MAPPATHON: The Intersection of the Digital and Physical World

As multimedia is certainly sweeping the contemporary art world, new media artists are not going for the past’s banal conventions; instead, they are more than ever employing evolving technology to bring dynamic interaction of the digital and physical world to the public. Projection mapping is a technology that can turn almost any surface into a dynamic video display. Specialized software is used to warp and blend projected images so they fit perfectly on irregularly-shaped “screens”. These projections then become independent organisms, expressing characters through their designated language: that of space, light, form, and sound.

In preparation for our upcoming MAPPATHON workshop, we sat down with MAPPATHON’s creator and instructor, CHiKA, and asked her a few questions. CHiKA is an interactive visual artist and educator who creates interactive projection mapping installations that explore the relationship between light, sound and public audience.

How did you become interested in projection mapping?

Coming from a VJ (live visual performance) background, projecting onto 3-dimensional surfaces looked very fresh compared to an ordinary projection on a flat surface. I became inspired and interested in projection mapping to explore a new way of presenting my artwork.

How is projection mapping incorporated into your own work and how does this tool enhance the meaning of your work?

I shifted my work from video to LED installations using a projection mapping technique in order to simplify my artistic expression and give a stronger message. With this technique, the public can see their collaboration with the installation much more clearly and easily.


 What are some interesting past projects that students of your workshop came up with?

My students always surprise me, especially a student who has no knowledge of video or projection mapping. These are the ones who always jump high. I guess students come into my workshop like a white canvas. Past students have explored projection on existing structures of space, founded objects, origami paper, 3d masks and themselves!

What kind of projects do you think best lend themselves to the techniques/technologies learned in your workshop?

Creating simple 2 or 3 dimensional surfaces to understand how the projection mapping software MadMapper works. Also, recognizing how the video content relates to the shape of the surface onto which it is projected helps to convey a good concept.

 What artistic projects are you working on now?

Right now I am working on creating a wearable LED cloth, an infinity installation and a generative data visualization piece.


MAPPATHON will be held at REVERSE from Friday, March 27th through Sunday, March 29th. The workshop will culminate with a Showcase of the students’ installations on Sunday, March 29th from 6 – 8 PM.