Platform

Platform ProRes Dec17 5 widescreen 3 (0.01.59.06)

Platform 6 was shot over one evening on the North London Line.

Platform is a series of films and installations created using a high speed camera modified to allow the synthesis later of stereo 3D. I have been developing this technique for a couple of years. The process (along with a few other tweaks) stretches time and transforms a mundane everyday situation into a mysterious world of living 3D statues, revealing within it hidden beauties inaccessible to those present at the time.

Each piece is different in content and tone depending on what is happening on the day or evening in question. A hot summers’ day will yield something very different from Halloween. Choice of lens and exposure also add a ‘look’. Though the process is more than a little random (which is challenging and fun) it requires some skill and vision to mould into finished pieces later.

To me the pieces suggest a transience to our lives whilst paradoxically hinting at something more enduring.

Currently upgrading the project to 4k. Watch this space.

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Here in Stereo 3D. Click to view images in a larger window.

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 09.30.47'Platform 6' - Karel Bata'Platform 6' - Karel BataPlatform 1 was created over Halloween 2017 and shown
as an installation at The London SciFi Film Festival,
EXP Hackney, and Art in Flux.

More to come…

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‘Lamentation’ at The House of St. Barnabus

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Lamentation is a arts installation going into the chapel at House of St. Barnabus in spring 2019. Dates to be confirmed. Mailing list link below

Wearing bespoke 3D glasses, guests will enter a virtual environment in which they appear to walk through a magical field of moving stars. Their movements are tracked on-the-fly to create music built from choral phrases in Thomas Tallis’ 16th-century Lamentation.

Preview video here: https://vimeo.com/255248718 (1 minute)

The installation is the latest iteration of The Disinhibitor which was first developed in 2012 by Karel Bata as part of his MA research into perceptual spaces at Ravensbourne College.

The Disinhibitor
Click for larger view

The Disinhibitor is a series of site-specific installations which adapt and evolve around the opportunities offered by their locations.
In St. Barnabus’ Chapel I felt strong spiritual resonances (maybe my Catholic upbringing at work) and wanted to explore this using Tallis’ deeply reverential music. This is generated on-the-fly by a visitor’s movements, which also modulates the visuals. Guests will feel they are in an environment they themselves are creating. Which indeed they are. I’m very excited by this.”

Tickets will be free, but of limited availability. They will go fast!
Click here to be certain of getting one.

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note: your details will NOT be shared with any third parties.

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ARTiculAction magazine interview

Interview with Karel Bata in ARTiculAction magazine.
Click on image to open in fresh window.

.Karel Bata - ARTiculAction.

The Tree That Blinked at Singapore Night Festival

The Tree That Blinked - LayszaSingapore Night Festival audience
Click on any image to expand

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This is quite mystical. In some parts of Asia, we believe there are spirits which reside in trees. Here, the British artist Karel Bata marries the persona of the tree with the portraits of people who had inspired him. Look closely at the details as the projections are set against the tree… then watch as it blinks and morphs into another face. Ingenious.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – –– David Sucha, Life’s Tiny Miracles

The one that did catch my attention was The Tree that Blinked. This ghostly display uses spotlights to form a person’s face on a large Banyan Tree, which then blink and change every now and then. …the face literally pops out at you the moment you shift into the correct viewing spot. I found this to be very, very smart.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – –The Scribbling Geek

My favourite of the whole festival however was The Tree That Blinked. It was amazing in so many ways, but the symbolism behind it was subjective which meant different meanings could come from this animated projection.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – Kara Bertoncini, The AU Review

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In 2017 Singapore Night Festival celebrated their 10th anniversary with 600,000 visitors. They had seen my earlier work and asked me to create something around their century-old Banyan tree to celebrate its antiquity. I was happy to oblige with my installation The Tree That Blinked.

