Monday, March 31, 2008

Electronic Architecture: Immersive Worship Projections at Irving Bible Church







I've never liked the after-thought, aren't-we-modern-now additions of gargantuan projection screens to sanctuaries.

Perhaps they're effective...perhaps.
That's more open to debate than churches are willing to admit.
But they're just plain ugly.
The two giant squares dominate all other features in the room.
And most of us get quite enough face-time with a flickering screen already, thank you.

So I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the approach of Irving Bible Church near Dallas, Texas, where the screens are merely a part of an 'immersive' electronic projection system that forms an aesthetically pleasing whole across the entire front of the sanctuary. Rather than 2-D boxes that flatten the space, the illusory architecture of the projections extends and enlarges it, drawing the eye into the center in classic perspectival tradition that hasn't changed since the Renaissance.

Interesting, then, that they have chosen very traditional architectural motifs for their projections. It's an inexpensive way to glimpse the grand, soaring effects of the great cathedrals, whose craftmanship is no longer accessible or economical for most congregations. And an expression of how much these ancient forms still resonate, how much they 'feel' like church.

For those of you blessed with Gothic or Gothick or Medieval or Victorian buildings already, imagine this sort of effect overlaying the existing architecture...wow.

Photos by Paul. Story at Religious Product News.
UPDATE: This is the work of Camron Ware, www.visualworshiper.com.

5 comments:

cambo9999 said...

Thanks for the exposure; you are right on with the philosophy behind what I do. I've started helping churches do this in their worship space as well, and am available if churches would like to know more.
www.visualworshiper.com

arcady said...

Glad to do so, and will certainly have you in mind for my church's future build. You might be interested in this piece of interactive-electronica based on Leonardo's Last Supper...not exactly what you do but still inspirational. http://www.inotherpeoplesskins.com/

Andy in Germany said...

Thanks for both the links above. I wonder what we can do with our stone wall... At the moment we have a temporary screen on a table for the modern service, and it looks awful (worse is the beamer clamped (yes, really) to the pulpit shelf. Coming from a theatre background I've wondered what sort of Gauze I could use, but this opens up possibilities of a full height gauze where we could add all sorts of visual niceness... If we are allowed...

arcady said...

thanks for all the comments andy! As to projection, you might be interested in the use of sheets shown at http://churchrelevance.com/tulsa-easter-church-services-lifechurchtv-and-church-on-the-move/.

Krystal Wight Armstrong said...

Hey, that's my church! (Hi Camron)
I was just thinking how lucky I was to stumble on this blog when looking for ideas & examples of how to give some colorful, contemporary life to a boring, empty children's wing at my mother-in-law's church (she's the children's director and I work here for her in the summers)...when I instantly recognized the pics of IBC.
Also, I used a couple similar shots in my article on 'faith and design in the church' for my graphic design 2 class last semester.
(sorry this got long)
I just had stop and make a comment. This is a great blog, and I'm so lucky to have a church home in IBC with such super cool people like Camron doing his fun stuff and other's like the art director there, Dennis Cheatham!

Happy Day, all :)

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