Week 2: History and Theory

Exercise 1:

Compile a list of five contemporaries in your field or who might inform your research either practically or conceptually.

  • Friedrich Van Schoor- multimedia and video art- AND Tarek Mawad- german works with 3d art, animation and photography- worked together to create ‘projections in the forest’- Spent six weeks in the forest trying to encapsulate ‘bioluminescence’
  • Peter Hoffman- photographer- Destroying negatives with different substances.
  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul- artist- video art- Home video (fire ball with fans projected)
  • John French- Fashion photographer-Artist from the 1960s- ‘Circle patterned projection model’

Describe the work in detail as if you were reverse engineering it. What skills and knowledge sets are involved? What antecedents does the work evoke? How does it work technically (in the one hand) and conceptually/theoretically (on the other).

‘Home Video’– I viewed this at the Biennale. A large piece of tinted glass hanging from the middle of the ceiling in the middle of the room. (Used its space very well) to create the feeling of a campfire in a cave. The projected image was positioned at the back of the glass and reflected onto the floor space in front of the glass. Joe was inspired by primitive forms of cinema. Joe challenges the concepts of memory, imagination and transformation and works that into all of his media art produced.


Projecting on a 3d object.


  • How does this work fit within a wider Series of works, how does this work fit within the artists wider Practice/Practices

Home video- This is just one are work from many that he has created within his primitive project. Joe drew on parts of a book called ‘A man who can recall past lives’- he explored this instead of adapting the text. Joe’s art works challenge the concepts of memory, imagination and transformation. They each speak to each other through the use of these concepts and Joe’s ideas weave in and out of all of his combined art works in some kind of way to create a sense of unison, discovery and commonality


Exercise 2: Historical Context: Media Archaeology-


My Vectors:

  1. Projection Mapping
  2. Spacial Augmented Reality
  3. Video Mapping.


A basic Timeline of projection mapping can be found here.

Timeline of Cinema (Projection):

1832- Joseph Plateau and sons introduce the Phenakistoscope. Like other toys of its kind, the Phenakistoscope was one of the more successful illusion toys. Pictures on one disc viewed through slots in the other, appeared to move when the two were spun and viewed in a mirror.

1839- Henry Fox Talbot- introduction of being able to print photography onto glass slides which could be projected using magic lanterns.

1846- Important development in motion pictures was the invention of intermittent mechanisms.

1882- Emile Reynaud expands on his praxinoscope and using mirrors and a lantern is about to project moving images onto a screen.

1888 Thomas A. Edison, inventor of the electric light bulb and the phonograph decides to design machines for making and showing moving pictures. With his assistant W.K.L Dickson (who did most of the work), Edison began experimenting with adapting the phonograph and tried in vain to make rows of tiny photographs on similar cylinders.


 Timeline of Light:


1803- Humphry Davy created an electric lamp

1835- James Bowman Lindsay created the Lightbulb

1841- Humphrys Davys Arc Lamp, tried to light up a street.

1867- Fluorescent lights were develop by A. E. Becquerel

1950s- Stanley McCandless- authored ‘A method of Lighting the Stage’

1978- Roscolux Color filters were introduced with more than 140 color options for stage and studio

1999- Break-through in LED lighting.


Timeline of Illusion/magic and media: 

1350 BCE- Ancient Egyptian are are flat- depth is shown by overlapping forms.

450BC- Epicharmus and Protagorus invented optical illusions.

1700-  Alhazen created the first pin hole camera

1435 Leon Battista Alberti and Filippo Brunelleschi created a system know as linear perspective.

1508- Leonardo Da Vinci defines the first aerial perspective

1826- Johannes Mueller (a psychologist) wrote books about visual illusions- first person who called distortions ‘visual illusions’

1854- Psychologist J.J Oppel wrote about line illusions

Key protagonists and developments on this timeline worth noting for deeper research?


1350 BCE- This is interesting who looking at the ‘home video’ the images are overlayed to make it look like the object is 3d when it is projected. A Projected image is but on a flat surface, only to look like it isn’t.

1854- Line illusion- this is used within most optical illusions we see today- it speaks with all other history about vectors and linear perspectives invented.



1978- I believe this to be important- as seen in the biolumiscence rainforest didn’t colors projected only enhance the organic environment. Through any sort of projected image color was used to change the way the light is projected.



1832- This is a really important element as it encapsulates optical illusion. Which can be played with in a similar way. For instance the circle patterned models. The pattern is projected onto a 3d shape and creates a sense of 2d image. This questions what optical illusion is about.

1888– Important to look at as we see the way projection in the bioluminous rainforest works in the sense of a film being the next step.


