MORE INFORMATION: lorenzpotthast.de/screenization
This project is part of Lorenz Potthast’s Master Thesis “Screenization - On the Diffusion of Digital Screens” in the Digital Media program at the University of Arts Bremen. It combines a detailed examination of the historic development of screens and theoretical thoughts about the essence of screenic properties with two experimental infrastructures to make speculations about screens of the future tangible. Furthermore it is embedded in the ongoing research on experimental screens with his collective for audio-visual art Xenorama.
What if screens could be shaped into any form? What if every surface could gain screenic properties? What if the screen’s quality to change its appearance left the flat rectangle that it is currently bound to? What would happen to our expectations of forms and materiality, if all surfaces become changable?
A screenic sculpture was built, that consists of a thin mould of semi-transparent plastic, cast from epoxy resin. In the inside three mini-projectors are mounted with a custom-built short-throw lens system. The specific projection setup creates a seamless coverage that fills the whole object from the inside. The projectors are battery driven and wirelessly connected, and therefore allow for the sculpture to be moved around in space freely without limitations or shadowing. The images shown on the surface can reach from abstract shapes to concrete depictions, also the form of the object is deliberately designed as a “non-shape”, not aiming to represent anything. A paralell existing digital version of the object is used to merge virtually simulated properties with the physical appearence of the object in real-time. Using different sensors for tilting or touch recognition, the object can behave according to its context and be interacted with.
Following the tendency of screens for self-effacement, the materiality and surface condition of the object step back in favor of its content: The appearance of the sculpture is defined purely by its screenic materiality. As a mock-up of a screenized object, the sculpture simulates the behavior of screenic properties outside a flat rectangle. Regardless the technologies used, the sculpture questions our understanding of shape, material and surface in a world where screens are increasingly dominating our visual perception.
Music by Solar Nexus (Tim Heinze & Richard Oeckel)