For the weekend of September 16, 2014 SIGNAL productions moved to Bucharest to participate in the world’s largest projection mapping project taking place on the occasion of the 555th anniversary of the city. Five international artist groups chosen within an open competition took part in the iMapp Bucharest 555 show.
This past weekend, 100,000 people flocked to the “Days of Bucharest” festival to celebrate the 555th anniversary of Romania’s capital city. The most anticipated show of the weekend was iMapp Bucharest 555, for which five international artist groups mapped a five minute and fifty-five second architectural projection against the 60,000 sq. ft facade of the historic Palace of Parliament building. The largest production of the three-day celebration, iMapp Bucharest 555 employed 104 20,000 lumen projectors and a number of complex multimedia mapping techniques to commemorate the Sept. 16 date.
The artists who created iMapp Bucharest 555 were selected through a competition held on the event’s website: Maxin10sity from Hungary, The Macula from Czech Republic, Damien Fountain from France, Les Ateliers Nomad from Romania, and SevenZero from Poland. Once known as “Little Paris”, over the years, the city has seen a number of rebirths. ArCuB, the Bucharest City Hall and Bucharest Cultural Center, who organized the weekend festival, filled the weekend’s itinerary with music, art exhibitions and installations, performances, and comedy. Once the show began around 11pm, ArCuB encouraged audience members to text them the name of the video that was their favorite.
The five videos that comprise iMapp Bucharest 555 streamed seamlessly into one another, grounded by a cosmic digital soundtrack with intervals of thumping basslines. Visually, the 3D imagery flowed from combinations of dark, angular and geometric projections, into illusory 3D aerial perspectives. When the show wrapped with Romania’s national colors of blue, yellow and red emblazoning the face of the large building, the monumentous applause that followed brought the scale of the project into perspective—iMapp Bucharest 555 was a spectacular ode to an artistic hub at work transforming centuries-old values into new cultural traditions.
Text: Sophia Callahan