Blue Hour project, Prague Quadrennial 2019

Blue Hour project, Prague Quadrennial 2019

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In June we were honoured to support the Blue Hour project, a large scale multi-disciplinary art installation for the 2019 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. The past months we worked closely with lighting designer Pavla Beranova who utilized Capture to its full extent. Once it was all over, we asked her about her experience with the entire project, so we will let her do the talking:

“For almost a year I had the chance to be a member of an international team of artists whose task was to create together a large scale immersive space within the Prague Quadrennial exhibition area. A kind of magical landscape for visitors to wander around. The name of the installation was "Blue hour" and the main artist and video designer was Romain Tardy from Brussels. The curatorial team Markéta Fantová and Jan Rolník sought to experiment with the shifting boundaries between the “non-material” or “virtual” and the “real” world, to explore the capacity of performance design to enlist technology in cultural production.

I was responsible for lighting, then there was Robert Kaplowitz from the US for sound, compositor John Richards from the UK, VR researchers Joris Weijdom (NL) and Paul Cegys (CAN) and another Czech artist Tereza Stehlikova to create "tactile environment”. Shannon Harvey from Backastage Academy UK was in charge of the system integration, which means establishing a functional data flow between all above mentioned fields. Each of us is also supposed to work with a group of selected young people that should participate in the creative process. In my "lighting work group" there were six young set or light designers from different countries and I had a great work group co-leader Fereshteh Rostampour, an experienced light designer and light design teacher from the US.

We were working in the space of a former ice hockey hall that was equipped with two scaffoldings and a simple rig for lights. Almost all fixtures were provided by Robe that supported PQ2019 as one of main sponsors. Altogether there were about 120 moving heads and a certain quantity of static fixtures. ETC provided us with 2 Eos Gio consoles for programming on site. Capture supported us with a license of visualization software that became the essential tool in the preparatory part of the process.

I created a 3D model of the lighting system in Capture and shared it with my work group participants. I also used it to prepare main presets with the console operator that were then adjusted in the real space.

The idea was to create a 24 minutes long cycle consisting in four different phases. We created four groups of participants, with always one light designer, one sound designer and one video artist. Each group was responsible for one phase of the cycle. The construction of scaffoldings took almost four days, so my participants had to do a lot of work in the 3D space before being able to program. They used Capture to share their ideas with the rest of their team. It also made the actual programming on site much quicker.”

Blue Hour
Prague Quadrennial 2019 (PQ2019)
Pavla Beranova

Photos by David Kummerman.