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Dropping the FBX bomb

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Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 12:21 am | Updated: 1:45 pm, Fri Jan 4, 2013.

Projection bomb puts emphasis on the ‘public’ in public art display

FAIRBANKS — It’s a public art display the likes of which Fairbanks has never seen before, and it needs one component to make it complete — you.

A projection bombing project called FBX:BOMB will turn a wall in the artist-heavy industrial district off Phillips Field Road into a technological work of art between 5-8 p.m. tonight. Project bombing refers to using a projector or computer to impose images on a wall. It’s a concept that has been used in cities across the globe, whether the images be works of art, words or phrases, or just colorful displays of geometrical patterns.

It’s a project that freelance writer and photographer Anne Kristoff has been wanting to put into motion in Fairbanks for a while now, and after getting to know Fairbanks sculptor Mark Fejes, she found the right blank wall in his parking lot at the corner of Good and Well streets.

“It’s like they are part of the art installation,” Kristoff said of participants. “There is not an art installation without the public’s participation.”

The projection bombing procedure is simple, and the evening’s display is divided into two portions.

The first portion, from 5-6:30 p.m., will be devoted to saying goodbye to 2012 via airing last words, grievances or whatever anyone feels they need to say in a projection bomb titled, “IF I COULD, I WOULD TELL YOU THIS.” Your message will appear in a large set of lips superimposed on the wall.

The second portion, from 6:30-8 p.m. will be devoted to the New Year and plans, hopes, dreams for the future in a projection bomb entitled “NEW YEAR, WHAT’S NEXT?” surrounded by fireworks.

Participants will text answers for each prompt to a short code displayed on the wall, and from there, the text will appear as a brief public display of art. You can stop, hang out, visit at the installation or even just pull up, sit in your car and be a part of the show.

“It could be anything,” Kristoff said of potential wall displays, “from finding a new place to live or a new job or being a part of CluckingBlossom. Why just go see art when you can be a part of the art?”

At the risk of an expletive or an actual F-bomb being dropped on the wall, Kristoff and Fejes have a software program in place that filters out saucy language, but they would rather not implement it unless they have to do so.

“Anne has a handle on that, whether it’s editing or projecting,” Fejes said.

The wall has been “bare naked” since 2001, Fejes said, and all sorts of ideas have been tossed around for some sort of art project to fill the space. “Anne is the first one to come up with a really good idea and the energy to do it.”

The FBX:BOMB project is sort of a test run for the wall and future plans, Fejes said. During winter months, he said, he’d like to make more use of the space, whether by showing short videos created locally or broadcasting art from high school students.

“It seems like it’s the next type of venue for Fairbanks,” Fejes said. “This takes advantage of our natural dark winter.”

If you go

What: FBX:BOMB, a public art project using projection bombing

When: 5-8 p.m. tonight, Friday, Jan. 4

Where: The corner of Well and Good streets (1222 Well St.) in the industrial area of Fairbanks of Phillips Field Road.

Contact Features Editor Gary Black at 459-7504 or on Twitter at @FDNMfeatures.  

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