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sterea skia

The cycle sterea skia [sterea gr. spatial; skia gr. shadow] plays with an allday phenomenon in a new way: shadows. Objects are illuminated not with a single but with two distinct light sources with slightly varying projection angles. Where both projected shadows meet the impression of a dark shadow corresponds to our common perception. But the parts where the shadows do not match red and blue edges of different sizes appear. This results in a special spatial perception. If you put on red/cyan glasses the shadow turn into spatial figures. Depending how you wear the glasses the shadow figures seem to fly in front or behind the projection surface.
Depending on the exhibition concept Tim Otto Roth adapts site specifically the shadow scenarios.

The philosophy

What would happen, if we could ignore our lens based optical apparatus and could see the world with different or better without eyes? Sterea skia creates with relatively simply means such a perception: a vision purely based on shadows. Although shadows are on the first view flat pheonomena they can turn into spatial entities by the combinatoric view of two slightly differing shadows.
This concept is inspired by the question how the everyday perception would change, when planet Earth is illuminated by two suns shining in different colours – the majority of solar systems in our home galaxy consists not only of a singular star but of two or even more stars. Based on this idea Tim Otto Roth simulates in the computer the daily revolution of a red and a blue. But he exposes also the same scenery to the light of a blue and red spotlight resulting into shadow casts functioning according to a completely different space scheme. The eight scenes at the wall of the gradation tower animate to have new look to the phenomenon of shadows surrounding us day-to-day.

Double star SS Leporis recorded by the VLT interferometer at the Paranal Observaotry in Chile. Credit: ESO/PIONIER/IPAG

Technics

The shadow scenarios for sterea skia are created by analogue and digital means. Shadows are recorded photochemically by exposing objects with a two colour light source on polaroid instant film or on slide film. The wall and scuptural pieces, but also the video animations are simulated in the computer applying the same physical laws for different virtual light sources. Here a wholw alley is modelled or art sculptures are reconstructed. The resulting virutal shadow theater allows to experience allday situations between nature and culture in a completly new way.

Simulation environment for the projection on the 100 metre long wall in Bad Rothenfelde 2015.

The simulations were created with:
Further shadow related projects by Tim Otto Roth: ars umbra.




On the wall of the old gradation tower in Bad Rothenfelde the spectator is confronted with a very special shadow theatre. Sterea skia is a special kind of shadow theatre: Human shadows move over the wall 100 meters long. The shadow casts of a nearby street pass by. The shadows of geometrical objects are turning in spotlights. On the first view the shadow's red and blue edges are irritating. The secret of these strange shadows is disclosed when the spectator puts on anaglyphic glasses. The shadows change into voluminous figurines. They detach from the projection surface and approach the spectator, so he believes to move in between; or the figurines seem to extend backwards and open a space behind the wall of black haw branches. These optic phenomena are created, as Tim Otto Roth uses for his shadow theatre no conventional white light source, but he works in a computer simulation program with red and blue light.



Sterea skia is a commsion for the lichtsicht 5 curated by Peter Weibel. Furhter participating artists of this projection Biennale are Holger Förterer, Eyal Gever, Ryoji Ikeda, William Kentridge, LASACT, Random International, rosalie und Robert Wilson.

6-chanel video projection, virtual anaglyphic shadow theatre in 8 scenes, 09:51 min., no sound.

Presentation time: 18 September 2015 - 7 February 2016. Opening: 18 September 2015, 19h.

Projekt assistance: Miriam Seidler, Wonbaek Shin, Jun Park | 4D-Modell: Fachbereich für Mathematik und Informatik der FU Berlin.

stera skiaAn extended catalogue authored by Idis Hartmann and Peter Weibel appeared at Kehrer/ Art Books Heidelberg.



sterea skia at Haus der elektronischen Künste (HeK), Basel

The HeK presents contemporary art in the context of the Regionale 17 together with 18 institutions of the trinational region Switzerland, France and Germany. The exhibition Die zweite Natur. Artistic reflections on nature in the digital age reflect natural phenomena with digital and electronic means to bring their sensoric qualities into the exhibition space. The visitors emerge into woods, clouds and star fields: A second nature created by the artists. Sterea skia is presented as a 3 chanel projection of 15 by 3 meters. For the projection with a red and blue double sun the orientation of the video projection wall was integrated in the shadow simulation scenario. The projected sun shadows correspond to the local inclination of the sun in Basel at the opening day on 26 November 2016.

Sterea skia is a work changing spaces with shadows and creating spaces with shadows. The forms of presentations are especially designed for each exhibition context. The projection surface is not necessarily a simple plane, but it can be also extended as a sculpture, as for instance a cube.

