technology include the introduction of the world’s first single-chip SXGA DLP projector in 2002, the first commercially available 1080p DLP projector in 2006, the first WUXGA resolution DLP projector, and the first portable and high-resolution active 3D stereoscopic projector in 2008. In 2009, projectiondesign introduced its first 3-chip projector and debuted LED illumination. 2010 signified the company’s first image warp and blend product with the Multi Image Processors, as well as the world premiere of the WQXGA resolution (2, 560 x 1, 600) projector, and revolutionary patented Remote Light Source technology. The entire professional product range is warranted for 24/7 usage. projectiondesign is located in Fredrikstad, Norway, with representatives in more than 20 offices throughout the world, and regional headquarters in New York and Beijing.

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