Re: Advice, please

Bud Blumenthal (bud@skynet.be)
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 01:25:39 +0200

>Re: Advice and subsequent responses..
>I must be the cynic in the bunch, but I would advise the student to read
>Margot Lovejoy's "Postmodern Currents" and RoseLee Goldberg's
>"Performance Art" for starters so that she might contextualixe the
>question for herself. As Mark points out, there are considerable
>differences in the mediums of film and video, but also in the historical
>references and semiotics of each. The questions around the hybridization
>of technology and performance are too often asked and answered in a
>formalist/modernist methodology. Please tell me I am not alone here.
> Doug

Dear Doug,
You might not be the only cynic in the bunch, nor the only theorist.
- If the artist is trying to make a choreography, why should she read
books on theory? She wants to know how to pull off some projections on
stage. This is a technical question which she must deal with in order to
invent her work. While research into the areas you mention may very well be
fascinating and rich indeed, what you are suggesting is like that a painter
investigate the intricaceys of current socio-politico-acedemico issues
research and interpretation concerning the use and abuse of the color
"ochre" within the context of neo-tribalisms and .... before reaching for
the tube of paint. Irrelevent to the picture.

Dear Student,
Some years ago I used a Eikei lcd projector to project a 5m x 5m image on
a cotton cyclorama during my dance piece called "Fishtracks". I always had
the lighting in a black phase or very dim with no light spill anywhere near
the background. The projector was often hung in the grill at or near the
front of stage. The image quality was acceptable under these conditions.
For it not to be dimmer than dishwater, use the least amount of stage
lighting as possible, if at all, and keep thevideo projector as close as
possible to the screen. If you put the projector in the lighting booth
behind the audience for example, and the distance is a few times the
minimum distance necessary to open the image to the dimensions you desire,
you will notice the image will begin to look sad.

If you want to project onto the dancers as well as the background,
obviously you can't use the grill. In this case, plop the projector down on
the floor in front of the stage. There will be shadows on the screen. Also
the projection will not be "in focus" on the dancers bodies at all. Unless
they are back up against the screen where you focused the image. Also, at
different depths of the stage they will enter and exit the beam of light at
different lateral distances from center (assuming the projector is
centered) and the intensity of the light on them will vary as well as the
vertical dimension of the image on their bodies. It can get rather confused
to say the least.

cheers,
Bud

Bud Blumenthal, Mich¸le Noiret
Cie Tandem asbl
58 rue de la Lys
1080 Brussels, Belgium
t: 32 / 2 / 425 89 37
fx: 32 / 2 425 89 39