It is a series of digitally manipulated portraits projected into an old Banyan tree in which I trigger and explore the mystery and myths that form such a large part of our perception of woodlands. The work moves and shifts as the leaves are blown in the wind, so facial expressions seem to change too and the faces appear to undergo transformations of age and identity. Blended with real movements in the faces, and subtle morphs from face to face, this provides a compelling illuison of something alive within the tree, of spirits within.

This was first shown in embryonic form at Gallery 286 in London. At the time viewers referenced childhood stories or experiences of mysterious forests and strange creatures, and even ideas of layered consciousness. Some saw the tree as benign. I have taken these comments on board, and the piece has grown with these ideas.

Click for video (2 mins)

Jonathan Ross 286 Poster 2

Some stills (Click any image to see a larger version)

TTTB Lyra Singapore Night FestivalTTTB Tree 1.49.12TTTB Katie Bailey SingaporeTTTB Tree 1.31.18TTTB Law 3

The audience loved it!
Audience 2.13.04 B (0.00.00.09)Audience 6 B (0.00.00.09)Audience 11 B (0.00.00.09)

A video (4 mins) of The Tree That Blinked first presentation at Gallery 286
with audience reactions.
TTTB screen shot sml

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The Disinhibitor (Memories Can’t Wait)

Memories Can't Wait, preview
Click to enlarge

Using The Disinhibitor, an apparatus I invented as part my MA research into Stereo 3D
at Ravensbourne College, Memories Can’t Wait is a truly immersive installation – a lucid
out-of-body experience that playfully challenges our notions of the space we inhabit.

Wearing custom 3D glasses, visitors are led into a large dark room where a simple, but carefully thought-out arrangement of lasers and projectors, working with a multi-channel soundscape, create a virtual environment in which they appear to float between moving planes of stars that stretch out to infinity.

Memories dance 820 video

Video (2 minutes)

Video (1 minute) with a different selection of shots.

A taste of the audience’s reaction – which often starts as excitement, followed
by a more meditative period – can be heard here: Video (1 minute)

This proved very popular and was staged several times at Ravensbourne, each time
with the settings tweaked to create a different immersive experience:

Memories Can't wait
10. Memories Can't Wait
17. 'A captivated visitor' 2
10. Memories Can't Wait
16. The 'Tunnel'
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If you have 3D glasses handy you can get a hint of the effect with some of the
images – click to enlarge, and try tilting your head.
But it’s only a hint…

13. Memories Can't Wait
14. The floor
16. The 'Tunnel'
Karel Bata - Immersive Environments
Visitors to Memories Can't Wait
17. 'A captivated visitor' 2
Click any image to enlarge

Shoreditch Digital
The Disinhibitor has been staged several times since. It became The nDimensional Basement at Shoreditch Digital Festival 2015. This was a much smaller space, creating a more intimate environment. Without a doubt it was the most popular exhibit there.

Memories Shoreditch lone girl Memories Shoreditch Man hand
Memories Shoreditch Viral + 2
Memories Shoreditch 2 girls

– Click any image to enlarge –

The Disinhibitor was seen again at Lumen Gallery’s ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ in London on December 7 2015.


The Disinhibitor (Lamentation)
To be premiered in London, late 2018.

Lamentations uses The Disinhibitor linked to a motion detection system and custom software that interprets participants’ movements translating them into music created live from the harmonies in Thomas Tallis’ 16th Century choral composition Lamentation. The aim is to create an experience that is becalming , yet rich in sensory texture and spritual resonances. Something completely other-worldly.

