The Space Beyond Me
The Space Beyond Me is an installation by artist Julius Von Bismark that combines videos, technology, memory, and physics into one piece. A film is projected onto the wall of a dark, round room using a 16mm camera that has been converted into a projector. The film being projected is in the shape of a rectangle and flashes neon colors such as blue, pink, and green as the film plays scenes from a different era. These different clips include buildings, people interacting, a Spanish village, and a lost man in a desert. Each clip is played for 10-20 seconds and then the film moves to another part of the wall and a new clip starts. The black wall is covered in phosphorescent paint so the film leaves behind a green ghost trail on the wall as the paint reacts with the UV light from the projection. The ghost image stays momentarily on the wall and the projector moves on to another part of the wall to play the next clip. During each clip, the film moves slightly based upon the original movements performed by the camera. Julius Von Bismark created a program that analyzes the original camera footage and it determines the movement based up rotation, angle, and zoom.
In all of Julius’ other artworks, he enjoys messing with people’s ability to perceive things and challenges his viewers by using the laws of physics. The Space Beyond Me imitates memories physically, rather than verbally. The ghost image eventually fades and this resembles a fleeting memory. The context of the installation is described further as,
Julius Von Bismark does a great job imitating memories while just using film in the installation. At first it may be confusing to the viewer, but they will learn to understand that the fading images resemble memories. This installation is very accurate because people cannot usually remember every single detail of a memory and memories seem to blur together in our brains, much like these film pieces. In the culture today, so much of people’s everyday lives are being recorded by friends on social media and iPhone applications such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook that eventually people will not have trouble recalling their memories because they will have video footage of it. At this point it is difficult to determine whether it will be a good or bad thing to have so much of people’s lives documented. Maybe there will be a memory someone has that they wish can be erased, but there is video footage so that memory will live on forever. Either way, memories can be distorted, big or little details can be mixed up, and The Space Beyond Me does convey what a memory looks like physically.
Bugs Draw For Me, by new media artist Harvey Moon, is a robotic artwork piece that is similar to The Space Beyond Me. This work uses data, an algorithm, and sensors to track a cricket’s movements, which then determines the movement of a pen. The pen creates a visual output based on these movements which ends up looking like random black pen lines drawn all over a white space. The final drawing is not very important to the artist, but rather he focuses on the fact that a bug has the ability to use his drawing machine. Both artwork pieces are similar because the visual outputs are externally controlled and can be unpredictable. The context of these two pieces are very opposite, with Bugs Draw For Me represents nature and The Space Beyond Me represents memories. It is interesting how it is possible for such a large machine to interact with such a small form of life. This artwork is inspiring because it opens up possibilities for artists to interact with nature, animals, and bugs.
Julius Von Bismark has created another artwork similar to The Space Beyond Me called the Image Fulgurator. The Image Fulgurator is a modified Minolta SLR camera that has been turned into a projector. This camera projects photographs onto a surface but the projection remains invisible to the human eye until someone takes a picture of it with a camera flash. Von Bismark’s idea behind work is concerned with marketing and advertisements. He believes photography is in danger of having unsolicited ads placed on top of them and represents the idea of the sacredness of photography and the corruption of media today.
The Space Beyond Me used a refurbished 16 mm camera that has been turned into a projected, similar to how Image Fulgurator is also a modified camera. Both works project artwork onto a surface and are only visible to a short period of time. The Image Fulgurator is visible as long as there is a flash and it is also visible on the camera roll of the camera which took the picture. The Space Beyond Me displays video clips for longer periods on time, but they also vanish. Both of Julius Von Bismark’s art pieces challenge the viewers’ perspectives and makes them rethink the visual output they are seeing. He has taken abstract ideas and thoughts and found a way to visually and physically convey the messages which makes him such a unique artist.