Last year in Spain, a tiny chef charmed Hugh Jackman over a bowl of soup that looked questionable at best. The Belgium-based artist collective behind Le Petite Chef, Skullmapping, now wows viewers once again with a “mini mapping” project that uses the space of an art gallery as its playground. Titled Gallery Invasion, the projected animation experience features a tiny graffiti artist who emerges from behind a painting, tags the canvas with an anarchy symbol, then finds itself in cross-gallery fight with a Central American squirrel monkey.
The concept, by director/animator Filip Sterckx and painter Antoon Verbeeck, is playful and anarchic. The immersive experience harkens back to silent cinema, as there's very little dialogue and only deft spatial sound design by Roundhouse.
On a technical level, Gallery Invasion is pretty impressive. To make the tiny graffito look real, the creators did motion capture on actor Nicolas Vanhole, while Birgit Sterckx did the 3D modeling. This work, combined with the Dynamic Projection Institute’s Mirror Head and MDC-X projectors, allowed Sterckx and his team to make the graffito and monkey move fluidly around the room, while both interacting with the canvases and seemingly occupying the gallery’s negative space.
Perhaps the one drawback is that the projectors localize the beams of light and animation. But this is a minor complaint considering that Gallery Invasion shows some of the largely untapped storytelling potential of immersive projection mapping, mini or otherwise.
Click here to see more of Skullmapping’s work.