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Thursday 12 November 2015

Into the Woods with Solent

A new forest-based immersive environment has been created in Solent Showcase Gallery in the heart of the city.

Forest, an ongoing artwork by Julian Konczak, is a creative collaboration from staff across Southampton Solent University. It features multiple video projectors and surround sound, which allows the audience to step into a hyper realistic rendering of nature.

Developed and produced by Julian Konczak, senior lecturer in media production at Solent, it features sound by Natalia Kulabuchova, associate lecturer in popular music and involves a collaboration with Andrew Horsburgh, lecturer in audio technology.

“Forest is a series of works that interpret the landscape, principally using video and technologies such as ambisonic surround sound and gaming technologies to place the viewer at the centre of an experience,” Julian explains.

“I find the landscape, and landscapes in general, very evocative, and although there are no people in the shots, I find them very strong and emotional places. Particularly with the changing seasons, I feel they communicate a poetry about life and our relationship with the planet.”

Initially developed through a partnership with the archive based at the New Forest Visitors Centre in Lyndhurst, the project helps the audience step away from the two-dimensionality of a television screen and into something more dimensional.

“One of the things I was exploring in this particular exhibition was ways in which you could step into the frame,” adds Julian.

“To me it’s quite an interesting opportunity to really see what technology can do; that we don’t necessarily have to be stuck with the two-dimensionality of a television screen.

“I think one of the other interesting things about this project is that it links technical research into projection and a new language of film-making.

“Increasingly we’re seeing more screens in different places because they’re getting cheaper, and so the potential for these new mediums really needs to be explored by media students today.”

You can see the Forest on display at Solent Showcase Gallery, 157-187 Above Bar Street, Southampton, until 28 November 2015. You can find out more about the project on theirwebsite.