Take a place that's creative on a normal day - the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. Have it host an art festival - the recent DUMBO Arts Festival - and it probably comes as little surprise that one set of artists chose to use as its canvas: half the Manhattan Bridge. Called Codex Dynamic, it uses a relatively new, high-tech art form called video mapping.
"You take a large architectural surface and you take a series of projectors and one projector will cover one area," says John Ensor Parker, the co-creator of Codex Dynamic. "So you map them all together with a series of servers, computers and they take the video signal and send one large video to all these projectors so simultaneously, they present one large piece."
Technology was actually all over the festival, sometimes in pieces that don't necessarily look high tech, like "Hindsight Is Always 20/20." Computer software combed through every single Presidential State of the Union and turned them into eye-chart-looking displays with the most used word on top and the least used words on the bottom. Incidentally, the most used word from George Washington was "Gentlemen" while the most used word from George W. Bush was "Terror."
"With new technology and computer software programs, artists take existing technology and do crazy, creative things with it," says Lisa Kim, the director of the DUMBO Arts Festival. "It's just a natural arc of the art movement, I would say."
Finally, all art is designed to make you feel something: happy, sad, curious. One art piece at the festival is designed to make you feel like a superhero. Called Superhero, the artist hacked an XBox 360 Kinect system in order to turn people into superheroes.
"We kinda put in there a lot of the cliches of becoming a superhero," says Julio Obbleiro of Wildbytes. "Flying, of course, being able to become huge or some other less classic like being able to paint the building facade while flying."
Painting building facades. Apparently lots of artists dreamed of that superpower lately.