Light Artist Presentation: Urbanscreen

Urbanscreen is a light artist group from Bremen Germany.  Urbanscreen works with artists, architects, musicians, and others to bring their ideas to life. Urbanscreen does so by using digital projectors to project light onto objects and the sides of buildings.  In recent years they have predominately done light art presentations and  booths for companies such as NEC, Epson, Caterpillar, and some others.

Urbanscreen uses the digital projection onto objects and facades of buildings as their medium. Since their art is digital projection, it allows them to achieve features not tied directly to the physical aspect of the item they are projecting onto.  The core concepts that are found in all their art are:

  • Making static objects look dynamic
  • The contrast of light vs dark and how that can be used to create illusions of motion and shape
  • The highlighting of points and lines to show off or alter the curves and shapes of the items they are projecting onto
  • The use of geometric shapes to make a flat surface look 3D

Below are some of their works:

Lighting the Sails 2012 for the Sydney Opera House

At 3:40 is a good demonstration of all of Urbanscreen’s techniques and concepts at once.  They play with light and dark to give the illusion that the sails are falling away. They also use the concept of geometric shapes and lines to give the idea that the sails were giant sheets that are folding away as they fall.


NEC’s 2018 ISE fair-booth

DIAMOND is Urbanscreen’s most recent work as of this time. Diamond was an expo exhibit done for NEC (a projector company) to demonstrate their new products. DIAMOND features a large screen with nature imagery on one side of the room, and a 8 sided polygonal object that has realtime mappings of images from the screen onto its surface as if it was taken from the area of the video and wrapped.


Commissioned by Union Investment Real Estate and DG Hyp for their fair booth at the Expo Real 2017

CITYSCAPE is another recent work by Urbanscreen. For this piece they project a growing city onto a blank city landscape hung on the wall. As time progresses the city evolves and grows before fading back to the blank city and cycling again. While maybe not as as impressive of a scale as some other works, this piece shows off their ability to really transform a blank white object, and give it more texture and put a story behind it.


Caterpillar CAT 320 product reveal and demo

THE NIGHT OF THE CHALLENGER was a immersive experience Urbanscreen designed for Caterpillar for the product reveal and demonstration of the CAT 320 excavator. The experience involved Urbanscreen mapping a 4500m2 area to be lit with 14 projectors. The final result included real time interaction between the projection and excavators on the ground as well as interesting tessellated platforms on the ground.


Schlosslichtspiele Karlsruhe 2017

INHOMOGENOUS was a demonstration of Urbanscreen’s ability at the Schlosslichtspiele Karlsruhe in 2017. The video is worth watching as it really shows off Urbanscreen’s capabilities when projecting onto architecture. This piece plays extensively with light vs dark as well as highlighting points and lines on the building. There are also plenty of examples of using geometric shapes to augment and change the shape and texture of the building.


iMapp Bucharest Mapping Festival in 2015

POINT LINE SURFACE SOLID was a piece done for the 2015 iMapp Bucharest Mapping Festival which won the jury prize. This piece was set to music made by Urbanscreen as well. The lights and the music sync well while the light art goes through many of Urbanscreen’s capabilities. Particularly interesting is after 3:40 where Urbanscreen uses digital fuzz and warp to make the whole building look as if it is digital and fading in and out.

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