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.
UPDATE: This is the work of Camron Ware, www.visualworshiper.com.