Posted: Jul 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM [Jul 23, 2012]
Ann Arbor, MI - Imagine a work of art that is 16 feet wide by 24 stories tall, consisting of swirling abstract laser light. Guests at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids Hotel were delighted by a sneak preview of just that. Mike Gould and Krunal Desai were testing a prototype laser projector array on Monday evening, July 16.
The positive feedback they received from the crowd gathered in the hotel atrium has further fueled Gould’s artistic fervor. He envisions being able to control the light by a wave of your hand, making the projections brighter or dimmer, or changing the speed of the shifting patterns. He has a core team of experts in lasers, electronics, computers, and theater,working with him on creating “Stratus 10”, Gould’s ArtPrize 2012 entry. This interactive, kinetic laser art work will be on display in the JW Marriott, but as Gould was able to confirm, will also be clearly visible from across the Grand River.
The projector is equipped with six “laser cannons”, each housing a very powerful laser in one of three colors: red, green, and blue. The lasers are directed through custom-designed optics which transform the narrow beam into a wall-filling abstract kinetic pattern. Viewers will further be able to influence and interact with the dancing, shifting projections as they move their body in front of a Kinect sensor. Originally intended as a game controller, Kinect has been adapted by many artists as a means to control various works of art.
ArtPrize, the radically open, international art competition in Grand Rapids, Mich., will have 1,517 confirmed entries from 56 countries and 45 states when the fourth annual exhibition opens on September 19, 2012. Artists from all corners of the world will show their work in 162 venues within three-square miles of downtown Grand Rapids to compete for a combination of public votes and juried prizes and secure part of the world’s largest art prize, totaling $560,000. This turns everyone from passive observer into active participant. Voting is free and open to anyone 16 years of age or older. ArtPrize draws over 300,000 people, from novices to art world movers and shakers. 162 urban venues will display the artists’ offerings, from museums to hotels to soup kitchens.
Gould and his team are actively seeking sponsors to support this elaborate, ambitious, expansive, and needless to say expensive project. Prospective donors are encouraged to visit the project’s website at mikegouldlaserartist.com.
Ann Arbor-based, Gould has been working with lasers, electro-optical components and industrial design since the early seventies. A classic early adopter, in 1972 he mail ordered a helium-neon gas laser and promptly adapted it for use in a ‘Son et Lumière’ presentation at the University of Michigan School of Education. Later he founded Illuminatus Lightshow which has been entertaining audiences at area conventions for over three decades. He is also well known for building laser devices into very unique and creatively repurposed materials, such as lunch boxes and vacuum cleaners, and will be demonstrating his talents at Maker Faire Detroit at The Henry Ford this coming weekend, July 28-29.
“My artistic focus has always been concentrated on the interplay of art and technology: primarily the interaction between the audience and light. I try to raise light to its purest level, illuminating our world in novel ways to inspire and awe the beholder. And what better way to condense the perfection of light than by using lasers - monochromatic until combined, linear until artistically altered, coherent until molded by esthetic enterprise.
A purity of color, a movement of line and form, a brightness to rival the natural noon; that is my direction.”
Lux Plus Esto
Let there be more light