Before Glenn G. Bartle Library becomes a haven of cramming, the library will celebrate the last day of classes with an outdoor activity: a showing of projection artwork against the Library Tower. The third annual “Take the Tower” projection of student artwork, organized by the cinema department, will be displayed Tuesday from 9:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The work being shown is made up of traditional and computer animation, as well as digital videos made by students taking animation-related classes taught by Ariana Gerstein, film editor and associate professor in the cinema department. Although this is an annual event, Gerstein said she wants to keep the event fresh.
“Each time, I try to do something different with the students, to see what works and to learn from each experience,” Gerstein said.
A powerful digital projector and updated software technology like Isadora, which is used for projection mapping, will be added to this year’s setup.
In order to make this event possible for the third consecutive year, cinema students, art students and professors have come together to showcase work. A donation by cinema department alumnus, Jonathan Plasse, ‘72, along with support from the Harpur College Dean’s Office, helped make the event happen this semester.
Live sound performance has been important to the event in previous years, and this year is no different. Harrison Lainhart, a senior majoring in cinema, will be spearheading the music this semester. Lainhart will be creating the soundtrack for the show and performing it live. He will also have his artwork displayed on the tower.
Last spring, students in Gerstein’s Cinema 360: Expanded Cinema course collaborated with a theatre department dance class taught by Andy Horowitz, an artist-in-residence in the theatre department, to create art for the projection.
This spring, the students in Gerstein’s Cinema 380G: Experimental Animation Project class spent most of their semester working on pieces for the projection show. Some students worked on their projects independently, while others collaborated with partners to create their work.
Students used traditional art techniques for their projects, including stop-motion collage, charcoal on paper and other methods using animation stands. For students who work mostly with live-action film and video, these techniques can be fun and new.
Ken Jacobs, distinguished professor emeritus of cinema and one of the founding faculty members of the department, has worked on projects for the department with dual projections and 3-D effects. Gerstein said that his work has made an impact on the work displayed at this event.
“I teach classes that utilize projection on the tower because of a longtime personal interest in the creative possibilities of projection in cinema,” Gerstein said. “Jacobs has done wonderful work with his ‘Nervous System’ of dual projectors toward a 3-D effect. There is a wide range of approaches to projection, outside of the traditional theater setting, that are very exciting and challenging.”
In order to encourage students’ passion for cinema and animation, there is a new animation workspace for use by members of the cinema department. The equipment includes repurposed materials, as well as new cameras and software. The room started with a donation of an old Oxberry animation stand, which had previously been used in professional animation production in Los Angeles.
“I am very happy to be working with students on these events and hope some of them catch the projection bug, like I did when I was a student,” Gerstein said.
During the event, the projection will be visible from most vantage points on the Spine, but the Pegasus Statue will have the best view.