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Note to arts curators:
Though The Disinhibitor requires some very specific components, a few of which may need to be hired in, in the right environment it is quick to set up – less than a day.
For best effect it needs a large totally blacked out room with a plain gray floor. Obviously few places are exactly like that. The video shows it done in a TV studio with black drapes. At Shoreditch Digital I laid a large sheet of translucent gray plastic on the floor.
There are five principal modes of viewing gained by a choice of two types of 3D glasses (more in the pipeline!) and the two sources of projection – the lasers and the stars, which can be selected individually or combined. Some spaces incline more to one effect than others.
The effect of floating in space diminishes as the number of people in the room increases – they, and their shadows, will block the view of the floor.
Some people – about 1% – hate it and get vertigo immediately. Well, you can’t please everyone…
This all takes place in a darkened space with lasers (though low-powered and safe) so there needs to be a responsible person in the room. I like to take advantage of this by having an ‘usher’ that leads people in and gives the event a theatrical edge.
I would love to stage this in a really huge dark space…

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Platform 1

 

Platform 1

Platform 1, Hackney 2017

An installation of projected stereoscopic ‘living statues’.

At the core of Platform 1 is a series of Stereo 3D ‘living statues’ of rail passengers captured with a high-speed camera and frozen mid-gesture as we move past them.
This is then processed later to create a Stereo 3D image.

Platform 1 is an istallation that evolves with the physical particularities of the venue it is in. The piece uses a large Stereo 3D screen made from non-standard projection material (such as a builder’s sheet!) giving a sense of the piece organically sited in its setting. It is presented using an innovative system using two 4k projectors that give an unusually bright 3D image.

Platform 1 is suited to a large space, but is very adaptable, and can be presented more simply, or in a smaller space, using a conventional 3D TV screen.

Platform 1 was first presented at EXP Hackney, London, November 2017.
It was shown again during Art in Flux at Ugly Duck Studios, June 2018.

The Tree That Blinked

The Tree Face WP 720
 Click any image to enlarge

The Tree That Blinked is a projection-mapped self-portrait toying with notions of identity, representation, and transformation.

The work moves and shifts as the leaves of the tree move with the wind. The expression thus seems to change, and the face appears to undergo changes of age.

The illusion can be compelling. Some folks think the leaves have been individually painted. Others that the tree must have been trimmed to the shape of my head!

Trying to give the work any specific ‘meaning’ is elusive, perhaps even pointless, as viewers bring their own strong personal interpretations. Generally they reference ideas of layered consciousness, and childhood stories of journeys into the forest. Some see it as actively benign, and The Wizard of Oz is frequently mentioned. Somewhere between these interpretations lies some kind of meaning…

It was first shown at Jonathan Ross’s Gallery 286 as part of an exhibition of self-portraits (he does have the perfect garden) and received an enthusiastic reception captured here by videographer Viral Mistry:

The Tree That Blinked on Vimeo

Click to play video: The Tree That Blinked

The Tree That Blinked 615

With Jonathan Ross at Gallery 286
Jonathan Ross, Gallery 286

The Tree That Blinked was staged as part of the Canary Wharf’s 2014
Winter Lights spectacular, outside One Canada Square.
TTTB CW web still 2
 Karel Bata

In 2017 it was a major part of Singapore Night Festival
TTTB Lyra Singapore Night Festival

There is a blog about the Singapore installation here –
The Tree That Blinked at Singapore Night Festival (WordPress)

 

Note to arts curators:
The installation needs a roughly suitably shaped tree, along with very low ambient light – in total darkness it is amazing (really!).
The projector needs to be relatively close to the tree (ideally as close as a fully zoomed out projector lens allows) above head height, and as close to the eye-line of the visitors as possible. As you move away the effect breaks up, but this works in its favor when as you approach the tree there comes a point where visitors suddenly ‘see’ a face! The video shows that.
This installation only works in the dark after sunset, and many trees lose their foliage each year. In the UK this limits usage to autumn, though it will work well on a suitably-shaped Christmas tree.
At Gallery 286 we used my own 2.8K lumens projector. At Canary Wharf 6K. At Singapore 18k. The level of ambient light is the biggest factor determining the power required.
Once installed this can be left running. Power can be switched off to the whole set-up during the day to save the bulb, and my custom media player will boot itself up on power-up. Someone just has to switch it on and off.

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