Be Now Here
Michael Naimark has been a professional media artist and researcher for over two decades. He is an expert in place representation and its consequences, and has worked extensively with field cinematography, interactive systems, and immersive projection. After receiving an undergraduate degree in cybernetic systems, Naimark spent the late1970s at MIT and was on the original design team for the MIT Media Lab. In the 1980s he was an independent media artist making artworks for the Paris Metro, the Exploratorium, the ZKM, and the Banff Centre, and conducting research for companies including Atari, Lucasfilm, Apple, and Panavision. In the 1990s he held a research appointment in arts and media at Interval Research Corporation.
Be Now Here is an installation about landscape and public places. Visitors gain a strong sense of place by wearing 3-D glasses and stepping into an immersive virtual environment. The imagery is of public plazas on the UNESCO World Heritage Centre's list of endangered places - Jerusalem, Dubrovnik, Timbuktu, and Angkor, Cambodia. For production, a unique recording system was built consisting of two 35mm motion-picture cameras (for 3D, one for each eye) mounted on a rotating tripod. The installation consists of an input pedestal for interactively choosing place and time, a stereoscopic projection screen, four-channel audio, and a16-foot rotating floor on which the viewers stand.
Be Now Here is an extension of several media trajectories. One is of enhanced cinematic representation, such as the Imax-sized projections of the Lumiere brothers in 1900 and the 3-screen triptychs of Abel Gance's Napoleon in 1927. Another is of non-narrative cultural activism, such as the films of Godfrey Reggio and Tony Gatlif. But Be Now Here also points forward: as a simulation of what net cinema can be, it is both a regard and a provocation.