University of Southern California Student Projects
The projects on this page are original works created by my USC students. Some were created for USC's Arts and Humanities Initiative, Visions & Voices events. Others were created in my media installation class. My role is to guide and support students to create content for projection mapping events and site-specific cinematic installations in galleries, alternative spaces, and on architecture. These projects have taken place both on and off the USC campus, within the Los Angeles metro area.
USC Visions & Voices Events
Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" Re-animated
Nearly 2 years in the making, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" Re-animated involved 20 USC faculty and 6 Library staff, 170 USC students and alumni from all six of USC prestigious art schools–Cinematic Arts, Roski Art + Design, Kaufman Dance, Thornton Music, Dramatic Arts, and Architecture. Digital projection mapping transformed USC's Doheny Library façade into a vibrant, electronic palette for re-telling Mary Shelley’s classic story.
In 2014, USC Library event staff reached out to to invite Hench-DADA students to create animation to be projection mapped onto Doheny Library’s facade for their V&V event, Wonderland Unbound, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I assigned teams of MFA animation students to create 20 seconds of original animation interacting with the Library’s architecture. Students were inspired by the illustrations, artworks, and manuscripts on display at the Cassady Lewis Carroll Special Collection at Doheny. The semester-long results were astoundingly beautiful, colorful, and playful, and explored a variety of different scenes, themes, and characters from the book. The event drew a large crowd from across campus, and the students were delighted by their quite significant contribution to the event.
In 2011, we invited the Japanese artist team of Kazue Monno and Takeshi Nagata, known as TOCHKA, to guide more than 300 participants to “paint” pictures with flash lights and create colorful, playful animations.
Click HERE for behind-the-scenes documentation.
Cinematic and Media-based Installation Class Projects 2012 – 2020
CTAN 592/599 is a project-based class that pushes beyond traditional screening platforms and explores media-based installation art forms and immersive and alternative cinematic environments. The class is offered is open to all USC students.
After examining the historical and contemporary pioneers of cinematic installation art, the class delves into concepts of physical space, interactivity, and site-specific content. Through a series of solo and group assignments, students integrate their own moving images and audio elements into multi-layered, experiential displays using projection mapping and other techniques.
Students use cinematic, interactive, architectural, performance, and sculptural elements to transform USC campus architecture and gallery spaces, as well as off-campus locations. In past semesters, the class has created site-specific installations in a variety of spaces: Old Town Pasadena, a vacant retail store, a hiking trail, a 180° dome, a hair salon in DTLA, and at many unexpected, pop-up locations across the USC campus.
Below are selected highlights from the past 8 years.
10’L x 6.5’H x 4.5’W
PVC pipes, fabric, plastic hoops, balloons, original footage (15 minutes, looped), projectors, speakers
The Proto-Floto is a primordial protozoan blob that transports life beyond our universe. It is a flowing, cilia-covered, single-cellular organism that functions as a literal and metaphoric wormhole, burrowing a passageway and shortcut through the space-time continuum.
The Proto-Floto is a fickle and “flam-buoyant” creature, with vibrant colors and imagery shifting on its outer “skin,” much like a chameleon. The microscopic organisms magnified on its surface were collected from Lower Arroyo Park in Pasadena. The Proto-Floto has been observed “swallowing” human passengers through its mouth-like tunnel entrance, only to release them after a kaleidoscopic, time and space-warping excursion. Those who have entered and experienced the Proto-Floto wormhole emerge in a state of euphoric bliss,
caused by an escape from contemporary conflicts on Earth.
Through an astro-biological research experiment that went radically off-course, students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Roski School of Fine Arts are in the process of examining its properties.
Click to watch documentation of the entire event:
NewTown Arts' Documentation of "Tote Your Float: A deconstructed parade of wearable floats" @Art Night Pasadena
by Kaley Cho
PERFORMANCES@PAM: SOUNDSCAPE, USC Pacific Asia Museum
2 channels, microphone inside the piano
"Integration" was a site-specific, interactive, immersive installation inspired by the PAM exhibition “Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century."
