Digital Displays Illuminate International Projection Art Festival


Digital Graffiti is an international projection art festival where international artists use the latest digital technology to project their original works onto the iconic white walls of Alys Beach, Florida. More than 500 entries were submitted to the Digital Graffiti festival with only 30 artists selected to showcase their art and talents. Of the 30 artists, AOA received the top award for their entry entitled “Participation” when selected as “Best of Show.”

Interactive Projection Experience Encouraging Audience Participation

AOA’s “Participation” entry was an exclusive interactive projection experience conceived and rendered by AOA’s Jes Van Zee. The vision for “Participation” was to encourage audience members to “participate” and “get involved” by becoming an active part of the display.  In addition to being interactive, Jes wanted “Participation” to be visually appealing, have a deeper meaning, and utilize sound. Supporting Jes were AOA’s Jake Taylor and Russell Dishman who provided technology installation and site execution support.

To make “Participation” a reality, Jes captured and created content that was projected using two Panasonic projectors set approximately 10 feet apart.  The projected imagery was overlapped to create one combined image with its own meaning.

Comments at Microphones and Overlapping Images Created Unique Meanings

Jes encouraged audience members to participate and get involved by placing an integrated microphone labeled “Speak Up” in front of the overlapped imagery that was being projected. Audience members were encouraged to step forward, speak up and comment on what they were seeing. As an audience member walked in front of the two cameras and toward the microphone, two shadows of the person would be created.  In the shadows of the person, the two images that were overlapped would then become two separate and clear images with their own unique meanings.

As audience members began to speak up and comment on what they were seeing and how they interpreted it, their voice would activate distortion and glitching in the multiple layered images being projected.  Additionally, their voices would create change by causing sounds and chatter in the background that would then interrupt what the person was trying to say.

Focus on Speaking Up, Having Courage to Make a Difference and Share Interpretations

Although the distortion, glitching, background sounds and chatter made it difficult for people to get their messages heard, they were encouraged knowing that to create change in our complicated, ever-changing world, we all must be willing to “speak up” and have the courage to make a difference in what we see and how we interpret it.

What made AOA’s “Participation” entry the “Best of Show” was their use of visually appealing imagery, an experience that had much deeper meaning than just the visual aspects of the display, the interactive utilization of sound, and audience participation to create an immersive experience that invoked change.

In addition to the 30 artists who participate in the Digital Graffiti festival and the thousands of visitors who come each year, the festival also attracts top digital artists, filmmakers, musicians, interactive designers and photographers from around the world.

About artsbiz365 104 Articles
Andrea Karen Hammer, a Philadelphia-based freelance writer, is the founder, CEO and owner of Artsphoria Inclusive & Collaborative Publishing, Media Group & Shop ( She leads the operation and innovation at Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center (, Artsphoria Event Advertising & Reporting (; Artsphoria International Magazine (, Artsphoria Movie Reviews & Film Forum (; Artsphoria: Food for the Soul (; Artsphoria's Animation & Imagination World ( and Artsphoria Shop (

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