Voom Portraits by Robert Wilson — known for his work in fine arts, theatre, film, and opera, including direction, drawings, furniture designs, installations, and even lighting design — is a series of more than 30 high-definition video portraits that recently began a world tour of leading museums, galleries, and public art spaces. At the critically acclaimed launch at New York's Phillips de Pury and Paula Cooper galleries, the HD portraits were “hung” on more than 50 Panasonic professional HD plasma displays. For the second leg, now at Los Angeles' Ace Gallery through April 21, three 103" Panasonic HD plasmas-the largest available plasma displays in the world-were added.
To mount the show, producers Voom HD Networks purchased 32 1080p TH-65PF9UK 65“ and 22 TH-42PH9UK 42“ HD Panasonic plasma displays. “I'm thrilled with the result,” says Wilson. “I have been working with video since the 1960s, but with Panasonic's high-definition plasma displays, I am finally finding the saturation, vivid colors, and images that I have imagined all along.”
The portraits, which feature individual soundtracks, capture such celebrity subjects as Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Isabella Rossellini, and Steve Buscemi. Subjects also include the general public and animals. The works range from 30 seconds to 20 minutes in length and are shot both horizontally for television and cinema display, and vertically for HD gallery presentation. Meticulous editing was done on Avid DS, adding loops so there is no discernable beginning or ending. At first glance, the resulting images appear to be stills, but on closer inspection, they reveal Wilson's signature minimalist movement.
Voom's engineering team, led by Al Irizarry, had a three-fold mission: pristine rendering of the images; developing a playback system to loop at a museum, in a public space, or in a collector's home; and archiving the works. Irizarry spent over two years developing a proprietary system — using high bit rate data streams and a dedicated media player — to fulfill these needs.