Lab Contact: Helen Keegan
The aim of the Projekt-Project is to use live digital slide projections to animate historic sites. The origin of this approach lies in the overlap between artistic and pedagogic work in the department of Media and Performing Arts at Coventry University in the UK. Senior lecturer Adrian Palka uses Pico projectors in his performances and installations and happened to have one with him while giving a talk about German history to Coventry students standing in Alexanderplatz in Berlin. Sensing their waning interest and distraction by the seductions of nightime Berlin, Adrian and his German artist friend Wolfram Spyra produced a spontaneous lecture on German history projected onto the pavement and onto a colleagues back with a Pico projector and lpad. Student’s attention was restored. This experience formed the basis the Projekt- Project technique as a tool for on site teaching, learning, assessment, research and creative production.
Students were prepared beforehand with a prototype demonstration and all lectures on the course had been structured around slide presentations. With the prototype the tutors demonstrated the types of questioning and theorising which can arise in this highly unusual situation. Glenn Noble and Adrian Palka gave a walking presentation along Unter den Linden where they projected on key sites: • Fernsehturm (Television tower), • Marienkirche (St Mary’s Church) • River Spree and Schlossbrücke, • Berliner Schloss reconstruction site • Lustgarten, • Neue Wache, • Brandenburg Gate.
Each student was asked to choose a site in Berlin to research and prepare a projected presentation according to the assignment brief below. Most of the students prepared their presentations in advance and were familiar with the appropriate programmes such as PowerPoint. Their computer literacy assisted in the smooth delivery of this project.
Students will be assessed on subject domain through presentations at site specific locations using the mobile projectors and their iPads, laptops, or phones. This phase seeks to pass ownership of the experience creation from staff to students and foster a collaborative peer-to-peer learning environment.
“I loved how interested the general public were in what were doing – there was a brilliant vibe having people stop and come and watch for a while. It opened up for me the possibility of public lectures – it was like site specific performance, people was generally interested and engaged and wanted to listen to our presentations.”
– Student at Coventry University
“It was totally immersive – I get that from a theatre point of view, but it was very moving and I felt an additional sense of serious thought being there and projecting the history, the stories on the actual stone of the very sites.”
– Student at Coventry University.
Research Findings to Date
The conclusions of the project to date are that is has;
- Enriched the learning undertaken on the field trip in broad terms.
- Deepened archival, web and interview based research both in the UK and in Berlin.
- Extended creative potentialities of presentation modes and forms.
- Encouraged direct engagement with broader contexts (Urban planning & design, architectural, historical, socio-political, cultural, palimpsest analogy) whilst on ‘performing arts focussed’ international field trip
- Created opportunities for performative and interventionist possibilities of portable projections and presentations.
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