Light, Color, Projections & Projects

Last Friday (9.9.11) at the former East Liberty Y, Vitamin Water rolled through with its thirst-quenching libations, hydrations, sounds and lights. I got the opportunity to VJ with a handful of talented local artists. We covered the ceiling in projections in tune with the performers: bachelorette, rivka, middle children & hidden twin. The party was a blast, put on by PGH’s VIA + Garfield Artworks. Below is a shot from behind the scenes. I had fun playing with a Wacom tablet, & an open-software program called Alchemy. It is really fun, user-friendly and if you practice you can make it do some wonderful tricks, in-tune with the beats.
Julie has fun with digital drawings & projections

Julie has fun with digital drawings & projections


After spending a couple weeks practicing with Alchemy, I fell in love with some of the stills that came of it. I took a frame from a practice session, along with a photo I took last fall and digitally manipulated them together in Photoshop. I love the symmetry, nature, color and lights in the composition:

Digital Print by Julie Mallis

Light and Color under the Fire Tower, 2011 Julie Mallis

The ideas I am working with all relate to my senior project. I will be exploring synesthesia and its relation most specifically between sound and its corresponding color, shape and texture. Synesthesia is the joined sensations of stimulus where one sense may respond to stimuli received by other senses. The French composer, Olivier Messiaen, a well-known synesthete composed a 12-movement piece around 90-100 minutes long inspired by the landscapes of Bryce Canyon, Utah. When first listening to Des canyons aux étoiles, I drew what I heard; oblong, thin diamonds, tall rectangles, pinks, golds, greens, blues, dark + grey, and screechy copper circles. When I learned that the piece was about the canyons to the stars and that the composer was also a synesthete, I wanted to investigate it more for the close resemblance it had to my visual representation of the music.

As I’ve learned, this task is more tedious and daunting than I am interested in working with. I will instead work with contemporary compositions that I get excited to listen to repeatedly and carry a new meaning. As this project continues, I will post a few updates.


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