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|Martin products become art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts|
|‘The Trace’ - a unique multimedia installation, was at the centre of a retrospective of contemporary art, exhibited recently at the prestigious Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.|
The installation, designed by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Will Bauer, was a "telepresence" experience where people in different rooms of the museum could share the same interactive space. Two Martin Lighting Director (MLD) tracking systems were used to monitor the position and movement of participants in 3D, and their presence was reconstructed in real time in the rooms using intersecting light beams, floor projections and positional sound.
Automated followspots provided ghostly three dimensional representations which matched the movement of participants in the remote rooms. The installation used 8 MAC 250 units for the aerials and 4 MAC 250+ fixtures for the projections. In addition, 4 MAC 300 moving heads were fitted with speakers and parabolic reflectors so that sound beams could also be directed to the location of the participants.
The equipment, provided by Martin Canada, performed flawlessly for the duration of the show, which took place for over three months with daily eight hour schedules. Thousands of visitors participated in the interactive piece, breaking the old museum convention of "Do not touch the artwork".
To ensure easy maintenance, the Martin Lighting Director system was programmed to start-up automatically, self-test and control the whole installation. "The museum staff only had to change the tracker batteries and refill the fog machines. Traditional museums may not be used to working with elaborate equipment and it is essential to give them a simple way to maintain a piece" said Lozano-Hemmer.
The installation "The Trace", has won several international awards, including a "cyberstar" award from the WDR TV network in Germany, an "Ars Electronica" distinction from the ORF TV network in Austria and "Best Installation" at the International Digital Media Awards in Toronto.
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