Knomad Colab is a Denver-based art duo that “explores themes of impermanence, otherness, and the surreal through the creation of large-scale and site-specific art installations.” By employing light and sound as nondestructive “paint” mediums, Knomad Colab re-imagines natural and manmade environments – activating these spaces as both alternative canvas and gallery.
Inspired by imagery of exotic geologic formations and notions of synesthesia, their latest art installation, Primal Pop, is an expression of excited energy… rhythmic and animated… inside Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. As darkness descends upon the majestic Rocky Mountains, gradients of red, pink and orange blanket a black canvas of magnificent rock formations, evoking a sense of wonderment.
While many of their previous installations focused heavily on using colored LED light as the main source of “paint,” Primal Pop is a collaboration of the tried and true technology of Roscolux color filters with the new technology of LED projectors. “Boundaries are expanded and lines are blurred,” Knomad Colab stated as they described their installation. “Art and design, nature and technology, paint and light, life and the absence of are all co-conspirators in this fleeting moment.” For this project, the idea was to create an ephemeral mural. “We wanted the act of graffiti and the look of it without the physical and tangible impact.”
In order to prepare for the installation, they took a photo of the target space during the day, then returned at night in order to estimate the coverage of a single projector with a 24° lens. Based on those estimates, they created a simple mapping template for each gobo.
Next, they carefully selected their color palette of Roscolux color filters. Each E-size gobo was a collage of thin rectangular and triangular strips of red, orange, and pink. Partially reminiscent of the Rainbow Mountains seen in China and Peru, the shapes and colors also evoked a synesthesiatic sense of Kandinsky’s visual symphonies.
In order for the color to follow the shape of the mountains, each gobo was gated off using black vinyl. Finally, the gobo collages were projected using four battery-operated projectors.
“Today, projection mapping is almost always done digitally,” stated Knomad Colab. “What makes this process extra unique is that it’s more analog than digital. It’s the powerful and incredible combination of Rosco color filters and simple gobo projection that allow artists like us to create magical transformations!”
If you’d like to learn more about the Primal Pop installation at Red Rocks, read this article in 303 Magazine and be sure to visit the Knomad Colab website to view all of their magical transformations.
Photos of Primal Pop installation: Ryan Good aka @aamosmichael