Projections for film: Lawrence Abu Hamdan

James Islip (Lumen) has been working with Beirut-based artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan on two recent artist short films.

Walled Unwalled is a single channel 20 minute performance-video installation. The performance comprises of an interlinking series of narratives derived from legal cases that revolved around evidence that was heard or experienced through walls. It consists of a series of performances reenactments and a monologue staged inside a trio of sound effects studios in the Funkhaus, East Berlin, January 2018. Projection was integral part of the shoot, where different videos, images and projection positions were used to give the illusion of set changes within a single space. The projections on set were provided by Lumen, with direction from Lawrence.

Trailer for Walled Unwalled – https://vimeo.com/277253686

Walled Unwalled has been installed / screened at (amongst others) New York Film Festival, Mor Charpentier Paris, Tate Modern London, Dubai, Rotterdam International Film Festival.

James has also just been working with Lawrence in Beirut on a new [untitled] project that will be released in March 2019. Here are some images from the set (Saint Joseph University Beirut).

Armistice Day 2018 Outdoor Projection – Bradford City Hall

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, Lumen were asked by Steve Manthorp to outdoor project his film on to the clock tower of Bradford City Hall. The film featured falling poppies and selected photos of soldiers from the war, including some men from Bradford. The projection looked great on the already impressive city hall, using Madmapper and a Panasonic 21K projector. The film proved very popular with passersby and those that had heard about the event on social media.

William Kentridge – Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Credit: William Kentridge, in collaboration with Philip Miller, Catherine Meyburgh and Peter Gibson. The Refusal of Time, 2012. Film Still. 5-channel video projection, colour, sound, megaphones, breathing machines. 30 minutes. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Lumen were asked by the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, to install William Kentridge’s ‘Thick Time’ – a large scale, audio-visual multi-installation.

The exhibition features no less than 23 projectors, from small 4000 lumen XGA projectors through to large 7000 lumen laser projectors and multiple sound systems, from stereo through to 8 channel surround, across 5 very different installations, with bespoke attachments and custom built sets. With such a large scale installation, the planning stages began back in December 2017. Before installation commenced in August 2018, there were 3 weeks of video encoding and testing at Lumen HQ, to ensure all of the video artworks played back correctly on the respective Brightsign media players, Blackmagic Hyperdeck studio pro 2 and on the multiple different models and types of projector in the exhibition.

Credit: Photo by Lumen.

5 weeks later, after many projectors and speakers being attached walls, hundreds of metres of cables laid and lots of tweaking, the exhibition is now open and well worth a visit. Lumen were also invited to the dinner after the opening, where William Kentridge remarked on the quality of the technical work and Whitworth director, Alistair Hudson, said ‘…this show is really about the technicians!’. We are humbled.

Credit: William Kentridge, in collaboration with Philip Miller, Catherine Meyburgh and Peter Gibson The Refusal of Time, 2012. Film Still. 5-channel video projection, colour, sound, megaphones, breathing machines. 30 minutes. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Credit: William Kentridge 7 Fragments for George Méliès, Day for Night and Journey to the Moon, 2003. 9-channel video installation with sound 16 mm and 35 mm film based on live-action, video and animated drawing, transferred to video, colour. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Credit: William Kentridge 7 Fragments for George Méliès, Day for Night and Journey to the Moon, 2003. 9-channel video installation with sound 16 mm and 35 mm film based on live-action, video and animated drawing, transferred to video, colour. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Credit: William Kentridge 7 Fragments for George Méliès, Day for Night and Journey to the Moon, 2003. 9-channel video installation with sound 16 mm and 35 mm film based on live-action, video and animated drawing, transferred to video, colour. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

It was a pleasure to work at the Whitworth again and Lumen feel very privileged to be involved in such an ambitious, large exhibition by a leading international artist.

“It’s been great to have you all here, the exhibition AV was in very good hands, thank you for being so committed and responsive to all the many, many changes.” Curator Poppy Bowers, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

Installation by James Islip, Joe Osborne, Kathryn Gray, Stuart Bannister, Ben Gwilliam and Tristan Clutterbuck.

Credit: William Kentridge O Sentimental Machine, 2015. 5-channel video installation with four megaphones, HD video, sound 9.55 minutes. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Credit: William Kentridge O Sentimental Machine, 2015. 5-channel video installation with four megaphones, HD video, sound 9.55 minutes. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Sheffield Doc/Fest – Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard’s ‘DOUBLETHINK’

In June, Lumen were commissioned by artists Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard to install their new video work, ‘DOUBLETHINK’, at the 25th Sheffield Doc/Fest. The installation was of two video pieces, titled ‘HOPE’ and ‘HATE’, that were installed inside two long shipping containers. Each container featured a rear projection with bespoke screen and 5.1 surround sound system. The tricky part of the installation was taking a empty shipping container and turning it into a suitable environment for people to experience a video installation. This involved laying carpet, blacking out the whole space with heavy duty material, installing acoustic treatment, constructing benches and building a custom sized, rear projection screen that fit exactly into the almost square dimensions of the container. The results were excellent and presented the artwork in the best possible environment.

Installation by James Islip, Stuart Bannister, Kathryn Gray and Gareth Hustwaite.

Photo by Henry Rees / Helena Dolby, Sheffield Doc/Fest.

 

Flatpack Film Festival 2018

At the end of April, Lumen worked on Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival. Flatpack is an eclectic mix of film screenings, performances and assorted film contraptions. This was Lumens 9th year working on festival, if memory serves us correctly. We’ve worked with the festival while it has grown and evolved to require a diverse array of technical requirements each year – from small and large pop-up film screenings, to full live music performances with simultaneous, multiple 16mm projections. It is always a very enjoyable festival with screenings across the whole of Birmingham’s central area, in many interesting spaces.

 

Photo by Jack Spicer-Adams / Haxan with narration by Reece Shearsmith

Christmas in Leeds 2017

Following on from last Christmas, Lumen were commissioned once more by Leeds BID to create innovative Christmas lights using projection. Students from Leeds Arts University worked closely with James Islip to create Christmas animations to be projected on the lifting tower in Wellington Place and around Leeds City Centre.

 

In addition to the lifting tower, Lumen projected these animations throughout the city centre using a mobile projection bike. The bike carried a leisure battery, a Panasonic laser projector and an Apple Macbook. Needless to say, it was very heavy, but it worked great!

 

We also used the company van to project out of onto the John Lewis building, Belgrave Music Hall and Leeds Arts University and many other locations.

 

Using Madmapper projection mapping software, we created a ‘video wall’ of the animations at the lifting tower.

 

Take a look at our Twitter feed for more images and videos.

Light Up Lancaster

In the autumn, Lumen worked closely with designer Graham Tansley and Niladri, to create an ambitious projection inside the Grade I listed building, Judges’ Lodgings, for Light Up Lancaster, 2017.

Amongst the kit, we used 12 projectors with 12 Brightsign media players, all networked together via Cat5, in different rooms, across 3 floors.

The project had several tricky restrictions, the building had very limited power and we weren’t allowed to touch any of the furniture in the building due to its historic nature.

It has been a rewarding process working with Graham, from advising him in initial discussions, helping provide technical support for previous less complex installations, to this showpiece! There were a lot of things that could have potentially gone wrong with a project as large and ambitious as this, but after a lot of careful preparation, the installation was a success. The final result was very impressive and well received. See the video below.