Project statement: I went with a mixed Lunar New Year and American political theme for this projection mapping project. This was Donald Trump’s first year in office, and 2018 is the Year of the Dog which is also Trump’s birth year, so I believed this was a fitting theme. Last Lunar New Year, a Chinese mall in Taiyuan put up a rooster imitating Trump to ring in the year of the rooster, this design was later used to protest Trump by placing “Chicken Don” near the White House. This year the mall did something similar and put up a Trump dog statue. Images of these statues were used in the projection on top of a rooster and dog paper-cuts, and a staticky, glitchy video was playing related American events throughout 2017. The year in review video was projected in conjunction with the rooster/chicken images, and the live aspect of the performance included toggling the glitch effect through VDMX in time with the audio and changing the visibilities of certain video layers in MadMapper. In the middle of the performance, I overlayed footage from the Great American Solar Eclipse (from August 21st 2017) on top of everything to break up the year in review video and tie back to the Lunar New Year theme. In a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth and blocks the Sun, which I find to be strongly related symbolically to the Lunar New Year whose months are determined by the cycles of the moon.
I bought a handmade Chinese paper-cut zodiac set, and used the rooster and dog as part of the projection. Due to time constraints, it was easier to buy materials rather than make my own even though it was not ideal for the projection. The paper-cut rooster and dog are both delicate and had to be kept inside plastic sleeves, and are very small. The colorful and stylized art of the paper-cut also doesn’t make it clear what animal they’re depicting, especially for the dog. It would’ve been preferable to make and practice with my own poster art/silhouettes of a rooster and dog, but time was spent on other aspects of the performance, the audio and video.
I worked on making what I wanted for the audio first before editing the footage. I used League of Legend’s Lunar Revel 2018 login screen music since it had the ambience I wanted, and then overlaid glitch and static sound effects over certain places.
https://soundcloud.com/user-184726401/lunar-revel-glitch-and-static-overlay/s-BF50h Audio used for the projection. At about 1:14 I cut away the static to plan the break from the political news to the American Solar Eclipse and returned back with the static and events reel at 1:26. The static/glitching is also cut away at the end for the entrance of the new year.
Original Lunar Revel music below:
Vox’s “2017, in 7 minutes” video:
I cut and edited out most non-American news and ended up with 2 minutes and 26 seconds of footage depicting the 2017 inauguration, the Women’s March, protests of the travel ban, the Charlottesville rally and counter-protest, North Korean missiles (“Rocket-man”), U.S. opposition of the Paris Climate accord, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Puerto Rico’s situation, the Me Too movement, and the “Take a Knee” protests. I also cut the Great American Solar Eclipse footage from here.
Edits and cuts used in the projection below:(the original audio is still attached to each cut in the YouTube upload and it’s very choppy, each video was muted in VDMX for the projection)
Rooster/chicken footage that was looped throughout: