Digital Evolution

New work created by Gwen Stevenson with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Individual Artist’s Digital Evolution Award. Working with Unity Games Engine, Projection Mapping & Motion Capture software to create a site specific installation that provides the visitor with an accessible immersive experience without the need for wearing headsets, entering dark spaces or following complicated menus. This digital media coexists within the same physical light space as the more traditional media responding to and reflecting it. It is not a separate entity in a darkened black box. The exhibition also gives a personal insight into the creative process, the evolution of a work and questions the role of visitor as passive viewer or active participant.

About the Project

This project showcases new work created by Gwen Stevenson with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Individual Artist’s Digital Evolution Award.

It is shown at ‘insight’, a collaborative exhibition by five Northern Ireland based established visual artists and a writer, showing at The Oriel Gallery, Clotworthy House, Antrim Castle Gardens, Randalstown Road, Antrim, BT41 4LH.

The featured artists were


Helen Bradbury – Painting

Andrea Spencer – Glass

Gwen Stevenson – Digital Media

Helen Hanse – Stone Carving

Frank Holmes – Drawing/Collage

Evan Sloan – Contextual Text/Poetry


The exhibition is designed to give the visitor personal insight into each creative process and the evolution of a work.

The interplay between the artists in the development of this exhibition showcases paintings, drawings, glass, digital media and carving linked through installation and poetic response. 

Impermanence

Medium:

Site Specific Installation: Immersive Projection & Sound

▪ 2 * Panasonic projectors using LED/laser-combined light source.

▪ 2 * Raspberry Pi Microcomputers to video loop the projection files

▪ Reams of light grey voile to create the illusion of 3D space.

▪ Sound System. Looped DVD, Amplifier, Speakers Description:


Venue
: Oriel Gallery, Antrim Castle Gardens, Upstairs Space


Date Exhibited:
January – March 2023


Description:

I used multiple projectors to create an immersive creative and social experience that was accessible and inclusive. This piece was also inspired by the principles of calm technology which is the practice of designing technology to be as unnoticeable as possible, the participant does not have to jump through hoops to engage. There are no distracting screens, intimidating learning curves, following complex menus, downloading apps or wearing headsets. I achieved this by creating a site-specific installation, that responded to both the space and the work of 4 other artists showing in traditional media in the gallery space. Ephemeral words were projected onto transparent material into the atrium open space so that they appeared three dimensional. An ambient soundscape of the work added another dimension. 

This work was developed with the support of the ACNI Individual Artists Digital Evolution Award 20/21 that afforded me creative time and financial resources to evolve my digital arts practice and up-skill in augmented reality, physical computing, motion capture equipment, projection mapping, as well as coding and games development software.

 

project images

Responsiveness

Medium:

Interactive Digital Art Experience

• Unity Games Engine executable file running on Android Tablet

• Motion capture camera (Kinect)

• Artist/audience performance/participation

• Monitor to show the application

 

Venue: Oriel Gallery, Antrim Castle Gardens, Downstairs Gallery

 

Date Exhibited: January – March 2023

 

Description:

This work explored perceptions of the human body through participation and performance in the real world and digital space.

I set up an interactive installation so that the participant/performer moving in front of the motion capture camera saw a digital artist mannequin version of themselves in the shared gallery space.

Artist mannequins suggest the embodiment of artists’ perception of the human body. Used as a means of improving and refining the drawing or painting of figures, they are never intended as a substitute for working from the human body.

Taking this a step further and converting a physical artist mannequin into digital avatar format, while creating an environment where the avatar responds to the actual real-time movement of the human body, we see, perceive, and identify with the avatars, changing perceptions of human existence, visibility, and identity in this age of technological change. There is no requirement for the viewer negotiate menus, apps or wear headsets to interact with the piece.

This work was also developed with the support of the ACNI Individual Artists Digital Evolution Award. 

 

project images
project Video

PROJECT FUNDERS & PARTNERS

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