On Thursday morning 3,000 school children from across the UK became the first members of the public to see the new Tate Modern, and in the evening a specially invited audience enjoyed speeches, visual imagery and a captivating musical performance by Benjamin Clementine - all projected at enormous scale onto the east wall of the iconic Turbine Hall, and in full daylight conditions. After dark Mary Anne Hobbs completed the night with a DJ set accompanied by sound reactive visuals. On Friday evening young people from the Tate Collective curated a special event mixing digital technology with lo-fi materials in a range of activities and installations with emerging artists and creatives.
The east wall not only provided a great projection area to relay the live camera imagery but also an exciting digital canvas for Tate Modern to highlight the major pieces on display in the Switch House.
The original design of the Bankside Power Station was inspired by the Egyptian pyramids, with the east and west walls specifically aligned to allow the maximum amount of natural light to flood the space at sunset and sunrise. Therefore the biggest challenge was simply to project in full daylight and to overcome the impact of the sunlight that hits the east wall in the afternoon and the evening. To achieve this QED decided to deploy six Christie Boxer 4K30 30,000 lumen projectors trebled-up in a blended 1 x 2 array.
For the live camera relay and video streaming of the opening party on Thursday QED provided a five camera HD-PPU comprising of four Sony HXC-100 camera channels and a BRC-H700 robot camera. The camera signals were fed directly into a d3 4x4pro media server which mapped the blended outputs to the east wall, producing an incredibly low total system delay of only two frames. At such an enormous scale of image magnification and with such a close audience viewing proximity it was vital to achieve the best lip sync for Benjamin Clementine's performance.
Graphics and video content were played back from d3 4x4pro media servers and also from Mac Pro V6 Resolume computers with a sound reactive input from the DJ stage. The native 4,096 resolution of the Boxers was really put to full use when displaying eight simultaneous HD videos for the digital art gallery display on Friday.
"We really needed all 180,000 lumens of light output as well as the ultra high resolution projection canvas that only the Christie 4K Boxers could provide" said QED Director Paul Wigfield. "It simply would not have been feasible to try to do this with any other projection technology. Our recent projection onto Brighton's Royal Pavilion really showed what can be achieved in daylight conditions, so despite the enormity of the challenge we still felt very confident in tackling the Turbine Hall."
Key QED Personnel