To project a 120-foot-long high-definition video image requires not one but eighteen sequential projectors perfectly calibrated with computer software so that the point at which one projected image starts and the next takes over is barely discernible–a process called “ edge blending.” When Al Gore stands in front of a giant projected graphic of CO2 emissions in An Inconvenient Truth, edge-blended projectors are working behind the scenes. To choreograph, translate, edge-blend, and calibrate the imagery requires an entire room of computers. All in all, says Steve Zink of Warren Z Productions–which produced the software system and the spinning globe–it uses enough power to “ run a small house or two.” So much for LEED certification.
It is a quick but interesting overview of the wall, and some of the projects and content IAC is putting on it. It sounds like they also face a lot of the same issues we face with the Hennepin Signage: projectors aren’t cheap, easy to align, synchronize, or see in the daylight.
Here’s a youtube video from what seems to be some sort of dance party:
If you didn’t know, this wall is in the Frank Gehry designed headquarters for InteraActiveCorp. Wired had this to say about the building and Gehry several months ago:
The new headquarters for Barry Diller’s InterActiveCorp stick up from the low-rise terrain of Manhattan’s West Chelsea neighborhood like Space Mountain at Disneyland. The 10-story asymmetrical protuberance has outer walls that veer every which way, a typical design for architect Frank Gehry. But the building’s showstopper is a facade that looks like sails billowed by the wind. Gehry, famous for his complex compositions in titanium and stainless steel, had never before designed a major building in glass, and he was shocked to learn how difficult it would be to soften and mold the material around the contours of the building. Each of the 2,541 pieces of glass would have to be heated to 1,148 degrees Fahrenheit, then cooled and shaped. It was physically possible, but the sheer size of the project made it seem inconceivable. “We didn’t think we could do it,” Gehry says. “We were going to abandon it.”
So it would seem technical hurdles and setbacks are nothing new for this building. The narrative is one that we’re familiar with too, but such is the price of being cutting edge.