OPUS 1 is pleased to announce our partnership with Christie Digital as the official projection partner illuminating the entirety of Merriweather Post Pavilion and the Symphony Woods. Christie is the world’s leading provider of audiovisual solutions, and a pioneer in technical innovations in the field. The company’s creative studio, Christie 360, is providing creative content, consulting advice and advanced projection and display systems for OPUS 1. In addition to their superior projection systems, Christie 360’s The Forest Between piece will enliven OPUS 1’s Enchanted Forest zone with a fantasy flight of light, color, and sound, opening doors onto secret worlds in the spaces between the trees.
As Christie’s products have been involved in some many amazing installations, are there 5 particularly spectacular immersive experiences involving Christie that you could tell us about?
Christie is fortunate enough to be involved in so many innovative projects around the world, and each has something to be excited about: quality of content, performance of a playback system with mega high resolution material, brightness, color saturation or high frame rates. Our contribution to the recent opening ceremonies at the Olympics stands out as a particularly striking example of new technology at work – 3D projection on a truly massive scale. Another recent project we’re quite proud of is the nightly projection mapping show on the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. To use such an iconic façade as a canvas for our artistic vision was a privilege and thrill. Our work at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry also stands out as one of our most interesting recent deliveries. It involves the use of our RGB laser technology on a giant screen. The color and contrast of the experience is fantastic. Lastly, projects in Asia such as the Marina Bay Sands, where we project on water, have been fantastic collaborations with our local partners.
Beyond your best-in-class product line, Christie is also innovating experiential installations through the Christie 360 Studio. Could you tell us more about the Studio’s work and objectives?
Our primary objective is the development of digital media strategies that help meet the needs and expectations of our clients and industry partners in the context of the new experience economy, in which it’s vitally important to establish strong connections with audiences. The necessary correlation of this is meeting the needs and expectations of those audiences – the end users of our clients and partners.
Our team builds on Christie’s long-standing renown in engineering and product development to facilitate the delivery of experiential installations in a myriad of environments. We leverage this wealth of experience and technical knowledge in innovative ways in order to redefine the art of the possible for brands and destinations.
How is multimedia technology changing our relationship with our surrounding environments? What is Christie doing to push the boundaries?
It’s been established that after moving from a production economy into a service economy, we’ve entered a new experience economy. Along with this paradigm shift has come a ubiquitous media presence and an elevation of consumer expectation. Media has changed commercial spaces into living environments, dynamic contexts that have evolved from the static world of the service and production economies. These are new contexts with which users enter into dialogue rather than simply enter.
We want to push this further by integrating a tighter connection between the digital media experience and architecture, design and business models; getting in on the early stages of space conception and creation and redefining media as material. We want digital media to be understood as an integral component, like concrete or structural engineering, not as a frivolous add-on.
Our trajectory is to refine technologies and dream up unique experiences that help realize our clients’ visions while balancing costs, performance, efficiencies and impact on the business front. For Christie 360 specifically, we’re interested in investing time and focus on peripheral aspects of technology: strategy, exploration (both creative and technological), and bridging the larger world of Christie with the user experience. To us, this amounts to a portrait of the technology provider of the future.
You have created installations for some very grand and intricate spaces. What excites you most about using digital technology to augment the unique environment of the Symphony Woods?
To start, we have to tip the hat to the Howard Hughes Corporation for commissioning this event. Beyond stating a commitment to the community of Columbia, OPUS 1 is an acknowledgement of trends in innovation, music and art and how they connect with today’s urban lifestyles. With it, the Howard Hughes Corporation also recognizes the place of new media arts within the traditional canon, that multimedia as art is becoming the norm. We’re also excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Ken Farmer and his team. The creative vision they have elaborated for this event was an important element in our decision to participate in this first edition of OPUS 1. It demonstrates values we share, values based on the convergence of digital art, traditional art, and the natural world. This will definitely be on show in the Enchanted Forest where we’ll be introducing our Forest Between concept.
What’s next for Christie and Christie 360? Any new products or projects in development that you could give us a sneak peek?
The next 12 to 18 months will be particularly active for Christie in terms of innovation, both on the technical and experiential fronts. This will include innovations in laser technology, and on many aspects of the media ecosystems, from hardware to systems, playback, and content – all the synchronistic elements.
On the project front, we are currently working on what is set to be the largest digital media installation in the world to date: a permanent, immersive projection mapping canvas almost a mile long. On the event side, after OPUS 1 we will turn our attention to the first edition of the Lumières Hong Kong Festival, where we will showcase a variety of unique projection mapping experiences as well as an interactive station that will harness the creativity of our visitors. These are definitely exciting times for our industry, and for us.
Technical Contributions to OPUS 1:
In addition to delivering creative content for the Enchanted Forest, Christie has generously donated a wide range of projection and display equipment and experiential consulting services to help OPUS 1 come to life. Christie products used span almost 40 advanced digital projectors, including the Christie® Boxer, Christie Roadster, Christie® M Series, Christie® Q Series, the Christie LX700 XGA LCD, Christie Roadster S +20K and Roadie HD +35K, and Christie Roadster HD 10K-M projectors. Their varied, multi-media content will be managed and processed by multiple Christie® Pandoras Box Server that unite state-of-the-art rendering technology with intuitive media and show control, powered by a versatile render-engine for real-time compositing in 3D and which allows for projection onto any shape and any surface.