Key theoretical perspectives: 

Joseph- Louis Gay Lussac (1778-1850) Report on the Daguerreotype

Oliver Wendall Holmes (1809-1894)’The stereoscope and the stereograph’

Exercise 3:Academic bibliography

My 5 related academic papers: 

Hainich, Rolf R., and Oliver Bimber. Displays, edited by Rolf R. Hainich, and Oliver Bimber, CRC Press, 2016. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/lib/UOW/detail.action?docID=4769151 – Increasing capabilities, declining cost. They aren’t bound to canvases or dedicated screen configurations. This reading stated the limitations and tips to over-come projection on different surfaces. Image correction techniques are also discussed.

Bimber & Raskar, O & R, 2005. Spatial Augmented Reality: Merging Real and Virtual Worlds. Spatial Augmented Reality: Merging Real and Virtual Worlds, [Online]. CRC Press, 5-140. Available at: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=JEu3BgAAQBAJ&dq=%22spatial+augmented+reality%22+projection+mapping&lr=&source=gbs_navlinks_s– Both authors describe how augmented reality is becoming an emerging platform in new areas. i.e. museums, home entertainment, industries, art communities. These authors discuss special reality in its different forms (video projectors, holograms, optical elements etc.) in relation to their similar techniques of changing the real environment to a video of the real environment.

SpringerLink. 2017. Augmented reality technologies, systems and applications | SpringerLink . [ONLINE] Available at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11042-010-0660-6– This paper explains different works that researches have undertaken when building Augmented Reality applications and explains some of the systems challenges and requirements that made it successful. This challenges range from them facing labs to industries as well as the future challenges that can be predicted.

Google US. 2017. Patent US5685625 – Apparatus and method for creating optical illusion effects – Google Patents. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.google.com/patents/US5685625– This article looks at how different apparatus can be used to provide optical illusion effects and deceive the audience who is looking at them. It takes us through different techniques as well as some history behind the way in which optical illusions have been used in the past using techniques such as ‘peppers Ghost’ created in the 19th century (haunted house- using angles pieces of glass to display a ghost which wasn’t really there)

Attention and awareness in stage magic: turning tricks into research : Article : Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2017. Attention and awareness in stage magic: turning tricks into research : Article : Nature Reviews Neuroscience. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v9/n11/full/nrn2473.html– This is an article based on cognitive scientists exploring the way humans are manipulated through their attention and awareness when it comes to visual art and illusions in order to take brain images and neural recordings. This article actually goes through each magic trick and describes how our brain is tricked scientifically.

 Oliver Bimber

More Sources:

Christopher, M. & Christopher, M. The Illustrated History of Magic (Carroll & Graf, New York, 2006).

Troncoso, X. G., Macknik, S. L. & Martinez-Conde, S. Novel visual illusions related to Vasarely’s “nested squares” show that corner salience varies with corner angle. Perception 34, 409–420 (2005).

Lamont, P. & Wiseman, R. Magic in Theory (Hermetic, Seattle, 1999).

Pickrell, J. E., Bernstein, D. M. & Loftus, E. F. in Cognitive Illusions (ed. Pohl, R. F.) 345–361 (Psychology Press, New York, 2004).

Dennett, D. Explaining the “magic” of consciousness. J. Cult. Evol. Psychol. 1, 7–19 (2003).

Fiedler, K. in Cognitive Illusions (ed. Pohl, R. F.) 97–114 (Psychology Press, New York, 2004).

Macknik, S. L., Fisher, B. D. & Bridgeman, B. Flicker distorts visual space constancy. Vision Res. 31, 2057–2064 (1991).

King, M. 11th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (Las Vegas, 2007).

Teller. The Magic of Consciousness symposium. 11th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (Las Vegas, 2007).

Bazargan. Techniques in Display Holography. PhD thesis, Physics Dept, Imperial College, London University, April 1986

O.Bimber, D. Klock, T. Amano, A. Grundhofer, and D. Kurz. Closed-loop feedback illumination for optical inverse tone mapping in light microscopy. IEEE Transactions on visualization and Computer graphics, 2010

Oliver Bimber. Projector-Based Augmentation. In Michael Haller, Mark Billinghurst, and Bruce Thomas, editors, Emerging technologies of Augmented Reality: Interfaces and Design, pages 64-89. Idea Group, 2006

Oliver Bimber and Andreas Emmerling. Multifocal Projection: A multiprojector Technique for increasing Focal Depth. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), 12(4):658-667, 2006

Matthew S. Brennesholtz and Edward H. Stupp. Projection Displays. Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 2008

Ozan Cakmakci and Jannick Rolland. Head-worn displays: A review. Journal of display Technology, 2(3):199-216, September 2006





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