“There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Powerful and infinite are human dreams. This metaphysical world of ideas is probably the most enduring and exists beyond limited technical possibilities, natural catastrophes, and human crises.
I’ve recently seen a commercial, where falling water drops were used as a projection surface.
Using the 3D technology, motion capture, stroboscope, and good camera rig the team of artists, designers and scientists achieved an amazing result: 3D animation with water:
Interestingly, the idea is not new. Some years ago, at Frankfurt Book-Fair (which is also one of the most important media summits worldwide) I took part in a presentation of Digital Art projects by ZKM (Zentrum für Medien und Kunst Karlsruhe) at Frankfurt Bookfair. This institution, highly relevant for Media Art, was represented by its CEO and media scientist Peter Weibel.
In the showcase of various projects he also mentioned Julius Popp and his wonderful installation bit.fall (2010):
Two-dimensional words and symbols were projected on the falling water drops, bringing the third dimension into play. The installation had a philosophical and media critical context:
The machine is a symbol that these meanings or values can change very fast; things which are important to us today, can be completely different tomorrow. (Julius Popp)
The transience of values and messages in the Digital Age is perfectly demonstrated by this combination of liquid medium and light.
But the history behind this idea roots probably in the XXth century. Surrealist Salvador Dalí described 1949 in his diary a weird dream (he also had weird dreams). After awakening he transferred his dream to an artistic approach:
Every particle reflects only a part of the whole image. After recording it and playing backward, it would become an illusion of the Assumption of Mary.
Thus, a transcendental experience would become visual.
The same technical approach can be applied for metaphysical, artistic, and even marketing need.
Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun. But old ways become new. Every idea — be it a tiny spark of genius or sophisticated concept — is not original, but is a bit and byte of the human mind, of our civilization. Even if we aren’t aware of our perpetual connection throughout time and space.