Multimedia Artist Kit Webster used Enttec's DMX/USB Pro to create DataFlux 0.1, an art installation at the RMIT Gallery in Melbourne, Australia, which pays a kind of high-tech homage to DaVinci, Holbein, DuChamp, and many other artists dating back to the middle of the Renaissance. Enttec’s US sales and marketing manager Jeremy Kumin has written a lengthy article about the artist and the project for Enttec’s February newsletter
“The technique which unites the work of these masters, and which fascinates Kit Webster is called Perspective Anamorphosis,” explains Kumin. “What does this mean, and why would I want to write an article about it? To understand what he has done, I had to take a step back and look at things from just the right angle. That's one of the salient features of this Anamorphosis technique, by the way. It comes from the Greek meaning "putting the image back together" more or less, and it's about having a skewed image seem very realistic and natural when viewed from the optimal location.”
Kumin goes on to explain that he was intrigued by Webster’s proposal for sponsorship of a former project in terms of the hardware requested: “"I held an exhibition 3 years ago called 'Breathing Space,' in which I was using Max/MSP,” notes Webster in his proposal. I wanted to interface with some DMX gear, so I found out that Enttec was a Melbourne company, told them about the project and kindly requested their assistance. The project involved beaming video onto a DMX mirror, and modifying the image at the same speed as the mirror movement; this allowed the projection frame to move along a wall while the projected image stayed still. I did this by moving the mirror in the opposite direction to the video."
In Webster’s current exhibit, DataFlux 0.1, once again Enttec gear forms a core part of his control system. "My original goal was to create an installation that utilised video mapping, that is the distortion of a video perspective to 'wrap' over three dimensional surfaces,” says the artist. “I use the mirror in this case to allow the projection beam to be displaced anywhere in the room up to 180 degrees. I am very impressed with the speed and efficiency of the DMX/USB Pro and its willingness to keep working!
“It’s just one laptop driving everything,” Webster continues. “Connected to the laptop is the DMX USB Pro which is controlling a modified scanner and a strobe light. [For the scanner] I gutted the light out and put a projector in. Also running from the laptop is the audio and video. With the mirror [on the scanner] I am able to widen the projection area. It’s a bit like using a multiple projector system but cheaper."
“The potential to take advantage of future improvements in technology, in the so-called "convergence" of lighting and projection is clearly going to be a factor in Webster's work going forward,” says Kumin. As Webster describes it: “Complete digital control has taken over the environment, allowing realities to shift from the actual to the imaginary. Real-world environments are augmented in such a way that perception cannot be defined as being under cerebral or environmental control and thus reality is undifferentiated from hallucination. I really feel that there could be an infinite number of experiences that we are not yet equipped to discover. We are really on a threshold of technological discovery."
“At the end,” adds Kumin, “I think Kit Webster was weaving his words in a way that is almost analogous to the clever tricks of perspective his visual and auditory landscapes employ. It's a kind of dance of superposition between the expected and the unexpected, the real and the unreal. DaVinci would probably approve.”