Videomapping: tech meets art


Reuse, Rethink, Reimagine: this theme can have lots of aspects and meanings.

Massimo Visonà and Tommaso Pasini use very often these concepts for their projects: they work with Videomapping. What it is? We can start with the interview!



How would you explain Videomapping to someone who has troubles to turn on a computer?


We could say that Videomapping is the cinema outside its rigid cinematographic frame: in short, when you project a video (or some images) on a surface that isn’t the classical white screen used for presentations.

When we project on three-dimensional surfaces, like a building facade or a marble statue, or bi-dimensional ones, like a picture or a geographic map, we can enrich these objects with some contents to make them alive and even make them interact with the public.



Instead, what is it for you?


For us this is a great opportunity. Videomapping allowed us to express concepts and emotions, brake down any interface between the work and the user: it’s so compelling, immediate and natural to make disappear the technical aspect made by projectors, cables, software, etc; the viewer is just in front of a new reality, animated by a sort of magic.



The peculiarity of videomapping is modifying a space that already exists and give it a new face. Do you prefer to use ancient or modern spaces? Which could be the perfect place?


Any space can be used for a videomapping show: it can be an interior, an outdoor space, or even monuments, statues, everyday objects… anything! Ancient or modern makes no difference. It is projected content that changes – it has to be calibrated and studied for every occasion.

The only necessary condition is to have a physical space to project on the desired surface, which could be a problem when you project on extensive areas. For example, if we have to map an outdoor facade, we need an open space in front of it as large as the distance you have put the projector. Otherwise, you can use other arrangements, like using more projectors, but it becomes more complicated.



You  make  projects which are also interactive for the viewers: the public doesn’t have only to watch, but also to participate. In which way? How did you have this idea?


The viewer/actor is a concept largely diffused in the context of visual and multimedia arts. Also museums with new settings try to engage the viewer, child or adult. In one of our installations, we proposed an almost tactile interaction: the public, with his hands, could delete in real time the layers of a facade, starting from the frescos, the plaster, up to arriving to the brickwork.

All those things are possible using some sensors – which are almost invisible – during the interaction, which recognise the human figure and hand back the position of the body parts in the space. Then, a particular software (written for this project) manages these information and creates the final effect on the facade.




For a project at IUAV (Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia), you used some images including artworks: why did you choose that pictures?


Yes, when we saw that the interactivity worked well and that the public appreciated this project, we thought to add contents that disgregating the architectural nature of the building.

We intentionally included artworks from different ages and styles, going from Pompeii frescos to contemporary masterpieces. We wanted to give the chance to discover (it has to be said) both famous and less known artworks, avoiding a single specific theme.




Lastly, why do you do that? Which is your goal?


Firstly: to graduate! Our research is proposed as a Master’s degree thesis in Architecture: the use of innovative techniques for the fruition of space and its historical and artistic contents.

Above all, we are trying to formulate a method rather then a specific product and the events that we organised allow us to test and improve it. We are very lucky to have some professors that give us the chance to experience and collaborate with Masters of this area.

We hope that after our graduation, these research could turn into employment opportunities, allowing us to deepen more and more this world – especially because there seems to be market for this kind of installations.




Valentina Pizzi