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TIDE 2019: Q&A with Projection Master Bart Kresa

During TIDE 2019, Dr. Margot Douaihy, editor-at-large of AV Technology and frequent SCN contributor, took the stage to interview Bart Kresa, master projection designer and founder of BARTKRESA studio. 

MARGOT DOUAIHY: Which comes first, the story or the technical challenge?

BART KRESA: The story is very important. The most important thing is to look at is the architecture and design. We take every element into consideration and my goal is to design it so that you don’t see that it’s projection.

MD: How do you balance the demands of not distracting viewers with your use of  projection, light, and sound to create a mood?

BK: After you do this work [projection mapping] for awhile, it comes naturally. We have to use colors and texture in such a way that we don’t use too much light in a room. Since we want to create a very vibrant environment, we have to use the projection sparingly. If we have to project the whole room, we need to use deep colors and texture. 

Margot Douaihy interviews Bart Kresa at InfoComm 2019's TIDE Conference

Margot Douaihy interviews Bart Kresa at TIDE.

MD: How do you balance the personal and impersonal elements of tech? How much of the technology are you showing?

BK: We try to hide as much as possible. The technology is visible, but when it’s done correctly, the design is beautiful and people can't see the technology. When we do something interesting, people are looking at us, but not at the projectors that are hanging over there.

MD: What do you think about immersive design as a new form of public art?

BK: It’s a very exciting medium because we can do things that don’t exist in nature—we can move things around very quickly. Design, when done correctly, is very physical. It’s very deceiving. 

[Related: 'Sviatovid' Projection Sculpture Makes U.S. Debut at InfoComm, June 10, 2019]

MD: What about audio? How does it play into the storytelling process?

BK: Audio is a bigger part of the production and should be treated in a more important way than everything else. When the visuals are missing, the brain can re-create them, but when the audio is not good quality, it actually hurts. I wish we all had more focus on the audio.

MD: Is seeing believing, or is audio believing?

BK: Ideally, all of the senses are satisfied. But definitely hearing should be considered more in our work than it is.

[Related: Bart Kresa Projection Maps King Tut's Tomb with Support from WorldStage, June 26, 2018]