Andrew Wade Smith
Independent Media Artist, and life- long “Projection Fetishist”
Background and origin of process:
I have been involved with the creative application of projected media for over 35 years (since I was a young teenager) experimenting at that point with 35mm slide media as well as 16mm film loops. Throughout my 20s and 30s I did studio work in multiple visual mediums while also working independently in film and video production. In 1997 I accepted a full time job with the Design and Exhibit Department at the Audubon Nature Institute in my home town, New Orleans. There I developed video components for interactive and other exhibits at the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium, and Nature Center. Some of this work is still on display at these venues.
While at Audubon, I concurrently developed independent work producing creative media installations and digital branding for corporate events and concerts, fueled largely by the convention and tourism industry in New Orleans. By 2001, with some national and then international work, I was able to leave Audubon and focus solely on this Independent path.
Directly following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, I moved with my family from New Orleans to Portland Oregon and soon incorporated with two partners to form Spitball Media. We were a small agency which focused on media installation as well as short-form video documentary and marketing pieces.
Spitball Media had a great, near 10 year run, but in 2015, we went our separate ways.
I co-produced and edited the first video (below) for InFocus Corporation with Spitball Media in early 2010 for the launch of their 5500 series projectors. I had recently introduced and demonstrated the concept of video projection mapping to them, at their headquarters in Portland, OR.
At this time, the term ‘Video Mapping’ had yet to become ubiquitous. I, myself, had not heard the term and outside of my own work, the associated techniques had not yet been explored by anyone in my realm of video technicians, artists, event planners or concert/ festival producers.
I had been calling this self-taught process “projection plotting”
Having no specialized ‘video mapping software’ my workflow had some origins in experimentation that I was doing as early as 1994, with slide projectors.
With a mix of photo- copy and colored sharpies on transparency film, this ‘pre- digital’ way of composing with projected light and color, was not as much crude as it was stylishly loose (ha!)
First, I would project a ‘reference grid’ on the walls and objects in my studio. Next, with a pencil and paper I would interpret the way the projected lines of the grid interacted with the real world. I could then use this sketch as a reference to create compositions on a new piece of slide film that would relate to the room when projected, adding shape and color.
At some point around 2003 I saw some photos in a trade journal with some particularly impressive multi- image, video projection that had been integrated onto the different angled walls of a event space. I immediately thought that this was in some way the digital media incarnation of my trick with the slide projector…. My own process on “Mapping” with video projection began to develop quickly from there … More on this evolution later…
(from 2010) “Projection Plotting ” at “The Log Cabin Spaceship”
(from 2012) Explanation of mindblowing DLP Projection Technology
Vivitek DU9800Z Laser DLP Projector/ Field Tests
some recent work with Vivitek Projectors:
Vivitek DU9800Z Laser DLP Projector at Margaritaville, Biloxi, MS, USA (single projector/ portrait mode)