/ The DC Traveler
Washington DC — By Jon Rochetti on January 8, 2010 at 5:52 am
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John Gerrard’s Realtime 3-D Image Art

While 3-D imaging has been in the news recently regarding passenger security scanning at airports, artist John Gerrard uses 3-D digital technology and video-game software to depict his scenes of re-imagined landscape art in real-time.

The latest “Directions” show at The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC shows the result of feeding high-resolution photographic images into a highly customized 3D software and merging it with Google Earth data to recreate virtual-reality scenes and moments.

Sentry - John Gerrard's Sentry (Kit Carson, Colorado), 2009

Gerrard’s subjects reflect empty and desolate places including a Colorado oil rig in “Sentry”, as the view circles the rig as it recreates an entire year of operation. 

The flat panhandle of far northern Texas is another scene in “Dust Storm” that follows the building of a powerful dust storm in the distance until it grown to massive size and moves out of view over the course of a year.  The storm is a combination of a storm photographed in the 1930s and a dust storm in Iraq along with computer animation.

Another piece shows a quiet and beautiful pond that we later learn holds the animal waste from a huge hog-pig-processing facility. 

All of the pieces show a seamless time-lapsed, 360 degree view of the area that seem strikingly real, but are in fact digitally created images.  These images are projected against the wall or displayed on a large LCD or plasma television and are absent any human figures.  The works can take up to a full year to create and require additional assistants to support the technical work.

Dust Storm - John Gerrard

His art seems to ask viewers to examine contemporary society and the industrial use of the land to support  human life.

On March 18, 2010 at 7:00 p.m., you can attend a free “Meet the Artist” in the Hirshhorn’s Ring Auditorium, where artist John Gerrard will discuss his work.

“Directions” – John Gerrard
The Hirshhorn Museum
900 Jefferson Drive, SW, at the corner of 7th St., SW at Independence Ave.
Washington, DC  (map it)

Dates and Times -  Daily, 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., through May 31, 2010.

Admission – FREE

Nearest Metro Subway Station – L’Enfant Plaza – Blue, Orange, Yellow, and Green lines, then a 3-block walk or use the DC Circulator bus.

Parking – Metered street parking and area paid garage parking is available.

Images – Still from John Gerrard’s “Sentry (Kit Carson, Colorado),” 2009. Realtime 3D projection.  Still from John Gerrard’s “Dust Storm (Dalhart, Texas),” 2007. Realtime 3D projection.  Both images courtesy of the artist.

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