Published on March 15th, 2022 | by Andrew Bistak
Epson projectors score a hole in one with Magical Putt Putt
Cement Fondu is an evolving arts space located in Paddington, Sydney. They present a diverse year-round program of visual arts exhibitions that feature performance, dance and music by Australian and international artists. Recently they hosted Magical Putt Putt, where select artists from Studio A’s neurodiverse community produced large-scale new work and transformed Cement Fondu into a spiritual and interactive mini-golf experience, accompanied by a series of performative activations all with the help of Epson projectors.
Cement Fondu’s curatorial and media assistant, Jackie De Lacy, explained, “For Magical Putt Putt, Studio A artists, inspired by Galstaun’s passion for angels and putt putt, enhanced social connection through participatory experiences themed around the connective forces of reverence, ritual and play. To make this magic happen Cement Fondu reached out to Epson as we needed the very best projectors available looping in-sync with a variation of long and short throw lenses, as they’re an industry standard in immersive, video outcomes. Epson not only supplied six of their highest quality projectors, but also short throw lenses, which were decided upon after consultations with them about our technical needs and goals.”
The main technical requirement for the space was for a five-channel video installation called Courthouse Cats by Studio A artist Thom Roberts. Roberts’ video required very specific projection mapping on to five walls around one room in the exhibition space, to create a seamless and continuous video loop that spanned all the gallery walls.
De Lacy continued, “One specific requirement from this was to have Epson projectors rigged high enough that visitors could enter the room without their bodies interrupting the projections too much. This involved a combination of keystoning the projected image, rigging the projectors in discrete locations and using a combination of different lenses to minimise disruption. The diversity of applications that Epson’s range of projectors offers made this really successful for our installation.”
In total the Magical Putt Putt installation integrated and utilised Epson EB-G7500UNL, EB-G7905UNL, EB-G1060UNL, EB-G1070UNL and EB-L1405UNL projectors along with Epson’s ELPLU04 short throw lenses.
De Lacy explained, “These projectors offered high-resolution, ease of operation and installation flexibility. We used mainly short throw lenses to accommodate the specific space we were working with, which allowed incredibly intricately mapped multi-channel outcomes.”
Each projector was playing a separate video file that looped through an Ethernet connection with Lūpa media players. Each projector was also muted, except for one from which audio was run into a discrete ceiling-mounted speaker in the centre of the immersive installation. All projectors were mounted above the gallery walls, or on mounted brackets.
Great work also went into making sure each projector was in the right position, and some walls required different ratio videos to seamlessly line-up against one another depending on the different wall sizes in the space. This was pre-planned, so that by install only fine-tuning and lens shifting was needed. Day to day throughout the exhibition, the gallery invigilators were able to switch on the projectors so they worked instantly, with no further set-up required.
De Lacy was clearly impressed with the power, clarity and flexibility of the Epson projectors and lenses commenting, “Epson projectors are really luminous and bright, so that even in a lit gallery space the images they project are clear and crisp. Compared to other projectors they’re easy to operate, and their sleek contemporary design makes them light to lift and place during install.”
As the Magical Putt Putt installation progressed with increasingly positive feedback from visitors Jackie De Lacy and the Cement Fondu team had one more point they felt needed highlighting. She concluded, “Magical Putt Putt’s seamless and immersive multi-channel video installations would not have been so successful without Epson’s high-resolution projectors and short throw lenses which allowed the work to be bright, vibrant and crisp, with very little space for disruption. Epson’s support and the technical edge they gave Cement Fondu was invaluable. We were also very grateful for their initial guidance and advice around which projectors to use as this helped inform, shape and design how our exhibition came together.”
For more on Epson’s current line-up of installation projectors go to: https://www.epson.com.au/laserprojectors/