InFocus supported a fascinating event at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City called "'The Value of Water' Sustaining a Green Planet." The event wrapped up in March and the results were beautiful.
Below is the story about the project and our involvement as told by Daniel, the lead artist.
Six months ago we were flattered to be asked by St. John the Divine chapel in NYC to take part in an event called, “The Value of Water” Sustaining a Green Planet, to help bring attention to the serious problem of fresh water.
“The Value of Water,” an ambitious installation of art, opened in September 2011. We and some of America’s most well known painters, sculptors, and media artist such as Mark Rothko, Kiki Smith and Robert, Bill Viola, Jenny Holzer, William Kentridge were asked to contribute a work that would make aware the viewer of the value of water.
So we packed up and left Japan heading to Seattle.
It started with meeting at Fred Wildlife Refuge to see if it would be possible to create a video installation that would not only be pleasant to watch but more important to evoke the conscious of the essential value of water.
Chris, TJ, Asami and Daniel came up with an idea of creating a 100-foot video especially for this location that would be projected onto the wall and two of the massive columns that support the vaulting ceiling.
We would call the piece “Cycle” and demonstrate the cycle of life, clouds appear and disappear floating among the arches of the Chapel ceiling. Rain falling down two columns and flowers that wrap themselves around and grow up the columns repeating the cycle of life. Jonathan was enlisted to do the actual animation.
TJ met with a representative of the InFocus Company and talk of the possibility of them sponsoring this worthwhile project. From the beginning there were more that helpful and supportive. Now with InFocus is on board so all was well!
The distance was a problem so they suggested we use two InFocus IN1501 Short Throw Projectors and stack them. With only 3000 lumens each in a surprisingly little projector, the image at such a height and distance would create the perfect dreamy image we were looking for.
Next we were on a plane back to Japan to check in on another project then on another long flight Japan to NYC. Settled in, a friend offered to let Daniel and Asami share his apartment near the Cathedral, tight but cozy. Then to St John where there was meetings with the folks at the cathedral and the installers. Hiro was very helpful and gave us some insights on how to deal with some of the more temperamental folks on the crew. In the end we just did everything our selves and all went smooth.
The first day of actual testing we brought a portable stand to test the projectors and to make some calculations of distance and size. Right from the box we were wondering if such a small projector could do the job, there was lots of ambient light from the church windows and the church architectural lighting. There would be some resolution adjusting but the projectors did the job.
The second day of working we got the permanent stand built and loaded the new brighter video for a test of the projection. We turn them on, did some alignment and focusing and stood back and would have yelled Halleluiah but it is an Episcopal church not Baptist so they sort of would not of appreciated us yelling. But we did pass around a few high 5s.
We got everything up by the 22 September and the show opened on the 23rd. The other art is installed in bays of the nave, in various chapels, and along the walls of the Great Crossing.
Daniel and Asami attended the opening dressed to impress and many of the artists and NY art folks showed up. It was a beautiful time. The show will be up for 6 months and many events will continue to bring attention to this worldwide problem of fresh water and how we can find solutions. This show will be visited by thousands of people and tourists from all over the world. This is our most highly seen event yet!
Many related events are planned for the duration of this six-month exhibition, including an artists symposium, water activists and writers, and a musical celebration by Paul Winter and the Great Rift Valley Orchestra; and “An Evening of Witness,” a response to the water disasters of the last decade, featuring participants from Japan, Haiti and the US.
The Water and Light Project, the international arm of Fred Wild Life Refuge, and InFocus are happy to be part of this meaningful project.