Alan Kirker

Heaven on Earth - 2018

heaven on earth image 2

Heaven on Earth is a looping, multi-screen ambient art projection available for installation venues using either multi-projector (multi-surface wide panorama) or multi-tile (segmented) display. White paper [8pg.pdf]. Project brief [1pg.pdf].


Kitchener Public Library; lower level video wall tiles; March 2018

photo of Kitchener Public Library video installation

This ambient media artwork began as a project in a reading course for recently completed graduate studies in Environment and Business at the University of Waterloo. It consists of a projection of slowly rotating landscape panoramas that have been recorded in black and white digital infrared video, overlaid with translated typeset quatrains from the twelfth century Sufi poet and mystic Rumi, and an ambient background soundtrack. It is a meditation on our connections to each other, and to nature, in all their beauty and fragility.

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The landscape recordings initially made within and nearby Waterloo Region aim to evoke sensations of eerily-entrancing otherworldliness. The glowing white vegetation created by the infrared's chlorophyll effect contrasts with dark waters and background skies to create a visual tableau that is all at once familiar, while also appearing strange and alien-like. Overlapping the striking infrared landscape imagery are poems and excerpts of Rumi's translated work that celebrate mystical love, and become tributes to the divine as manifest in nature and our surrounding physical environment. The background music; a blend of ambient textures from Vancouver composer and musician Lee Rosevere, along with the video's field recorded sound, serve to both compliment and contrast with the visual and textual imagery.

heaven on earth image 1

The projected artwork represents a revealing of hidden beauty, not so much by overt placement or arrangement of objects within the frame, but via both science, through making the infrared spectrum visible; and art, through the poetry and the ambient and field-recorded soundscapes. Human-defining analytical and creative traits afforded by both science and art here find significant application in eloquently illustrating our intrinsic spiritual bonds with each other and with the environment.



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