Urban Underpass

Submitted by Vanessa Till Hooper

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Client: Presented by Bulfinch Crossing developers, National Real Estate Advisors, The HYM Investment Group, with consulting from creative agency Isenberg Projects, and artist curation by LuminArtz.

Location: Boston, MA, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $525,000

Project Team

content artist

Peter Zebbler Berdovsky

Zebbler Studios

content artist

Pamela Hersch

Overview

Urban Underpass is a unique public art installation located in Downtown Boston. Our team has designed and assembled an immersive canvas to showcase custom designed animations created by local and international artists. Located at the underpass at One Congress Street, this public artwork installation is one of a kind and a first for Boston. Never before has there been a projection mapped immersive artwork that is free and open to the public on display throughout the year.

“This public art installation will quite literally bring light to a dark and dismal atmosphere, with the hope of spreading that intention beyond the underpass, to radiate hope and light from the core of Boston to the rest of our community.”

Goals

The Urban Underpass has been unveiled during a very difficult time for communities, across the country and around the world. At this time where we are socially distancing ourselves from one another, we do not have many opportunities to experience art or engage in a shared experience. This installation presents a unique opportunity to experience dramatic and beautiful artwork from the comfort of one's own car or at safe distances on the sidewalk.

Process

The greatest challenge for this exterior projection installation was keeping the projectors safe. In order for the protectors to be secure and protected from inclement weather year round, all the projectors had to be housed within interior spaces, but suitable interior locations were not equally distributed throughout the site. Seventeen projectors are located on one side, while another six are on the opposite side. Because the projectors are not equally distributed, the distance from the beam, lens, and projection throw varies for each projector, making this project the most challenging projection mapping we have ever accomplished.
This multi-surface canvas required a system that would allow all 23 projectors throughout the site to work in tandem. Each section of each beam utilizes four projectors to cover the entirety of the beam. Each projector shows only one segment of the overall video, mapped precisely to create one continuous projection image. The underpass is illuminated with the projection power of 23 ultra-bright Epson Projectors. The collection of the 12,000 lumen projectors bring this unique urban canvas to life, for a combined projection power of 276,000 lumens.