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"The Animal is Absent" Teaches You How To Projection Map On A Sleeping Elephant

Harsha Biswajit's SVA thesis includes a behind-the-scenes look at his zoological projection mapping project.
April 30, 2014, 6:35pm

On May 6 and 7, New York’s School of Visual Arts (SVA) will host the MFA Computer Art thesis presentations. At SVA’s Chelsea theatre, Harsha Biswajit (’14) will present what he calls “a meditation on time,” using both sculptural and projection mapped video elements. His project is called “The Animal is Absent,” and he hopes it will provoke viewers to consider our century’s ecological mindset: “Thinking ecologically in the 21st century in my opinion is not a question of choice but of necessity,” Biswajit told The Creators Project.


To evoke ecological evolution, Biswajit built a life-size elephant using a 3D-scan of a miniature elephant. He then created animated drawings which he mapped onto the sculpture. The drawing changes slowly over time, so the “technological skin” of the elephant subtly evolves. Whorls of color meld into one another while the elephant’s eye blinks sleepily.

“I was interested in the juxtaposition of the stillness of the sculpture object, and the expectation of movement that comes from video projection,” Biswajit says. The combination of sculpture and video also serves as a balance between the traditional and modern, an ancient animal meets new technology.

See some stills from his behind-the-scenes video detailing the design process of the project, and watch the whole "making of" doc at the bottom:

With over 30 thesis projects on view, attendees of the SVA Computer Art presentations will also experience 3D animated dolls and stop-motion puppets, while "The Animal is Absent" will be on view for a second time at SVA’s Chelsea Gallery from May 27 to June 7.

See more of the artist's work at:


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