More progress on the Video Mutoscope. The upholstery is well under way with the top button tufted stitched and padded. I have an order in for 66 blueberry buttons (blue glass spheres) with my glassblower with which to tuft the leather top. In the meantime, I will tuft it with stand-in buttons to get the padding and stitching right, then upholster it around the sides. Having the finished top will help me to play with the inside elements, and to finalize the design for the sides as I get ready to screenprint the logo and stitch strips of stripes down the sides. Before I upholster the sides, however, I need to nail down what my peephole and or holes are going to be, which is going to be a long process of trial and error, playing with internal and external elements, and deciding what is going to be where--should a person be able to stick their whole head in? One eye? Two eyes? Maybe there is a curtain that they or a performer standing nearby or laying on the top will pull aside for them to take a peek? I'm not thrilled with the look of the first projections, its a little boring and straightforward--the inside has to be truly magical, surprising, and worth the peek. I am going to go with a multi-layered backlit diarama with projection. And then there is the possibility of adding electronic interaction beyond the analog interaction of pulling back a curtain and peeking in. There could be a series of images and a light sensor which tells the projection to change. There could be a mechanical theatre with moving parts. I am going to continue looking at the Peepshow Images History I got from the Library, and ruminate more on some of Rodney Graham's work and the genius way he pairs elements.
The projected magic lantern (overhead projector) of my drawings is going well. The Eastman House Photo Archivist gave me a link to their collection of Magic Lantern slides, which are incredible to scan through. Ooh-Here it tis: http://www.geh.org/ I am working toward a narrative which has the Pioneer joining an itinerate performance group as The Peepshow/Video Mutoscope Projectionist, then things taking a turn which leaves here in the gallery with the box, under the box, inside the box?
I need to buy staples.
Here are the images of the box in progress:
I'm also curious about an interactive/microcontroller element to the peepbox, of course, and in researching what others have done I found the Swedish Artist Group Performing Pictures They could be a good source for ideas for interactive work. They've done some painting reenactments in peep boxes for museums.. this seems more like a "please touch" application than an artwork, but it gets my gears turning.
Considering interactive lighting: