Whether it’s accompanying some electronic DJ, or amidst the relative safety of an event such as White Night, projection mapping is an increasingly popular medium for temporary public art works.

For the upcoming Gertrude Street Projection Festival (July 10–19), we’re going to be shown a different way of looking at projection by Far North Queensland’s Culture Mechanics.

“We’re trying to expand our perceptions of projection art. Unlike your larger-scale events – which are highly produced and make for pretty amazing eye candy – we’re trying to make some far more engaging street-level interactions,” says Paul Barron, Culture Mechanics’ founder.

The group – comprised of three performance artists and arts-industry types who’ve had their hands in theatre, circus, and digital arts – is going to project onto The Broadsheet Restaurant’s walls for Gertrude’s eighth run.

Titled Echelon, it will be a tiered projection artwork that will be consistently mixed live each night of the festival. And it’s up to you to make it happen.

“You’re basically going to control a layer of projection by moving your body in front of the projection, and this’ll create a ghosting effect. You’ll be able to see your shape have a direct effect on the projection,” Barron says.

Put simply, it’s a virtual incarnation of a carnival mirror, where the objective isn’t solely to take the piss, but to contribute to a creative process.

This will be done via a series of projectors and hardware components on the street, set to a live mix from Culture Mechanics’ Blake Hudson. An Xbox Connect system will interact with video mapping software which will in turn, interact with you.

You’ll also be invited to play on some smartphones and iPads that will be running interactive apps each night.

“I want to create opportunities for people who perhaps haven’t considered themselves actively engaged in the creative process. For me, art needs to be relevant to its audience, something where people can just jump in and have a go,” Barron says.

Culture Mechanics’ Echelon will be projected onto the Broadsheet Restaurant as part of the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, running from July 10 – 19.

gspf.com.au