Christie was the lead corporate sponsor for CAFKA.07 HAPTIC, an international forum of contemporary public art held in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada September 20–30. Carl Zehr, Kitchener’s mayor, officially launched the biannual event at a gala opening reception held Friday, September 21, at Kitchener City Hall.
Throughout the exhibit, Christie’s projection systems played an integral role in projects by many contemporary artists. Among the highlights, the Christie Roadster HD18K 3-Chip DLP projector powered Jans J. Meyer’s Tuchfuhlung, an installation constructed of stretched fabric and cable that created a walk-through architectural space that both touched and changed the façade of Kitchener City Hall. At night, images were projected on the fabric, utilizing the ChristieTwist edge warping and edge-blending module to create the dramatic visual effects.
In addition, two Christie Roadster HD18K projectors beamed CAFKA.07 HAPTIC trailers onto the Kitchener City Hall beacon tower.
Other pieces using Christie projectors included Australian Mark Cypher’s musical Concrescence, which depicted visitors’ shadows as they combined with household objects projected on a screen at the Zero to One; Canadian Artist Wyn Geleynse’s video piece, Guilt, at the King Street Theatre Centre; and Prosthetic Head, an interactive projection by Australian performance artist Stelarc that featured the Christie LX120 projector. The provocative piece consisted of a 3D prosthetic head with realtime lip-synching, speech synthesis, and facial expressions featured at the Rotunda of Kitchener’s City Hall.
“The buzz on this year’s festival was enormous, with some of the most recognized, contemporary artists from around the world coming together to display their installation works,” notes Suzanne Ronald, executive director, CAFKA.07: HAPTIC. “The Waterloo Region has always been known for its industriousness and its synergy. It is a place where diverse elements are combined in new ways. Today, it is becoming a community where art and technology converge, and CAFKA further confirms its growing reputation as a center of innovation. As the only international contemporary art forum in Canada, CAFKA’s prestige continues to grow every year. It is a catalyst helping to bring awareness of the important role played by creativity in the IT community. We are grateful to major sponsors like Christie whose support is critical to our success and the success of our community.”
CAFKA’s artistic director Rob Ring notes that the Waterloo Region is seeing a confluence between art and technology because so much of the media are similar. “Technology plays a prominent role in contemporary art because the hard line between digital and artistic media is blurring. They may offer different interpretations of reality, but they share similar interests,” he said. “Forums like CAFKA demonstrate that technology and art do coexist; that they can feed off each other to communicate an even bigger, more exciting message.”
“The growing popularity and worldwide appeal of CAFKA reflects the great shift that is happening in Kitchener. The Waterloo Region is finally taking its place as a true international destination, with a cultural and technological sophistication on par with the best in the world,” remarks Gerry Remers, president & COO, Christie Digital Systems Canada, Inc. “With our roots firmly in Kitchener, Christie is proud to support exciting public art projects like CAFKA that are helping to bring international acclaim to the Waterloo Region.”
Many of the exhibits were displayed at City Hall, with others in the surrounding public areas and cultural institutions across Waterloo Region, both inside and out. The exhibitions featured cutting-edge installation works utilizing projection technology, video, new media, installation, and other art forms by living artists around the world. The forum invited people to engage and interact with today's artists and the art they create. Most of CAFKA.07 HAPTIC’s events were free or requested only modest donations.