During the past year, live events, arts, culture, and tourism have been some of our community’s hardest-hit segments. As more people get vaccinated, we hope there will be more demand to visit the iconic institutions that have made Atlanta the amazingly vibrant city it has become. One of Atlanta’s treasures is The High Museum of Art. They have taken measures to ensure a safe environment for their visitors and have not compromised their exhibitions’ quality as a result.
A couple of months ago, we were contacted by their team to install a work of 9 channels of sound and video created by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. The project entitled The Visitors was challenging from many angles; supply chains had been interrupted by the pandemic. The artists had strict guidelines and equipment needs, and the timeline for getting the project completed was strict. Nevertheless, we happily accepted the challenge. Although other museums had displayed this exhibit, none had done so without the artist’s being there personally to oversee its installation. This meant some esthetic choices had to be decided on-site without the artists’ involvement—a nerve-wracking situation!
After many conversations, we began ordering the custom acoustic panels, projectors, audio equipment, and the like. Some of the equipment choices we made intentionally deviated from past exhibits to create a better experience for the attendees and museum workers. The decision to change the projectors from lamp-based to the latest in laser technology was an obvious one. Optoma’s DuraCore laser allowed for a continuous 24/7 operation of the media. This meant the museum staff wouldn’t have to worry about turning the projectors on and off every day to save the life of the lamps and that the laser light source wouldn’t diminish in brightness and quality like the lamp-based ones that the other exhibits had always used. Even better than that, the contrast ratio for these units was exponentially higher, giving new depth and clarity to the videos.
To produce the custom-built borderless screens, we enlisted our partners at Stage Left Fabrication. Even though a design change caused a pivot in their process, they maintained a schedule to produce on-time screens with razor-like edges per the artist’s request.
The head-end consisted of BlackMagic Hyperdeck Studio Pro 2 units combined with a sync generator and a Mac Mini running a custom script. These will keep the piece running smoothly 24/7 for months.
Lastly, the Genelec audio system chosen by the artist is of audiophilic quality. The brand is used in the world’s top studios and is a good bit better than the Bose system you have at home. The depth of field in the audio is remarkable. The quality of the 9 channels of audio immerses and transports the listener into the house from where the music is performed.
The art is timely, relevant, and compelling. Atlanta is exceptionally fortunate to have this work on display. Please do yourself a favor, and experience it for yourself before it’s gone.
P.S. Don’t forget to recognize the audiovisual craftsmanship that went into making it 🙂