Art and Technology Fuse at Silicon Valley Contemporary With Epson PowerLite Pro G Series Projectors

The large, open space was full of ambient light, but art enthusiasts at the inaugural next generation Silicon Valley Contemporary art show in San Jose could clearly see the sharp, vivid moving images of the 7-foot digital projection called “Horizon,” a ‘narrative clock’ that pulled feeds in real time from different webcams around the world.

Projected on a wall by a ceiling-mounted Epson PowerLite® Pro G6900WU 3LCD projector, the “Horizon” piece by Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead was one of 1,000 works by 300 artists shown at the Silicon Valley Contemporary (SVC) in the sprawling San Jose McEnery Convention Center on Apr. 9-13, 2014. The first Silicon Valley art show of its kind, SVC’s 50 exhibitors from 10 countries showcased the impact of technology on art practices from around the globe and inspired the area’s elite tech enthusiasts and art collectors.

Paul Young, director of Los Angeles-based Young Projects, a contemporary gallery for moving image art work, curated SVC’s Moving Image Experience, a compilation of today’s leading moving image artwork. A journalist, author (Taschen’s Art Cinema) and filmmaker, Young is driving acceptance of the moving image as an art form.

With the Epson Pro G Series and the PowerLite 4855WU WUXGA large-venue projectors installed throughout SVC, Young displayed moving art work ranging from single-channel videos to computer-based installations, 3D works and interactive projects. Some of his curatorial efforts included the short film “Sea of Tranquility” by art pioneer Hans Op de Beeck, the video projection “Addressability,” by Jeff Guess, “Depth Charge” by Gary Hill, and the real-time webcam display “Horizon” on a wall for thousands of people to see.

“SVC was able to provide visitors with some of the very best examples of work by contemporary artists using technology in their studio practice,” said Young. “More and more artists are working with new media, and they love to see their work projected on a very large scale.”

High Brightness
The quality of projection was essential since many of the installations were viewed in a setting of high ambient light. Even in an area full of overhead ceiling lamps, the images could be seen very clearly. With 6,000 lumens of color brightness and 6,000 lumens of white brightness1, the 3-chip 3LCD Epson PowerLite Pro G6900WU projector brought brilliant, true-to-life color to the giant photographic collage on the wall.

“When displayed by a powerful projector in a bright setting, ‘Horizon’ made a bigger impact than it ever could have made on a flat screen,” said Young. “We wanted ‘Horizon’ to be viewed in the open as if it were a public sculpture and not a cinematic work in a dark room. We decided to hang the projector on the ceiling and position the life-sized image on a wall so everyone could see it even in a room with a great deal of light.”

“Displaying video art in high ambient light is becoming increasingly important among galleries, where artists are showing their works similar to paintings on gallery walls,” said Young. “As the moving art medium continues to grow, you will see more and more moving art works alongside traditional paintings and sculptures – a true testament to large scale exhibitions of digital installations as a new art form.”

Cinema Quality
Young ensured each video art installation had just the right degree of brightness and clarity. The Epson projector played a key role in SVC’s LOOP/Screen Theater, displaying full HD 1080p resolution in bold, rich colors. Visitors experienced movie theater quality on a 15’ x 7’ screen, viewing a continuous loop of six short films such as Op de Beeck’s “Sea of Tranquility,” a story of a virtual high tech cruise ship exploring false mythology.

“It was important the colors in each of these six films were extremely rich and the resolution was full HD – as beautiful as it could possibly be, similar to going to a movie theater with full cinematic quality and sound,” said Young.

Easy Set Up, Flexibility
The projector’s flexibility made it easy for Young to set up the room for Jeff Guess’s “Addressability,” a work searching the Internet for live news photographs that explode into floating pixels and regroup into images. Given the shape of the room in its “black box” setting, Young opted to use the Epson PowerLite Pro G6900WU projector featuring a short-throw lens with a rear-projection on a 12’ x 9’ screen.

“The lens shift capability of the projector lets me easily fit projections into a wide range of venues,” he said.

With a centered lens design, the Epson PowerLite Pro G6900WU projector provides up to six lens options: one standard, one short-throw, one rear, two middle, and one long-throw. With the right adjustments, Young was able to get a clear, crisp image of the flying pixels transforming into news photographs.

“There’s no situation that I’m confronted with where an Epson projector won’t work, whether it’s a very large scale projection, small and intimate setting, or projecting a bigger image from a shorter distance,” said Young.

Using the projector’s arc correction, users can adjust each side of a projected image to obtain a precise rectangular image. “I often use the corner pull on Epson projectors, which allows me to perfectly wrap images on any size or shape screen,” said Young. “I have the flexibility to move, shape and place the image in a preferred format.”

Connecting the projectors to multiple devices at SVC was also straightforward and trouble-free. The PowerLite Pro G6900WU projector connects to any system with HDBaseT, HD-SDI, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, BNC or LAN connectivity. With the projector’s HDBaseT technology, users only need one cable for full HD video, audio, network and control commands.

Continued Upswing
Young predicts continued growth in the number of artists working with digital projectors. “SVC’s Moving Image Experience helped visitors see just how far technology-based art has evolved over the years and perhaps suggests where the medium is going in the near future,” said Young. “The explosive growth of video art is happening in tandem with the evolution of digital projectors, especially those with the kind of quality that Epson produces.”

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1 Color brightness (color light output) and white brightness (white light output) will vary depending on usage conditions. Color light output measured in accordance with IDMS 15.4; white light output measured in accordance with ISO 21118.

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