All posts tagged Kentile Floors

Photographic Monument: Kentile Floors

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.

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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.

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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.

We were interviewed by the New York Daily News before-hand, and got further pre-show coverage in Brooklyn Magazine, Curbed, Gothamist, and Fucked in Park Slope.

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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.

Gothamist, Curbed, Gownaus Your Face Off, and Brownstoner have their own photo and video roundups.

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:

Projection Content

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.

Kentile Floors Sign Illuminated

I’m working with George Del Barrio at The Vanderbilt Republic and Karl Mehrer at K2imaging to bring the long-dormant Kentile Floors sign in Brooklyn back to life on the night of Saturday, May 3.

The giant rooftop sign is visible to passengers of the F & G trains as they pass over the Gowanus Canal between Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, and has been dark at least since 1992, when Kentile Floors went out of business.

We did a test with one of Karl’s 20K projectors last night, and it looked amazing. I created a head-on vector mask of the sign’s letters, and mapped masked video onto the sign with VDMX and MadMapper. I’ll use that information to create the geometric distortion on the final composition, so everything will be rendered out before playback on the night. Also, Karl may add a second projector.

The picture at the top of this post is a projection illuminating the neon tubes in their current condition. Based on that, we’ll restore the sign to what it looked like with full neon, and then go from there.

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This projection is the latest Photographic Monument from George and Karl, titled τέλειο σύμπαντος (“Perfect Universe”).

Come to the Smith-9th G/F subway stop in Brooklyn for a great view of the sign, after dark on May 3. The Gowanus Loft is at 61 9th Street.

Here are a few video clips from test night.

For another massive video projection in the same area, check out my post on the Photographic Monument at last year’s Art From The Heart.

[UPDATE] — This project in the news:

New York Daily News
Brooklyn Magazine
Curbed
Gothamist
Fucked in Park Slope

READ HERE for photos, video, and a post-event recap.