5CollDH Undergraduate Fellow and Mount Holyoke College student Eunice Esomonu’s project consists of four public art installations that use elements of hip hop culture to gain perspective on interactive multimedia production. This is her second post of three. You can click through to read the first and third installments, or read an interview with Eunice by Jeffrey Moro.
Hip Hop is a culture about making a statement in any type of way, from rapping lyrics, to tagging on walls, to breaking. I wanted to really utilize both the physical and digital materials to show those statements in my work. My intention with my installations was to utilize materials to allow for the audience to create visual representation of themselves.
In my Graffiti Installations, I wanted to take that representation of Graffiti from simple tagging to elaborate murals so I created Tangible Graffiti, which is inspired by movement and color. I used the OpenCV software in Processing, which is a programming language based on Java, webcam, and a projector to turn real life into Graffiti. Both Tangible Graffiti is inspired by how people interact and move to create immersive visuals. Tangible Graffiti I is a mostly black and white installations that remind me of tagging and how graffiti is constantly changing and moving and, Tangible Graffiti II which is inspired by the change and movement but it also incorporates my interest in engrossing murals that are usually inspired by neighborhoods and the changing landscape of those murals as well. Both these works allowed me to visually turn real life into ever-changing Graffiti.
Taking elements from the Tangible Graffiti installations, it pushed me to go forward for my third installations inspired by the physical manifestation of Hip Hop, Breaking. Breaking is dance inspired by hip-hop and funk music when the particular song plays on the breakbeat. The term “Breaker” are the original terms used to describe the dancers who performed to DJs breakbeats. Breaking, and other forms of hip hop dance allowed for people to physically express the movement and the sound of the culture. I want to use the third installation to create a visual painting to show the physical and visual component of this element. My materials was the Xbox Kinect 360, projector, and a particle system in the Processing Software to create a visual painting inspired by physical movement and dance. In addition, I was able to showcase my work in the Blanchard Art Gallery to allow for Mount Holyoke’s community to enjoy this installation. Hopefully in the future, I can push this forward into a performance with hip hop dancers.
I felt that my second and third showcased the visual representation of the culture through graffiti and breaking. It gave me an opportunity to take the meaning of those elements and transform it into immersive experience that allowed for people to understand those elements of hip hop culture that isn’t showcased compared to Rap and DJing. I feel like these installations gave me the opportunity to create and produce work that showcased less known elements of hip hop culture.
You can find more about Eunice’s DH fellowship project at http://beatsrhymestech.tumblr.com/