Over the past six months we have been assembling the various strands of this project in relative isolation. The nature of the piece requires us to bring each element to quite a high state of development before it is possible to integrate it with any other. We have had website meetings, drawing workshops, sound installation sessions, tripod design meetings and audio-visual integration. It was quite late in the process before we had the chance to see how it would work together. Nick at ArtAV, our technical expert, hired a big shed on an industrial estate near Middlesbrough to accommodate a mock up of the whole installation.
The fully rendered and encoded film of the drawing was impossible to complete in time for the mock up; but we worked late into the night to create some assembled images that allowed us to rehearse the myriad layers within the drawing, and test how they would project in reality. Would it hang together at all? There were so many variables, and a narrow window after the mock-up to change things if they were wrong.
In the cavernous darkness of the shed, Nick and his team, with Kevin our sound man, had set up a table crammed with monitors, controls and cables. It comfortingly resembled the sound desk of a thrash metal band back in the 80s: lots of frowning blokes in black tee shirts and streams of serpentine wires sprawling out into the gloom. The tripods and projectors looked ugly and beautiful all at once. When the projections came on we were both thrilled and appalled. Nick took us up onto his elevated cherry picker platform and we could look down on top of the whole moving carpet of the projection. Plenty to look at, plenty more to do.