SWEATSHOPPE, a team made by Blake Shaw and Bruno Levy, created an interactive video installation that seamlessly merges the physical and digital worlds to paint videos on the walls of 10 cities in Europe using electronic paint rollers. The video won an award at the recent Vimeo Festival+Awards.
Over a period of two weeks, the duo went around cities like Berlin, Belgrade, Bristol, etc. to make their digital graffiti. The process has been coined as ‘Video Painting’ by them. The electronic roller serves as a marker. A custom software, written by SWEATSHOPPE itself, tracks the position and movement of these paint rollers using a camera. Once the position of the paint roller is tracked, the software projects the video along the motion. This gives the interactive artwork the appearance that these videos are being painted on the walls real time. In actuality, the videos are masked and each time the roller is brushed against the wall, a mask is peeled off and a video is revealed. On adding a second coat using the electronic paint rollers, the first layer of video is washed off to show another layer within the interactive video. They’ve also smartly fused the layers together in a way that the two layers of video merge perfectly and hilariously.
The making of the video must have been a much tedious and time consuming process. Each layer must have been slowly ‘painted’ on the wall; maybe that’s why the video is faster so it doesn’t seem boring. Watching the video I can’t but draw comparisons with Banksy and his ilk of graffiti artists toiling in the night to make tepid walls come alive with character.