XL Video supplied projection for public artist Martin Firrell’s “I Want To Live In A City …” installation work, beamed along the wall of the steps leading up to the National Gallery as part of the 2006 Trafalgar Square Festival in London, England.
It is the first time in the UK that contemporary public artwork has been projected onto the building. The Gallery is not part of the Square, so special permission had to be granted for them to project onto and from the property, before which Firrell was also required to create mock-ups of the artwork he intended to use. This artwork had to physically fit the space and also into the overall curation of the festival’s creative director Bradley Hemming.
Firrell was commissioned by the Mayor Of London’s office to produce the work. His socially engaging text-based art confronts and explores a host of topical political issues, the right of self-expression, cultural diversity, fair and truthful government, and many more directions.
The “I Want To Live In A City …” project was produced by Firma Arts & Media, under the technical direction of Kamal Ackerie, who works across a broad spectrum of new and mixed media, art, and music mediums.
Ackerie used XL Video for several previous projection and video projects and notes, “They are excellent. I wouldn’t use anyone else.” He recently worked with Firrell on a projection installation work at Tate Britain.
The account was handled by XL director Des Fallon, assisted by Jo Beirne. They supplied two Barco R18 ELM Director machines, doubled up, using DVI signals from a Macintosh G5 server for the show, giving a pixel resolution of 1280 x 19024. The projectors were located 53 ft away from the wall on a special platform, and the final image was 20 ft wide, looping through 38 pieces of text.
To morph between sentences Firrell used a series of animated red dots, which matched the banners hanging outside the gallery. “I wanted the process to be sympathetic with the building and to be graciously applied,” he says.
The installation ran recently from 10pm to midnight over two evenings.