Projector Buyers Guide for Creative People

Creative Person's Projector Buyers Guide

[ photo : USF MoCA Exhibition: Perfect Speed 1995/96 – Artwork: Sam Taylor-Wood, Killing Time ]

Projectors in Creative Applications

Projectors are by their very nature, an artistic display device. Like ideas, light emanates from the lens which can land anywhere the creative mind desires. Buildings, subway tunnels, natural formations have all become a canvas for the visual artist. Projection is becoming a more frequently used form of expression in modern art and new examples of communicating with the projection medium may inspire even more creative (and even interactive) exhibitions. At Projector People, we see projectors used primarily in business and home theaters, but we are genuinely excited when we hear of projection innovation.

Before we start our buyers guide, we wanted to provide a few examples of projectors in creative applications, just in case you missed some of the cool stuff people are doing with projectors in the real world. Most of these videos come from YouTube.com and were found on a simple search for ‘projectors.’ There is great creative potential with projection, which is why so many artists have begun using video and projection to express themselves. Let’s start with a few selections below:

YouTube description: “Some students attached a suitcase (with a mac mini inside) that projected a little movie on the wall of the tunnel while the the subway was moving.” (alt link)

Our Thoughts: In this display, the artist was able to fashion a portable power source and tuck away a laptop and projector along with it into a suitcase. A simple hole was cut for the lens. Some very reliable suction cups were also used. Projectors with portable power supplies will be on the way soon, as low powered projectors are now being built in to cellphones. These projectors are very low lumen (compare 25 vs. 2000-4000 lumens) and are also reported to be battery hogs. Still, portability can make for inspiring art.

YouTube description: “riley harmon and kent sheely, two art majors at the university of oklahoma create underground video art by subverting public spaces into an interactive motion image canvas (video includes some profanity)”

Our Thoughts: If you ignore the potentially dangerous implications to large projection on a busy city street, these artists show the power of projection in public spaces. The artists use what is typically space for marketing and advertising and turn it into an opportunity to connect with people without a commercial motive. Billboard advertising companies are already producing powered roadside displays with very bright LED technology. The introduction of video on roadside advertising has been disputed because many consider it to be a hazard. With GPS systems, iPods, and other devices already distracting drivers attention, video billboards do not seem out of the realm of possibility. Now, however, there is a window of opportunity for artists to command this space.

To keep this post shorter, I am going to link directly to our Creative Person’s Projector Buyers Guide. In our article we include more video examples, photos, and advice on choosing a projector for creative applications.