Making of Cuentos Chinos
When I got the invitation of Claudio Marrero to realize a work for a project space at TEA, Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, I remembered a project, I would like to do for years since I have visited the Museum of Cinema in Girona. The idea was to make a reinterpretation of the Chinese Shadow Theatre by working with Overhead Projectors and moving objects on it. But as it is quite dificult to get a lot of overhead projectors, the idea was never realised until I got this oportunity now.
The first sketch of my proposal, presented in january 2009
When I got the OK to start the work, I let a projector from the University, bought some objects in a huge store in the south of Tenerife and made my first testing with objects and shadows.
The real complicate fact is that three important parameters have to checked at the same time:
* Objects may not crash to each other, while they are moving (6 weeks of exhibition!) and uhhh... motors can be very fast!! I saw some things flying away.....hehe...
* It has to work visually on the stage (reality)
* It has to work visually at the wall (shadow)
So I worked always with the projector by making the composition for each theatre step by step.
As I had only one projector for the realisation, I made a standard stage for each theatre that should fit on each projector model.
Here are some of the realised stages:
Real funny was to play with the products to make them to actors. At the beginning it was quite difficult, but after a while a felt like a child of 5 years and got more and more crazy with my toys ...
And here are some of my favorite compositions
Every three theaters are controlled by a microcontroller and an self developed electronic circuit to control the motors and solenoids. Interferences with Motors and Servo Motors made necessary a seperate powersupply for each group.
back side, DIY, juju! cheap and dirty!
All theatres were programmed and tested at home. All cables were numbrered to make the chaos as small as possible at the moment to put in the space.
To transport these fragile theatres I made three very nice transport boxes. Very light and stable.
Final installation at TEA
The real difficult task was to get 18 old overhead proyectors. Thanks to a collaboration with the Cultural Departament of the Canarian Government the proyectors were collected at schools in Santa Cruz and La Laguna. At some moments it was quite confusing, because I even got five of the actual multimedia LCD proyectors or portable overheads that don´t work for this work. I saw proyectors coming and going and at some moments I thought we will not be successful, but at the end, we really organised 18 proyectors! Thanks for collaboration!!!!
Confused electricians..... 16A, 20A or 25A fuse?? The electrical installation of the project space had to be modified various times to get the work run.
Cables, cables, cables..... ups.... sometimes I got lost.....
To have a little overview of all the cables I made some listing by giving each theater a letter (A-R) and each electric device a number.
Hot, hot, hot!
Some overhead proyectors where failing after a while because the didn´t resist to the heat an made an automatic shut-down. Improvised PC cooling fans solved this problem.
Naturally a work of this complexity doesn´t work without problems.
Some problems have to be detected and solved in this complicate situation.
Meanwhile a nice ploting was put on the wall. Wow...looks good ;)
And after 5 days of intense and emotional work, everything was ready for the opening!! yuyu!!