"On the Silver Globe v. 3" - an interactive installation by WRO Art Center Team with special image processing and communication strategy by Paweł Janicki
On the Silver Globe v. 3, "BEYOND THE SEVEN" exhibition, 2017
Commenced in 2012, "On the Silver Globe" is a series of installations exploring 20th-century representations of civilisation, human ambitions to conquer space and the history of cinema and television as a material and cultural phenomenon.
The installation uses Georges Méliès’s Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon), a visionary founding work of the science fiction film genre, which is not only a cinematic classic, but first of all a milestone in the history of the human imaginary and people’s civilisational ambitions. Méliès’s film is carefully preserved in film archives but also circulates all over the Internet in innumerable files. One such file, downloaded from the Internet, was used in the installation as a pixel matrix capable of generating a 3D picture live. As a result, Méliès’s work is a cultural icon downloaded from the internet and subject to modifications by the viewers.
Besides, the installation uses the video documentation of the activities going on at the Apollo Mission Control Center during the historic lunar landing of the Apollo 11 in 1969.
The images are projected on an original CRT from the turn of the 1960s, referred to as “a silver screen” because of the characteristic glow it emits. Like the Moon, the silver screen’s convex surface reflects light and the visions it shapes.
The interaction with the installation reverses traditional rules and habits as we see the Earth rise above the Moon while its surface is formed and changed by processing the frames of Méliès’s film. The CTR – a silver screen – shines with reflected, rather than with its own, light, just like the Moon does. We see our planet as a blue dot steeped in the television interference, and instead of forever replayed videos of the astronauts’ first steps on the Moon, we watch the tedious work of the NASA flight controllers, who toil on far away from the splendour showered on the pilots-discoverers.
The third iteration of On the Silver Globe is a two-channel interactive installation controlled by a mobile device. The audience can influence its operations by means of any device with a WWW browser.
“On the Silver Globe v. 3” was presented during the "BEYOND THE SEVEN" (more info: wrocenter.pl/en/zasiedmioma/) exhibition, a part of the Warsaw Gallery Weekend and the Digital Cultures conference organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (iam.pl). The exhibition was organised by ECHO Investment and WRO Center for Media Art Foundation at The Dom Słowa Polskiego Printing House (September 20th – October 4th, 2017, Warsaw / Poland).