Theme The theme we started with was the connection between dream and reality. We chose to project a carnival scene with the shadows of junk objects. In our installation, we’ve used dead material (the physical junk) to bring a carnival scene to life. The ‘live’ part (the carnival scene) is only a shadow and doesn’t really exist, whereas the ‘dead’ part is what has real existence. What the user enters the space, he sees only the junk but when the shadows are projected, it is sort of an illusion created in the mind of the user. We’ve explored how differently objects can be perceived. Here, we’ve taken junk that is considered ugly and created something that is completely contradictory to it.
Sketches This were the elements that we came up with after a brainstorming session. We concentrated on forms that would be easy to replicate and build on in 3D with junk and that would be easily recognizable as 2D shadows as well. We collectively narrowed down on a few final elements based on sketches and iterations we had done individually.
Lighting We had never worked so closely with lighting before, so it was quite a challenge. Ultimately we realized that it was not just about the light source but also the intensity, the angle, the colour, the distance and the material as well. For example, plastic bottles gave a more textured effect than paper which was gave a flatter shadow; which is why we decided to use colourful cellophane paper in a way that made the composition more dynamic and added to the mood of the carnival.
Ferris Wheel We were really fascinated with the shadow that the basket created and the distorted perspective with different light sources but later we realized that it was more pretty than ferris wheel-like.
Rollercoaster The rollercoaster was the largest element in our composition and therefore the first we started working with. This was the most important part because the light source we fixed for the rollercoaster would determine how we placed the other elements The form of the rollercoaster was determined by the junk material we found and how their shadows interacted with each other.
Components We built figures like popcorn, horses for the merry-go-round and candy floss using junk, cellophane paper and fabric like organza and polyester. Besides using a lot of tape, we used heat setting and melting different types of material . Certain components were designed in a way that it projected a coloured shadow to make the scene more interesting. On the other hand, objects like the horses couldn’t be used in the final installation because they were too recognizable as constructed horses in the pile of junk.
Experimenting with the RGB LED Once the base of the installation was ready, we put in an RGB LED as our light source. We found that not only did the changing lights look more interesting and dynamic but also the shadows were much sharper. Also, the LED was much less obtrusive than the bulb. This enhanced the overall effect of the carnival.
Moving the installation to the ground level We found that the shadows were bigger and the light source less obtrusive. Introduced a new perspective to the installation and heightened the difference, as now, the junk and the shadows were viewed from different angles.
Jaaga The main requirement for our installation was a blank wall to project the shadows onto and sufficient space to arrange the junk and place the LED. This was the most suitable space at Jaaga. http://jaaga.wikidot.com/
Music The music wasn’t absolutely essential to our installation; we used it to build the carnival atmosphere when the LED would come on and also to create a greater sense of difference between when the audience comes in and sees only the junk and when the shadows are projected. Click here to listen to the sound clip
Final Set -up Adding layers of junk, trying to create a disconnect between the junk and the shadow it forms but it was really difficult to do that after the entire composition was set-up so I don’t think we were quite successful in that.
The final installation Ferris wheel Hot-air balloon Merry-go-round Rollercoaster Popcorn Cotton candy Fairy lights Layers of junk
Shadows In the end, we realized that we hadn’t really managed to cover up the junk cleverly enough to create an illusion of a carnival in the shadows that was very different from the arrangement of the actual junk.
Group members Chahat Neha Kamala Karishma Shreyasi Shruti