Client: The City of Los Angeles
Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Completion date: 2018
Festival Coordinator, Night on Broadway
PORTAL is a window into an alternative reality unfolding in realtime. A stand-alone artwork, it becomes a fusion of real and imaginary activated by and viewed through the lens of the passersby.
The 40’ X 10’ projection along the festival route creates a welcoming invitation for the 80,000 people attending Night on Broadway to explore the artwork. Once there, glimpses of the ongoing street life are captured and fed into a time delay sequence mapped to a digital environment. PORTAL makes the viewer part of the digital environment of the artwork to create a truly immersive and interactive experience.
Night on Broadway is an annual arts and music festival in the historic theater district of downtown Los Angeles. PORTAL captures the spirit of this festival to create a new form of public collaboration within the context of public theater. Using cutting edge technology and custom software it is a generative construct that is dynamic and crowd-sourced, informed by and created by the people of Los Angeles. In this artwork, the crowd attending Night on Broadway becomes the performance and the festival route becomes the stage. By engaging the public in this cutting edge communal artwork, we hope to give expression to the creative energy that Los Angeles is known for, and to contribute to the celebration of community and place that is the inspiration for the Night on Broadway festival.
With 80,000 people attending the festival, we needed to work with the City of Los Angeles and the Night on Broadway Festival team from early on to create this interactive installation. Careful consideration was given in siting the projection screens along the route so that there was enough room for active participation without encroaching on the security measures in place.
Technically, creating an architecturally scaled projection mapped artwork driven by the interaction of the people attending the festival in realtime was challenging. With our creative partners Optexture we developed the time delay sequence that would capture realtime imagery of the streetscape and the passersby and layer them into a sequence of pre-rendered digital environments we had created in our studios.
We knew that we needed powerful projectors to make the installation engaging and vivid in the midst of the diverse festival activities. A sponsorship from Optoma USA projectors allowed us to realize the project and create the immersive installation we envisioned.
PORTAL creates a fracturing of time and space that momentarily displaces the streetscape reality. It reimagines the urban streetscape as a synergy of time and space in which virtual and physical coexist. PORTAL is augmented reality – but in reverse of what we normally think - making the viewer part of the digital environment of the artwork to create a truly immersive and interactive experience.