Notes from MASS MoCA Director Joe Thompson indicate lots of exciting projects in the works. This installation in particular, which opens April 4th, caught my eye:


On the third floor galleries our own man-of-all-skills Gregg Eastman is putting final touches on what will surely be one of the most amazing videographic venues in the world: a 12′ tall,  35′ diameter cycloramic screen (that’s about 110 feet in circumference if I remember my geometry), onto which Pawel Wojtasik will project a new video about New Orleans at the watery edge of its existence.  Pawel is teaming up with Steven Vitiello on sound, and the lush footage, coupled with Steven’s amazing tonescapes promises to be compelling.  Getting the eight LCD projectors to properly interlace the 360 degree video has been a tricky technical challenge, but our A/V genius in residence Gian Pablo Villamil has found brilliant software solutions to that, and our own Dante Birch has puzzled out the intricate projection mounting and optics.  You can go out and buy this sort of “in the round” filmaking hardware and software if you are Disney and have a spare half million dollars or so to spend: we don’t, so we’ve rolled our own solution, crafting up the cyclorama and video solution by the seat of our pants. I’ve seen test footage, and I think it might work out just fine, though there is still a lot of testing scheduled for this weekend:  the video itself is an exquisite visual lamentation, which is apt, as it’s one of the works-in-progress for curator Denise Markonish’s show These Days: Elegies for Modern Times.

Sounds like a must-see to me. Check out the entire schedule. And if any of you have paid a recent visit to MASS MoCA, please tell us about it.

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