The exhibit Spatial Shift will run from March 7-May 15, and will feature an artist's talk on March 29 at 3:00 PM with the Ann Arbor Film Festival, where artists including Chris McNamara, Jennifer Proctor and Scott Northrup will discuss their work. If you have never seen a 3D art installation before, "Map of Forgotten Places" offers an interesting introduction to the aesthetic use of depth as an artistic medium. This notion of depth itself as a distinct artistic medium was outlined earlier this year in an essay by Zagorin and Mendel called the "Stereoscopic Manifesto" in Marco Polo, an intuition that motivates much of their work experimental work in 3D.
"Shooting in 3D can make you really appreciate how space is contoured in different materials," says Mendel. "You start to think about everything on a z-axis." Of course, for some people 3D can take some getting used to. "Lots of people say "wow, this looks amazing", but for some it can take a little getting used to," says Zagorin. "I guess part of working in 3D is seeing how different approaches to depth can change the way the audience reacts or feels about a shot. For "Map of Forgotten Places", we thought 3D would add a texture of awe that really makes you feel like you're stepping into these abandoned space."
Kyle Kramer organized the shoot for the project and concentrated on an innovative approach for capturing surround sound of the building materials. "I really wanted to give people a sense of what it was like to take a walk in these buildings' shoes," Kramer said of the sound design, which places the listener within the materials of the factory spaces. "There's something almost eerie or uncanny when you're in one of these places, and I focused on recording and mixing the sound to reflect that." The installation will be housed in an improvised structure within the gallery space, built in consultation with architect Richard Tursky.
Kramer is an MFA candidate in the University of Michigan's Graduate Study in Media Arts program with a focus on sound design and interactive installation. "Map of Forgotten Places" is his thesis. Giant Eel is a Detroit-based video production studio focusing on making 3D accessible to Michigan's artists and creative enterprises. The company was founded in 2010 by the University of Michigan's Jacob Mendel and Edmund Zagorin through U-M's student incubator TechArb, and they have since worked to develop innovative methods for "indie 3D" productions.
Mendel was the stereographer for "Map of Forgotten Places", making use of extended panoramas to capture the sculptural beauty of industrial architecture. Zagorin developed the core project concept and help produce the shoot. Kevin Serota performed aerial 3D for the project using a custom-built RC helicopter and a unique camera-stabilization system.
# # #
Giant Eel is a Detroit-based stereoscopic 3d production company that seeks to offer a space for artists with a passion for new media technologies to collaborate on projects. To see their artists' roster and past projects, please visit www.gianteelproductions.com