At Glastonbury this year, Astral Projekt and Heckler created a mind-blowing visual experience using innovative 3D projection mapping that lit up the new Arcadia stage. Named ‘Pangea,’ the giant projection-mapped installation lays the foundations for a performance show in the sky at Glastonbury, the world’s largest performing artist festival. Heckler provided animation, immersive design and visual effects.
For the next five years, the Arcadia Stage has been renamed ‘Pangea’ after the prehistoric supercontinent. For the 2019 Arcadia Stage at Glastonbury, Astral Projekt and Heckler collaborated on the transformation of a 50m tall mega-crane weighing 140 tonnes, and housing a vast spherical structure beneath which superstar DJs played their sell-out sets.
Astral Projekt founder Joe Crossley explained: “My interpretation of the original Pangea concept and brief came to me artistically as the visualisation of the birth of a planet, also with ideas of the moment in history we find ourselves in, I started thinking about the future of the planet, in all its wild and artistic variations. Tech planets, electrical networks, AI controlled systems, data in nature, also remodelled ideas of earth’s physics and how on a new planet all these systems exist. We also took a lot of earth’s satellite data of Ocean Currents, climate shift patterns, airflows, weather maps and fused it with moments pertaining to the Extinction Rebellion. We projected the logo up there also at one time as the Glastonbury vibe was really fresh this year it felt the art reflected the movement.”
The sold out show was broadcast by the BBC and attracted crowds of tens of thousands each night across the weekend. A giant sphere was populated by visuals of spectacular environments as diverse as imaginary alien planets and rocky moon surfaces, sentient machine planets, ice and lava, and periodically opened and close to unveil a hidden inner core of audio-responsive projections.
The 360° spherical projections at Pangea also featured collaborations with renowned media artists including Peter Walker (Astrix), Sam Lisher, Brad Hammond, and real time effects engine, Notch.
The Pangea projection-mapped extravaganza at Arcadia was the latest venture from new media artist Joe Crossley, his studio Astral Projekt, Heckler and creative director Glenn Urquhart. The Arcadia Stage at Glastonbury follows Astral Projekt’s unforgettable immersive projects at the 2019 Vivid Festival, and in 2018 at Burning Man in the Nevada desert.
Will Alexander, co-founder and executive producer at Heckler said: “Glastonbury is the biggest music festival on the planet. Partnering with Arcadia and Astral Projekt to bring Pangea to life is incredibly exciting and a huge honour. We look forward to developing new-media works at Glastonbury over the next five years to global audiences.”
Joe Crossley added: “Working with Will and Glenn at Heckler has been such a pleasure and I am excited for future collaborations and projects such as Glastonbury. We are embarking on some exciting new projects in large-format media art, and our partnership with Heckler and Epson will enable us to push the boundaries to new heights in this space.”
Astral Projekt Founder Joe Crossley is a visionary new media artist working at the interface between art, science and technology. Joe grew up in Wales as a rugby-playing cellist, before studying Marine Biology at university, and unexpectedly changing career to become a drum and bass DJ. He started using technology to create art, and Astral Projekt was born. Joe believes projection mapping has an important place in our world for cultural communication and education, and talks about the future of AI in his august 2017 TEDx Talk.
The crane was installed by the Arcadia technical team and took six weeks to transplant from Avonmouth docks to the Glastonbury site. Astral Projekt created the projections from a 3D model they had made of the radome (an old army satellite sphere) that they projected onto. This 3D model was then brought into a selection of real-time animation softwares including; Unreal Engine - Unity - touch designer, and also composited using maya and cinema 4D. These models were then mapped to aUv (a kind of virtual skin of the sphere unwrapped), and then this was then mapped to the sphere using AI Servers from Avolites.
Six projectors from Barco (UDX 32k laser) then cast the image on to the sphere in 360 degrees. The team previsualised the show in various different programmes from their real-time engines and composited looks. They created the projection mapping using AI media servers, which took their art and the 3D projection, and mapped it to the sphere: kind of a way of wrapping the sphere with the Pr made UV mapped content they created. Astral Projekt and Heckler worked from an original brief to bring to life a giant crane with the name Pangea. The Pangea concept was about origins, beginnings, formations and the idea of a unified supercontinent standing on the cusp of life.