For my conference project, I combined a digital projection of various poems I had written with a liquid light show; dishes filled with mineral oil, water, and food dye projected on an ELMO overhead projector. A lot of my poetry aims to simply create another world in which the reader can enter. For my conference project, I aimed to take this experience farther by using the projection to visually create a space. I felt as though I certainly created a space through the projection, but perhaps not my words, as most people didn’t really take much time reading the poetry. At first, I originally only used two dishes for the oil, water, and dye. However, I decide to try using a third vessel, a large flat-ish plastic box top. I felt as though this made a huge improvement on the quality of the liquid light show, as it allowed me to use more colors without them mixing. If I were to do this again in the future, I would try something other than food coloring, as it didn’t quite have the vibrancy I wanted. I would also invest in clear glass clock faces or something similar as opposed to what I used. It was shockingly difficult to find a clear plastic or glass dish that didn’t have a logo or something on the bottom. Finding materials was probably my biggest frustration. Overall, I was pleased with how this project turned out, as I felt it for the most part accomplished what I wanted it to. I will definitely be using both projection techniques for other projects in the future.
While I had done several test runs of my projection prior to projector night, I certainly was surprised about how the show went. The way people interacted with my projection was interesting, when walking in front of it, many people ducked or apologized for temporarily blocking it, which was interesting. I was actually quite pleased with this because I felt as though that meant my projection conveyed authority and commanded attention, it was certainly not an afterthought in people’s minds. The work on my part was interesting too, the longer I stood there, the more meditative it became for me. My intention to create a separate world in which the viewer could enter and exit as they pleased, and I felt as though I had achieved that, and in turn entered into that world myself. I also very much enjoyed the performance aspect of it, people seemed to be interested in watching me manipulate the projection as much as the projection itself. I felt like a witch performing a mysterious ceremony of some sort. Overall, aside from getting mineral oil all over my hands, I felt as though projector night was a success.