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Art Yards ends with an eye-popping show beginning tonight

Art Yards, the monthlong art project that draped three sides of a derelict government building in Southeast in colorful murals, began with a splash. Tonight, it ends with a flicker.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the final wall of the building at New Jersey Avenue and Tingey Street SE will snap to life with a dynamic, projected "exhibition" that will complete the project.

A rendering of "Illuminated Ops," a projected exhibition that will light up the Art Yards project Dec. 12-14, 2013. (Courtesy of 3_Search)

“Illuminated Ops” will light up the southeast side of the building with three video pieces five stories tall, all on a continuous loop, with sound, from 5:30 p.m. to midnight each night through Saturday. Brooklyn-based artist John Ensor Parker, who along with Leo Kuelbs curated the pieces that will zip across the 6,200-square-foot wall, describes the process as "an art form that requires a lot of engineering."

A month of work went into developing the projections, though they'll screen for just three nights: The artists visited the building in the Yards to survey the wall, then created a three-dimensional model of the building to "map" their pieces.  The images were then divided into smaller pieces, each of which is parceled out to one of eight projectors. The end result is a seamless, moving image.

So, is it like Doug Aitken's Song 1, which was projected onto the Hirshhorn in 2012?  Yes and no. The process of divying up the images to project them is the same; but his group, 3_Search, says Parker, creates its images virtually, and with an emphasis on exploring three-dimensionality.  "We try to delve into the object."

Check out this preview of the exhibition by 3_Search, then see one of the works the group created for New York's Manhattan Bridge.

An Inquiring Age from Blue Barn Pictures, Inc. on Vimeo.

Lavanya Ramanathan is a features reporter for Style.



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