Full Dome Projections

Arlington Arts in partnership with the Friends of the David M. Brown Planetarium present Full Dome Projections where new media artists create one-of-a-kind digital artwork projected within the planetarium. This free event features multiple screenings throughout the weekend they are presented. See below for videos of the projectionsa and more information about the artists.

Past Installations

Nova: A Full Dome Projection by Shannon Collis –  November 17 -19, 2017.

Nova full dome projection by Shannon Collis

Shannon Collis, Nova, 2017

A nova is an astronomical event that involves a star’s changing intensities of light over time. Inspired by this celestial phenomenon, Nova is an immersive experience born from small-scale material tests captured through video and time-lapse photography (above: sample image by Shannon Collis). Focusing on velocities, changing intensities, and pulsating movement, the project is the outcome of a study of the interplay between the sonic and the visual—where sound and vision share a material essence in graphical sound synthesis.

About the Artist

Shannon Collis is an interdisciplinary artist whose studio practice focuses on creating installations and interactive environments that explore various ways in which digital technologies can transform one’s perception of audio and visual stimuli. Her work has been exhibited widely across North America as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Brazil. Collis is a 2005 graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and has completed postgraduate research at Concordia University in Montreal in the area of digital media and computation arts. She is also a 2015 recipient of a Visual Artist Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. Collis is currently an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, where she teaches digital media and sound.

“Babel” by Kelly Bell –  May 19 – 21, 2017

Babel is an animated video by Baltimore City artist Kelley Bell. The soundtrack features the song “Many Horses” from For Stars and Atoms, an album by the excellent band Yeveto. Babel takes advantage of David M. Brown Planetarium’s domed ceiling to present a 5-minute tour of the iconic structures and institutions that boast this architectural feature, placing viewers beneath the oculus at Rome’s Pantheon; gazing up at the gorgeous lattices of Tilla Kari Madrasa in Uzbekistan, and our own nation’s Capitol Building, to name a few.

In Babel, the artist stacks the different rings of these domes like children’s toys, aspiring to build a towering edifice, one atop the other. The domes, however, spin in consecutive circles, and each level erodes and supplants the next in a futile architectural battle royale spanning centuries, geography and ideologies. As the Tower of Babel presents an allegorical origin of cultural difference, Babel suggests that an ideal monument is one that brings together all ideals—faith, pleasure, beauty, industry—that the balance and tension of these paradigmatic forces allows them to coexist while supporting one another naturally, like tiers of stones stacked to form a domed ceiling. Rejecting a monolithic, homogenized absolute, Babel represents a unity that does not subsume social and cultural difference, but builds on the strength of all its constituent parts. In Babel the sacred, secular, commercial and political work in concert to realize the best of all possible worlds, all at once.

About the artist:
Kelley Bell holds an MFA from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Imaging and Digital Arts, and a BFA in Graphic Design from Pratt Institute. Her animations have been screened locally and as far away as Zagreb, Croatia. Screenings include the Visionary Arts Museum, the Annapolis Film Festival, The Transmodern Arts Festival, and the University of Maryland College Park.

“In This Convex Hull” by Brandon Morse – October 14 – 16, 2016

Our perception of space and distance are informed by both art and science. In a convergence of these two prisms, Arlington Arts, in partnership with the Friends of the David M. Brown Planetarium present In This Convex Hull: A Full Dome Projection by artist Brandon Morse, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 14th through 16th, 2016. Free and open to the public, the screenings will take place at multiple times throughout the weekend.

In mathematics, a convex hull is the smallest convex space containing a set of objects. It is an envelope which surrounds its contents; binding them and defining them as a group. In This Convex Hull is an immersive full-dome projection consisting of a series of events in which the architecture of the planetarium dome is activated to shift the viewer’s perceptions of scale while confronting the viewer with scenes which are ever more claustrophobic, and restrictive.
The project lies contrary to the traditional notion of a planetarium as a setting to view outward towards expansive space. Instead, this new work explores themes of immersion, confinement and perspectival inversion. Here, the dome itself works in concert with the video to situate the viewer at the center of a series of events which envelop the audience and immerse it in a fabric of activity abstract and emergent in nature.

Brandon Morse is a Washington, DC based artist who works with generative systems as a means to examine the ways in which physical phenomena such as entropy and emergence can function in ways that are both poetic and metaphorical. Through the use of code, and the creation of custom computer software, he creates simulations of seemingly complex systems resulting in video and video installations that seek to draw parallels between the ways in which these systems work and the ways in which we, both individually and collectively, navigate the world around us. He has exhibited his work in museums, art spaces and galleries across North America, Asia, and Europe. http://www.coplanar.org/

Full Dome Projections are done in partnership with Friends of the David M. Brown Planetarium 

About Friends of the Planetarium: 
Founded in 2010 to save the Planetarium from being closed, Friends of Arlington’s David M. Brown Planetarium is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that continues to raise funds to make the Planetarium even better, and to support Arlington Public Schools in providing enhanced science education in Arlington County. The Friends of Arlington’s David M. Brown Planetarium has an all-volunteer Board of Directors and Advisory Council. For more information about Friends of Arlington’s David M. Brown Planetarium, please visit www.friendsoftheplanetarium.org.