(sub)Urban Projections

One of my computer generated pieces will be shown at:


More info of this event at:



Illumination from the Hult Center usually occurs inside — not on top of its neighboring parking garage. Aside from a few stray cars, you wouldn’t expect to see much activity after 5 p.m. around this concrete mass. But the off-the-grid location, open area and environment this parking garage provides is precisely why (sub)Urban Projections chose it for its first Wednesday night gathering that is showcasing local and student digital art pieces.

(sub)Urban officially presented itself to the community on Wednesday, but its beginnings stretch back to 15 months ago when it was nothing more than a class project. Roya Amirsoleymani, second-year graduate student in the University’s arts and administration program, is among the four creative directors of (sub)Urban Projections. Amirsoleymani and her co-creators were inspired for their project by other art showings across the world.

“We wanted to blend contemporary and emerging art with new, digital media in a public space,” she said.

But once Isaac Marquez, Eugene’s public art manager, got whiff of Amirsoleymani and her colleagues’ idea, they began to talk about this class practicum becoming reality. With support and funding through the City of Eugene, (sub)Urban Projections was given creative freedom to choose how to go about producing their showcase.

Wednesday night, while projections danced upon the concrete atop the parking garage and lit up the roof level, spectators watched a series of digital art clips featuring work by artist and adjunct professor for the University’s digital arts program, Jon Bellona.

Bellona’s specific focus is intermediate music technology. His interactive featured project, “Human Chimes,” was composed by an Xbox Kinect and used the motion from the audience to bounce a small ball back and forth with other balls.

“(With technologies like the Kinect) we are free to use the human body as the instrument,” Amirsoleymani said.

The movements were projected on a large concrete backdrop. Spectators moved through the area and watched as the ball mimicked their movements with a sound when it hit other balls. Bellona said the digital technology and arts make “an extension of our human capabilities.”

(sub)Urban Projections also allowed digital artists from around the world to submit their video digital art creations to the program. (sub)Urban rounded up three judges to examine the work, and the City of Eugene helped sponsor cash prizes for the top three placers. The top winner received $1,000. For Wednesday’s event, the (sub)Urban team compiled all of the submissions to present to the community.

While spectators huddled atop the garage and were served hot chocolate, tea and cider, they also witnessed and participated in an another evolving form of art. On an iPad, the audience could draw graffiti that was then projected onto the side of a building for cars and everyone below to see.

All the presentations for the next two Wednesdays will feature different artists, and the showings will be located throughout Eugene.

“We wanted to look for neglected places in Eugene, such as back alleys and rooftops,” Amirsoleymani said. “We also wanted to find core spots of Eugene that had the right aesthetics and for crowds.”

Despite the cold weather blowing into town, (sub)Urban Projections works to mesh students with members of the Eugene community to celebrate people’s accomplishments and broaden understanding in the new age of digital art in a new kind of gallery.

(sub) Urban Projections is a digital media festival that will be celebrated in the back alleys of Eugene OR. November 9th, 16th and 23rd 2011.

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