Lighting up Prague at the Signal Festival
AV Media uses Panasonic projection to bring artwork to life
Every year, streets and public spaces across the Prague are transformed by the Signal Festival. Showcasing the work of Czech and international artists, the Festival attracts thousands to the popular tourist city with openair installations and projection mapping on dozens of buildings as well as the spectacular, spherical Signal Dome.
Integrator AV Media has worked as a technology partner for the Festival since 2013, and provided the technology for a total of five installations for the 2016 iteration, three of which featured Panasonic projectors. AV Media's work was shortlisted in the Live Event category at the InAVation Awards, held annually in Amsterdam.
The work on display at the Festival is a perfect example of how far video projection mapping technology has come in just a few years. Research conducted by Panasonic amongst projection mapping professionals showed a quarter of those surveyed had experienced year-on-year growth in their revenues from mapping projects of more than 50%, with almost half of those saying that their revenues had grown by more than 100%.
"To be able to rely on the projectors to perform for extended periods was very reassuring."
Event organisers are increasingly attracted to the possibilities offered by high brightness projection, as opposed to traditional methods of commemoration such as fireworks.
First introduced at the festival in 2015, the Signal Dome's planetarium-style projection fans out over the heads of the audience, surrounding them in a world full of shapes, lights and images as if it was the night sky. Panasonic projection is at the heart of the Signal Dome installation.
"It's been satisfying for us to be able to realise the artists' visions with projection technology"
Thanks to five PT-DZ21K projectors, visitors were treated to an immersive experience from 7pm every evening. Each of the five projectors offered 20,000 lumens of brightness, coming together to create an expansive 100,000 lumen image within the dome.
Elsewhere at the Festival, the PT-DZ21K was also involved in a 3D projection installation by Barcelona-based design studio Tigrelab. Titled 'Mutis', the installation was created as a tribute to Spanish researcher and botanist Jose Celestine Mutis.
Based around the theme of a scientist's notebook, visitors were treated to an audio-visual experience that dealt in fantasy and cosmology. The quad-lamp technology of the PTDZ21K means that if one lamp should fail, the rest can continue to work and ensure projection still goes on, albeit with reduced brightness.
The setup also gives operators the choice of four operation modes offering a range of brightnesses.
A third attraction at the 2016 Festival made use of Panasonic projectors, the PT-DW740, with Finnish artist Teemu Määttänen's 'Noisescape'. Based around the form and beauty of a wave, intricate images rippled and resembled an ornamental kaleidoscope in an impressive piece of artwork.
Specially designed illusionary projection gave life to an otherwise static plywood structure. The PT-DW740's RGB colour booster makes it ideal for vivid colour projection, while multi-screen support makes the kind of edge blending needed for the installation straightforward to setup.
"The Signal Festival is a very high profile event for Prague and it's crucial that everything goes to plan. To be able to rely on the projectors to perform for extended periods was very reassuring and helped ensure the Festival ran smoothly," said Michal Maťko at AV Media.
"We've been working with the Festival as a technology partner for a number of years now and it's been satisfying for us to be able to realise the artists' visions with projection technology so well. We're looking forward to continuing our work in 2017 when the Festival returns in October."