Float – Southampton

Large scale architectural projection event, The Guildhall , Southampton, 1996
Large scale architectural projection event, Owen Building, Sheffield, 1996
Large scale architectural projection event, Warehouse 6, Hull, 1996

Hull Times Based Arts Film & Video Bursary Commission (1996) created for three UK sites

Float consisted of three projected elements which were designed to engage the viewer at different distances around the building. The first element was an architectural illusion created through the large-scale projections which had the power to draw people towards the building. As the audience approached the facade a thermographic camera sited within the building detected the heat patterns of the bodies and movements. This camera was linked to a data projector which projected these live images back onto the building.

The third element involved a smaller projection of a material surface that was constantly evolving, which only really became visible at close proximity to the building. This projection again was integrated within the larger scale projections.

The large projections were created specifically for each of the three sites, whilst the conceptual approach and other elements remained the same.

A series of scale architectural models were developed for each site and photographed with a 10 x 8 tilt and shift plate camera. This process gave us the control to key in precisely with the architecture, correct keystone effect and allowed for multiple exposures.

Float was devised as a nocturnal architecture constructed from light and illusion which could be applied to facades using projection. Like any other building material, light and illusion have their own inherent tectonic and physical properties. The imagery within the projections explored the qualities of these properties and the contradiction of building with such ephemeral materials.