Robin Bells Political Projection Mapping
On the evening of May 15th, 2017, The Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. was bathed in light. While the display only lasted about 10 minutes before being shut down, both passerby’s and tourists were able to witness it, taking photos and videos as souvenirs. While may artists use projection mapping techniques to create a visual aspect to music shows, Robin Bell is using projection mapping as a medium for political protest. In the wake of a new political landscape, Bell is using projection mapping to stage monumental installations on government buildings. In his guerrilla-protest piece entitled, “Emoluments welcome”, Bell displays a juxtaposition of images against the trump hotel.
The Words “Emoluments Welcome” are the banner above the entryway to the hotel, atop a background of Turkish and Russian flags scrolling horizontally in a loop. The faux-fluorescent sign that says “Open 24 hours” brings to mind that of a seedy motel instead of the “regal” Trump brand. The emolument clause from the constitution is then projected, calling into question the legality of the properties of the businessman turned president. Then, In case there was any confusion regarding the meaning of the installation or the artists political stance, the words “Pay Trump bribes here” are also projected onto the face of the building.
His projections, while not explicit animations, do use similar techniques to animated projection mapping. He is using light to create a visual narrative while employing an architectural surface as a canvas. He also makes sure that the words and banners of each scene fit perfectly atop of the entryway of the Hotel, so there had to have been some knowledge of software and composition.
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