2015 Bombay, India
Collaborator: Jeffrey Shaw, Bernd Lintermann
Software: Bernd Lintermann
Production: iCinema Research Centre, UNSW, Sydney
Photography: John Choy
Look Up Mumbai is an installation in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, where visitors to the museum lie down and look up into a dome to view images of ceilings of many of the most spectacular buildings in Mumbai. It offers a unique portrait of this city’s varied architecture, which includes churches, mosques, temples, government and industrial buildings, private homes and nightclubs. It incorporates more than sixty fish-eye images that are presented in a random sequence, transforming from one into another using specially programmed digital animations.
This site-specific installation has a 4K resolution, 6 m diameter projection dome installed on the ground floor to emulate the museum’s 20 m dome above. Visitors recline on a round couch below the dome, enveloped in the digital scenography of images of ceilings—Gothic and contemporary, sacred and secular, monumental and everyday—that transmute from one to another above them. This work is accompanied by an original soundscape created by a leading contemporary Indian composer and master musicians.
The software for this installation derives from Cupola (2004). Projection mapping of the ceiling images inside the dome maintains the architectonic integrity of their varying sizes and proportions, and provides dramatic perceptual shifts in scale and form as the sequence of images unfolds. These shifts are amplified by the use of digital animations to create transitions between these images that deconstruct the internal pixel structure of each image, and modulate and blend them in various patterns of transformation. This cinematic tromp l’oeil of structural conjunctions and iconographic interpolations creates an aesthetic re-visioning of the various sites—they became remediated as a narrative sequence that focuses on their spatial, formal and pictorially associative qualities.