XX oder der 'Mummelsee in der Pfanne'

Do you sometimes have a feeling in a museum that you're standing in a wood? With sterea skia Tim Otto Roth has viewers stand in a forest, though not in-between the trees, but in the midst of their shadows. The computer is filled with wintry, leafless trees, then lit from the center with a red and a blue source of light. Encompassing walls have been turned into projection screens. The shadows cast by the trees are printed on lengths of fabric and presented as a u-shaped textile wall. Seen through red-blue eyeglasses, the shadows detach themselves from the upper surface and become three dimensional, appearing before or behind the picture plane. It can, in some instances, take a while before your eyes adapt to the glasses, when the effect then ceases. It is now that you get the impression of standing in a wood.

The work was carried out in collaboration with the Alfred Apelt Company (Oberkirch). [image: Wilfried Beege]

New Year Edition 2015/16

For this edition Tim Otto Roth designed a paper card with a unfolded pattern of a cube. The cube can be cut out and reconstructed to a mini sculpture showing a shadow figure flying within the cube.

Mural

At the exhibition Light from the Other Side at the Goethe Institute Washington this shadow forest is presented "unfolded" as a wall filling mural of 9 meters.

Obstruction. A hommage to Man Ray

With the video workObstruction Tim Otto Roth presents for the first time in the exhibition Light from the Other Side at the Goethe Institut in Washington a sterea skia-work reconstructing the shadow projections of an existing art installation. As a hommage to Man Ray he modelled in the computer the mobile Obstruction from 1920 consisting of cloth hangers. The shadows of the mobile are turning virtually. At the opening conversation Wendy Grossmann pointed out, that Tim Otto Roth develops with that work consequently the ideas of Man Ray further in the 21st century.

Wendy Grossman in conversation with Tim Otto Roth at the exhibition opening in Washington.

Polaroid

A Polaroid series introduces for the first time three-dimensional shadowgraphs. If you watch the inconspicuous instant images with the help of red cyan 3d glasses something curious happens: The shadows dissipate from the surface and create spatial figurines. Depending how you turn the image, the shadow pop up in front of the image plane or back into the image space. Technical the series links to brewery biologist Paul Lindner, who developed a technic of highly resolved shadowgraphs. The key visuals vary from geometric to amorphic arrangements of rubbish as Christian Schad could have used.


Auswahl aus einer Gruppe von neun Polaroids, die im Frühjahr 2016 im Rahmen der Ausstellung XX oder der 'Mummelsee in der Pfanne' in der Städtischen Galerie Offenburg zu sehen waren.

News

27 November 2016 - 8 January 2017: The HeK in Basel (CH) presents in the context of the Regionale 17 together with 18 other institutions contemporay art of the trinational region. In the exhibit Die zweite Natur. Artistic reflections on nature in the digital age a new 3-chanel video projection by Tim Otto Roth is on view.


9 November 2016 - 13 January 2017: Two new versions of wall pieces are on view of the US premiere of sterea skia in the exhibtion Light from the Other Side at the Goethe Institut in Washington. The exhibition shows a mural with tree shadows and with Obstruction for the first time a hommage to the artist Man Ray. Above all nine anaglyphic polaroid shadowgraphs are presented.



February - May 2016: Sterea skia was shown as environment in the context of the solo-exhibition XX oder der 'Mummelsee in der Pfanne', at Städtische Galerie Offenburg. Further information at: www.imachination.net/xx



Premiere: Anlässlich der von Peter Weibel, ZKM Karlsruhe, kurratierten Projektions-Biennale lichtsicht 5 in Bad Rothenfelde wurde sterea skia erstmals gezeigt.

media response & press images

5 January 2017, In the Galleries, review by Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post

3 January 2017, Die Natur im digitalen Zeitalter ist im Haus der Elektronischen Künste Basel zu sehen, by Jürgen Scharf, Südkurier

13 December 2016, At the Goethe-Institut, a New Approach to 3D Photography, by Louis Jacobson, Washington City Paper

8 December 2016, Roth in Basel und Washington - aus Oppenau in die Welt, Badische Zeitung

29 November 2016, Perspektivenwechsel mit Tim Otto Roth - Oppenauer Konzeptkünstler stellt in Basel aus, Acher-Rench-Zeitung

7 October 2015 Es werde Licht!, Emmanuel van Stein, Kölner Stadtanzeiger

25 September 2015 Licht aus, Spot an!, WDR 5

22 September 2015 Lichtsicht 5, projection biennial, by Michelle van der Veen, museumlifestyle

For images please consult the press page of the imachination projects.