Projection Mapping Turns Cincinnati into a Techno Cityscape of the Future

A house illuminated in multiple colors at night with projection mapping powered by Hippotizer Media Servers.
(Image credit: Green Hippo)

The streets of Cincinnati were awash with color in October as an estimated 1.5-million people enjoyed the BLINK light and art festival, which featured four large-scale projection mappings powered by Hippotizer Media Servers (opens in new tab).

During the four-day event, video installations turned the city’s landmark buildings into ‘a techno cityscape of the future’, bringing existing artworks and architecture to life and creating eye-popping 3D projections.

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Some of the most spectacular video mapping installations were Hippotizer driven, including at Memorial Hall on Elm Street where the building’s four striking pillars and grand architectural shapes were perfectly video mapped and projected upon with sweeping, kaleidoscopic artworks by Italian multimedia studio, Antalless Visual Design. Titled In The Middle, the installation harnessed the power of a Hippotizer Boreal V4+ server running four 1920/1200 signals to Barco HDX projectors. It posed the question: "Reality or Illusion? Control or Randomness? The answer is in the middle … on the architectural surface, visual art takes space from another space, employs materials, gives them shape and size."

A house illuminated in multiple colors at night with projection mapping powered by Hippotizer Media Servers.

(Image credit: Green Hippo)

Elsewhere in the city’s Downtown Zone, artist Sam Okerstum-Lang and Masary Studios created an interactive, site-specific artwork called Massively Distributed. This installation invited the public to create visual landscapes using a specially built app, and the results were arranged together by the artist and activated via a Hippotizer Boreal V4+ sending four HD signals to an inline stack of four Barco UDX 4K projectors, mounted in portrait formation.

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At Cincinnati’s Hanke Building, students from the Miami University Department of Emerging Technology in Business and Design led a project to showcase their work, naming it Isolation / Unity / Community in reference to the pandemic and their ability to finally unleash their designs into the real world. Celebrating ‘the power of artistic collaboration and friendship’, they fired up two Hippotizer Montane V4+ servers which pumped data to two Barco UDX Projectors. On the building’s façade, a mix of video mapped colors traced its architectural splendor and dreamy splashes of graphical content washed it with color.

A house illuminated in multiple colors at night with projection mapping powered by Hippotizer Media Servers.

(Image credit: Green Hippo)

And at the Blond Apartments, the Little Africa 1800 art piece by British artist Vince Fraser saw magical steamboat graphics sail across the building, which were based on the real ships that transported slaves and freed people of color to Cincinnati across the Ohio River in the nineteenth century. Fraser says his work is “where these mythical African characters steer the futuristic steamboat through the sky and across the river transporting black people to a new life of abundance.” Driving the animated graphics was a Hippotizer Boreal V4+, feeding data via HDMI to a Barco UDX 4K projector.

Green Hippo’s U.S. sales manager Tim Riley worked closely with live event production solutions provider PRG to specify the Hippotizer Media Servers needed to blend multiple projection images at all four of these projection installations. PRG has served as BLINK’s technical partner since 2017. Together with PRG, and working alongside Tyler Roach of Chicago-based Eclipse Creativity, Riley helped to source, set up and program the kit.

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“Tyler was instrumental in programming the Hippotizer servers for PRG. As an owner-operator of a fleet of Hippotizers, Tyler is a long-standing provider to PRG and a real asset in regard to delivering the Hippotizers as a solution to this event,” said Riley. “In addition, PRG are the rental and staging house for possibly the largest projection mapping festival in the United States today, with Bryan Besterfeldt on projection mapping engineering duties for PRG. Bryan has amazing capabilities and manages a myriad of challenges–not to mention the demands of working in a very public, city center space."

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.