Katherine Rae Diemert (k.d.rae) is a visual artist based out of Halifax, Canada. She makes art that explores our relationship to the natural and digital worlds. You can reach her at kdiemert@gmail.com

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Katherine Rae Diemert (k.d.rae) is a visual artist based out of Hamilton, Canada. She makes art that explores our relationship to the natural and digital worlds. You can reach her at kdiemert@gmail.com.

Untitled (Window)

Spring 2020 (ongoing)
3D Simulation, video, multi-channel video projection, Silk, Fan
1 min, 1920 x 1080 px
Exhibited Online, Factory Media Centre, Hamilton, ON, Canada
︎︎︎ Final render of 3D simulation

An ongoing project, Windows is presented here as a 3D animation, using footage taken from a video projection installation. Layers of transparent cloth hang in a row, gently moving in a breeze, as videos play across their surfaces. As the camera moves, the brightness of the videos increase as the cloths are layered upon one another, nearly disappearing when viewed from the side. This light becomes a ghostly form, moving and floating in the darkness.

These videos are footage captured from an installation. A sheet of silk was hung in front of a rotating fan, while two video projectors– one in the front of the cloth, and one behind the cloth– displayed video. The original projected footage was of a blue sky– something commonly seen outside of a window. Both projectors shared this footage and were positioned so that their images overlapped each other on the far wall. The moving cloth cast shadows and textures onto the video. I filmed the resulting image, then took the new video and instead set the projectors to display the captured video. I repeated this looping process. As the layers of cloth-interrupting-light increased, the waving motion of the cloth multiplied into something like the surface of water, while the projector’s frame became frame within frames, becoming less and less rigid.

Initially this was intended to be an installation with an audio component that the viewer could walk around. Before this residency I had experimented with projecting imagery onto moving cloth, and I was curious what effect I could get if I layered the same motion and image on top of itself multiple times. It wasn’t any real surprise when it reminded me of windows. Windows and doorways as portals have been of interest to me for a while now. They act as frames or divisions for spaces interior and exterior, private and public. At the time of making this, the quarantine is forcing people to stay home, indoors. Windows are very much a universal symbol, but the experience of looking out a window, unable to actually go outside to the world seen there, was being created by the pandemic.

But that same quarantine also meant that doing installation artwork wasn’t accessible at this time. I decided to bring the installation into 3D space and recreate the cloth through simulation. The videos are ‘textures’ on the cloth, so that they play out on the moving surface. They’re also set to ‘add’ their brightness, so that when there are multiple videos playing on the transparent cloth the intensity increases, which is what happens in the real world when the two projector’s beams intersect.

︎︎︎Detail of set with silk curtain and projectors that was then filmed

An additional note:

I consider this piece unfinished, perhaps the most out of all the pieces included here. There are several themes or directions I’d like to explore further, one of which is memory. While thinking about windows I found I had quite a few vivid memories of different windows that I had sat or stood in front of, looking out of. My childhood bedroom’s window is easy to recall and remains relatively unchanged. But I’m also able to recall windows of previous apartments I’ve lived in, places I’ve travelled through, even other friend’s windows. I consider my memory relatively poor, so this was a surprise to me. I was curious if other people also have windows that stuck out in their memories, so the plan was to conduct audio interviews of them describing their windows, which would play in the space of the installation as the viewer wandered around this not-quite-there window. I’d still like to do it.

A specific aspect of memory that’s interested me for a while– and honestly doesn’t have a lot to do with this piece, but if you’ll indulge me– is how we change a memory each time we recall it. Each time we access a memory it degrades a little bit more, becoming less and less true to what actually happened. When I imagine it, I think of a stone being washed smooth by waves. This is so interesting to me. Especially when thinking about memories that I recall often, which potentially have shaped parts of who I am and how I act now, but also when something triggers an event I haven’t thought of in ages, and yet suddenly appears so clearly in my mind. Have you noticed this? Do you think of your memory as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Do you trust your memory?
︎︎︎Details of cloth with projection
︎︎︎ Footage captured from the installation where multiple projectors shone onto a silk curtain.

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