The overall aim of this project was to develop site-specific digital art for The Sensors and Electronic Devices Directorate (S.E.D.D.) at The U.S. Army Research Laboratories (A.R.L.) in Adelphi, Maryland. This was a project that required extensive research and investigation as a preface to design.
Phase 1 & 2: Technology Research
As a preliminary to creating the artworks I was tasked by A.R.L., together with Tina Eden my partner, to research visualization display systems that utilized cutting edge technology, in particular, 3D imaging systems that would lend themselves to powerful visual displays and possible interactive engagement including Holography. We also investigated technologies that could utilize or be linked to the 'sensor technologies' being developed at ARL. Together we produced extensive reports on our findings and the companies and technology facilities, including M.I.T., that we visited both on our own and later with A.R.L personnel.
Phase 3: Research at A.R.L.
As we moved into Phase 3 we conducted many field visits to the facility at Adelphi to gather material that was necessary for the development of the artwork design concepts. We met with many personnel from the various divisions at the Laboratory, including many scientists, engineers, directors and laboratory staff who were exceptional and generous at educating us in the various scientific technologies that the laboratory was concerned with at the time.
Phase 4: Development of Artworks
This project was particularly intensive in regard to research, field trips and meetings at A.R.L. and the development of reports. Many personnel from A.R.L. participated in the concept and design review sessions. It was important for the artworks to work as both art and educational support to complex scientific investigation and development.
From the creation of multiple design concepts, one such is shown top right i.e. Digital Sea, two artworks were selected as the final pieces to developed and installed: Farsight and Data Command.
This artwork is a digital collage focusing on remote sensing. I designed an image based on a synthesis of satellite multispectral, airborne hyperspectral and ground based Laser Radar sensors information. Research for this work involved my designing a new color coding scheme for LADAR imaging analysis and commissioning three sensor data sets:
- A Landsat 7 satellite, multispectral view of the Chesapeake bay area where the Laboratory is based.
- An airborne hyperspectral view of the lab.
- A groundbase L.A.D.A.R 3D data set of the Zhal Laboratory building.
The coloring of the satellite view which dominates the background was initially based on a spectral cast produced by an interferometer but has, (for dramatic effect) undergone a free-form distortion caused by a series of digital filtering techniques. The helicopter featured is the new Comanche helicopter.
This digital image installation was produced in the computer using graphic software and was printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper using the Light 5000 RGB printer. Overall size of this artwork is 96 x 240 inches.
This digital mural is based on new technologies being developed to provide the individual soldier with light-weight power sources, the aim being to give lighter ground based armor that will back up the soldier's ability to survive on contemporary and future battlefields. The central figure of the composition is based on developmental research by the Natick Soldier Center to evolve the 2025 future soldier. Accompanying the central figure are images developed in 2D and 3D software from schematics relating to lithium-ion polymer battery systems and single-walled carbon nanotubes.
Digital Sea, 2000, virtual installation as a lightbox, S.E.D.D., A.R.L.
Farsight, 2002, Front-lit digital print on Fuji Crystal Archive, 96 x 240 inches
Farsight, 2002, Installation, 96 x 240 inches. Front 96 x 48 inches panel sits in front of the five rear panels
Farsight, front panel, 96 x 48 inches. This panel sits in front of the five rear panels
Data Command, 2002, Front-lit digital print on Fuji Crystal Archive, 96 x 240 inches
Data Command, 2002, Installation, 96 x 240 inches. Front 96 x 48 inches panel sits in front of the five rear panels
Data Command, front panel, 96 x 48 inches. This panel sits in front of the five rear panels