The projected animation was driven by the sound frequency of the piano. Viewers were encouraged to play the piano to splatter bright colors and abstract shapes onto the scrolling 3D mountain background.
by Kaley Cho
USC firehouse, paper, 2 channels, audio.
"Overwhelmed" is a projection-mapping installation for the "cinematic object" assignment in CTAN 592.
Adventures in Dohenyland (2015)
Doheny Library, USC.
Site-specific video projections and installations inspired Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. 2015 Final Projects in CTAN 592.
Two of these installation projects received 1st (Sara Fenton) and 3rd place (Genevieve Parkes) in the Library's 2016 Wonderland Awards.
CLICK HERE for THE WONDERLAND AWARDS DOCUMENTATION
Below is "Time" by Avery Xie
Exospace (2013) Content + interview
By Lauren Fenton, Karl Baumann, and Nicolette Daskalakis
Full-dome 180' projection
The Vortex Dome, Los Angeles
"Exospace" is an experimental full-dome projection piece that plays with the surreal slippages between psychological and physical space. The film projects internal states of fantasy and fear onto the external world of the audience. Exploring issues of anxiety and alienation, the piece moves from dreamlike domestic spaces to imaginary alien landscapes. The project was a collaboration between students Lauren Fenton, Karl Baumann, and Nicolette Daskalakis, as part of Lisa Mann’s CTAN 592 installation course at the University of Southern California (USC).
- Karl Baumann, Ph.D USC Media Arts and Practice
-FILE - Electronic Language International Festival 2019, São Paulo, Brazil.
-State of the Arts: Future of Full Dome Festival, Dec 12, 2013, Los Angeles, CA
HIPPO aka the Arroyo Ape (2013)
An Exhibition from the Archives of the Historical Institution for Para-temporal Phenomena and Observations (HIPPO)
Lower Arroyo Park, Pasadena
Three site-specific video installations and a performance piece in “Re-Imagining the Arroyo,” a group exhibition presented by NewTown Pasadena.
Rare footage of the illusive, Simius Tenebris Arroyae (common name Arroyo Ape) in its only known natural habitat, the Arroyo Seco Park of Pasadena, California. Footage acquired by the Historical Institution For Para-Temporal Phenomena And Observations (H.I.P.P.O.) in conjunction with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and Lisa Mann's master class in installation media.
This USC-sponsored exhibition investigates the mysterious 1973 disappearance of former HIPPO director, Dr. Leo Tempus II. Archival footage and documents associated with his disappearance, his time-traveling device, and sightings of an elusive, ape-like creature, Simius Tenebris Arroyae, are on display in video viewing boxes throughout Lower Arroyo Park.
The HIPPO research team from USC:
Quyen Nguyen Le
By Evan Tedlock, Ana Carolina Estarita Guerrero, and Zoey Lin
USC SCA Gallery
3 channels, 3 screens, coffee, coffee machine, cups
This immersive installation stimulates all the senses as it comments on the ubiquitous dilution of South American culture. The floor is covered with coffee grounds which produces an overwhelming aroma and textural feeling underfoot. Viewers are encouraged to pour themselves a cup of coffee which becomes more diluted throughout the exhibition as the grounds are never changed.
As time passes, the defined shape in the center of the room starts to smudge as the grounds are tracked outside of the installation and gallery. The coffee is no longer part of a contained piece, traveling, it is dispersed globally, diluted much like the culture where this commodity originates.
- Evan Tedlock, Ana Carolina Estarita Guerrero, and Zoey Lin.
by Yo-Yo Lin
Clothesline, underwear, 1 channel.
USC School of Cinematic Arts courtyard.
Projection mapping installation. Pop-Up assignment.
Nuclear Family (2013)
By Karl Baumann, Nicolette Daskalalis, Reginald Espiritu, and Anshul Pendse
2 channel video installation, USC SCA Gallery
Projection mapping assignment. Prompts: irony and war.