Visitors to Denver's new Center for Empowered Living and Learning (The CELL) are plunged into a multimedia experience designed to explore one of the most important issues of our time: the threat of global terrorism. Through museum-wide audio, video and control systems furnished by Electrosonic, visitors follow The CELL's dynamic inaugural exhibit, "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: Understanding the Threat of Terrorism," which opened Sept. 2.
A non-profit, non-partisan institution, The CELL is dedicated to educating citizens about terrorism. The exhibit is highly experiential and brings the pervasive threat of global terrorism to life through compelling graphics, sophisticated computer interactives and leading-edge audio and visual techniques. Founded by Larry A. Mizel, The CELL is located within the Denver Civic Center Cultural Complex, adjacent to the new Denver Art Museum.
The CELL occupies the ground floor under the Museum Residences complex designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. Electrosonic was challenged by the scope of the installation in a relatively small footprint. "The sheer amount of kit in the facility is amazing," notes project manager Marcelo Videla. "The total contract was for $1.2 million of equipment for 6,000 square feet."
The first thing seen by visitors to the new museum are three rear-projection screens displaying, in sync, static images of the Faces of Terror -- both terrorists and their victims. Electrosonic supplied three NEC WT610 short-throw projectors and Tannoy speakers for the installation along with a Sunrise EXL3000 LED scroller bearing a welcome message.
Visitors advance to the lobby area where they see questions about terrorism and graphics of a gun sight displayed on a wall by a Panasonic PTD3500 projector.
Upon purchasing their tickets visitors are admitted to the first exhibit, Terrorism in Our Times. Electrosonic provided 10 Sharp 20-inch and nine Dell 37-inch LCD screens which show synchronized video documenting the evolution of terrorism and featuring interviews with experts. A 24-track Fostex audio player is slaved to the first screen.
Next, the doors to two contiguous areas open revealing six 37-inch Dell LCD screens playing news footage and eyewitness accounts of terrorist attacks. Electrosonic also furnished High End Systems light fixtures with custom gobos which sweep the walls and floors with graphic targets and terrorism-related words and phrases. In addition, Electrosonic turnkeyed the technology for two custom kiosks with touchscreens and magnetic card readers. Visitors are issued cards upon admittance; by swiping their cards in these kiosks and others in the exhibit they can follow the story of an individual affected by terrorism.
The next area offers a truly immersive experience with 30 DaLite rear-projection screens supplied by Electrosonic surrounding the visitors and displaying, in sync, the results of terrorism Hitting Home. "I don't think anyone has ever configured an area like this before," notes Videla; Electrosonic was tasked with problem-solving to position the screens and the projectors within the given space. Electrosonic also provided 30 NEC WT610 projectors and a Fostex 24-track audio player slaved to the first screen.
Visitors move on to discover how terrorists recruit young people in Child's Play. Three 20-inch Sharp LCD screens play related content in sync; Dakota Audio directional speakers are triggered by motion/presence sensors.
Next, three identical Zytronic touchtable interactive surfaces show how terrorism and individual liberties are A Delicate Balance. Electrosonic furnished those displays along with a Panasonic PTD3500 which projects imagery onto a mirror bounce above the touchtables. A 37-inch Dell LCD monitor plays an attract loop above each touchtable. Two more custom kiosks with touchscreens and magnetic card readers, with turnkey technology by Electrosonic, take visitors deeper into the story of the individuals keyed onto their cards.
The next area features six 24-inch ELO touchscreens, mounted back to back, which display content about The Future of Terrorism.
A larger installation follows exploring Terrorism & The Media for which Electrosonic supplied two 65-inch Panasonic plasma screens topped by a pair of LED scrollers unfurling relevant quotes. Electrosonic also provided four interactive stations featuring two 23-inch LG LCD screens each. Each station also includes a handheld speaker by AVC Electrosonic and a joystick with left, right and trigger controls.
The next area, Voices of Hope, Voices of Reason is outfitted with two interactive stations in the same configuration as the previous room.
The exhibit winds up with experts and world leaders discussing how to combat global terrorism on four custom solid-state computer workstations with touchscreens. They also feature magnetic card readers, which reveals the fate of the individuals whom visitors have been tracing on their cards. Electrosonic wrote custom software to make the card readers, which keep the cards as visitors prepare to depart, operational.
In the last installation a 65-inch Panasonic plasma screen with built-in speakers displays interview footage of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Mayor of Oklahoma City and the Mayor of Denver.
In addition to the exhibit equipment, Electrosonic also supplied an EXL6000 LED scroller inside the window in the main lobby which can be seen from 200 yards away. Another window onto the sidewalk showcases The CELL's main control room where passersby can see equipment racks topped by almost 100 small confidence monitors by Marshall Electronics and another LED scroller. Four 20-inch Sharp LCDs display satellite feeds.
Electrosonic also furnished video surveillance cameras for the facility whose network feed is sent through the Internet to the security offices of the Denver Museum of Art for monitoring.
At Electrosonic, John Bush was the lead engineer for The CELL with Mike "Doc" Dwyer and Vince Conquilla site supervisors, Jane Hall manager of the design division, and Les Hill the salesperson.
Electrosonic is a worldwide audio-visual company that operates in three ways: as a systems integrator, as a product manufacturer, and as a service provider for AV facilities. Founded in 1964, Electrosonic has always been among the first to apply new technology to create tailored, state-of-the-art solutions that meet the challenges of the professional AV market.
Electrosonic's system integration business has a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has through its 40 year history developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Electrosonic brings a unique breadth of experience to each project, backed by solid engineering skills, project management and quality production facilities. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic can provide a wide range of services including consultancy, technical design, maintenance, lamp leasing and operational support.