On May 3, a Photographic Monument entitled τέλειο σύμπαντος, or “Perfect Universe,” lit up the Kentile Floors sign in Brooklyn. It was a collaboration between George Del Barrio at The Vanderbilt Republic, Karl Mehrer at K2imaging, and myself.
George and K2imaging have created a series of these large-scale Photographic Monument projections in the past, and I’ve been involved since the last one.
We created video content that ran 30 minutes in total, using George’s photographs, my video loops and neon recreation, text by Ralph Ellison, Milan Kundera, Gabriel García Márquez, and Henry David Thoreau, and patterns designed by Ed Roth of Stencil1.
Karl is the man with the original dream to make this happen, and the technical expertise to pull it off. He aligned two of K2imaging’s brand-new DPI Titan Super Quad 20,000 lumen projectors on the sign, and the result was beautiful.
I figured out the geometric distortion needed to map the image onto the sign during our projection test a month earlier. Read about that in this post.
People showed up with their cameras and got some amazing shots. Dan Nguyen shot this image of people viewing the sign from the Smith-9th subway platform, as well as the banner at the top of this post. (Thanks, Dan). People also watched from the streets and passing trains.
Here is Photographer Barry Yanowitz’s excellent video, with highlights from the night:
(I recommend going full-frame on all of these videos.)
Dave Bunting at King Killer Studios shot this gorgeous time-lapse from their roof:
The official documentation video from The Vanderbilt Republic:
We tailored the program’s themes to the sign, layering words and photos with the idea of text (our canvas was giant letters) in mind, and using video loops to tell an impressionistic story of the sign’s history by the Gowanus Canal.
I also traced the neon tubes in their current broken state, and then reconstructed the complete neon based on the existing pieces, plus visible electrical contact points on the sign:
The sequence with Stencil1’s designs, adapted for the screen:
And the official, remixed, final vision of the full program:
Thanks to everyone who helped out and showed up. Keep an eye out for future Photographic Monuments.