Our goal is to create a high-end transformative experience: Master Projection Designer Bart Kresa
In an interaction with Express Computer, Master Projection Designer Bart Kresa shares his journey in the projection artwork / mapping space, some of his biggest projects and much more
Tell us more about how you started off in this industry (Projection Artwork / Mapping) and how has it evolved over the years?
I was born in Warsaw, and grew up studying classical music. When I was 21, I moved to Los Angeles, and was attending a school of photography. When I was in school, I met a teacher who was creating installations with multiple slide projectors. So, I was already familiar with projections as art in galleries. I started to develop an interest in photography, and this eventually led me back to projections. In the basement of my first house in LA, I built a small studio with four slide projectors and electronic instruments. Then, I started experimenting. My first architectural projection piece was in 1995. I was invited to work on a project with artists from San Francisco and Italy for Arte Multi Visione in Italy.
Over the next 10 years, my personal art passion developed into bigger and bigger projects. In 2006, I started my company, BARTKRESA studio, and worked on my first really big project, “Gift of Angels,” at Universal Studios Japan. Since then, I have travelled the world, worked on many different and inspiring projects. In December, I took a team of more than twenty people to India to create a show that had 90 projectors for a two-night-only event. That was exciting. In February, I started an academy for projection design in Poland. We have four students from three countries, and I love getting to pass along the knowledge and experience that I have gained. I truly love this medium.
What is the key foundation in the curation process with your clients? How do you piece it with your inspiration and creativity?
Our goal is to create a high-end transformative experience, and we never want to settle for anything less. As a philosophy, we challenge ourselves to make every project original. We never want to do the same thing twice. I also challenge myself and my studio to stay on the edge, learn new things, and explore new ideas. For the last few years, we have been exploring 360-degree projection-mapped sculpture. Our newest piece, Sviatovid, is a 15-foot-tall sculpture that is designed and built with a library of amazing, musically driven animation.
What were the key challenges you faced when setting up these shows, in particular how did you solve outdoor venue problems vs indoors?
We have certain power, internet, and time requirements for our installations that do not always match the resources present, or the schedule that the client has in mind. As a result, I have developed two production trailers that we take on site with us. We still need power and internet on site, but we try to bring everything else that we need to install and adjust the projections in as efficient and minimally invasive a way as possible. This allows us to work with the constraints of the location, and to be as flexible as possible.
What was the craziest project you have done? Also, which was your favourite project?
The craziest projects are the ones that have compressed timelines. Most of our projects include at least two months for design and animation, and at least three days for installation – if not weeks or months in the case of large, permanent installations. Last year, we did a 90-projector show on a week’s notice. We have some wonderful clients, and we go to great lengths to make special shows, even in extreme circumstances.
My favourite project is the projections that we created for Optimus Prime in the Universal Spectacle Night Parade, at Universal Studios Japan. Optimus Prime is one of the floats in the parade, and he transforms from a truck, into a twenty-foot-tall robot in front of the audience. We animated all of the gears and surface treatments that bring Optimus Prime to life. The projections track with the robot as he transforms. This is truly unlike anything else that has been done with projections, and I am so proud to have been a part of figuring out this amazing challenge.
Tell us why have you chosen to speak at InfoComm India 2019, and where do you see major opportunities for projection mapping in this region (South Asia/ Mid-East)?
I appreciate Avixa’s dedication to bringing awareness to all of the facets within the AV industry. Even though projection mapping has existed for a long time, this medium is still unfamiliar to many people. I appreciate the opportunity to share the artform that I love with my peers. Both in this region, and around the globe, we are entering into the experience economy. I see projections are the perfect tool for creating unique, immersive experiences. My outlook on our industry is that we are beginning a golden age of projection.
What will be the key takeaway by the audience attending your keynote address?
The presentation will give an overview of our studio’s approach to design. I will use some of our projects as case studies, showing the application of the history of projection mapping, and principles of design thinking in our development and design process.
Catch Bart’s keynote address on “The Future of Immersive Experiences” happening on 18th September 2019.
For more info, view the latest program at http://www.infocomm-india.com/program.php
As this is a by-invite only event, kindly RSVP with us at [email protected]
If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]