'The Trace', a unique multi-media installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Will Bauer, was at the centre of the retrospective of contemporary art that was exhibited recently at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada. The installation was a 'telepresence' experience where people in different rooms of the museum could share the same interactive space. Two Martin Lighting Director (MLD) tracking systems were used to monitor the position and movement of participants in 3D and their presence was reconstructed in real time in the rooms using intersecting light beams, floor projections and positional sound. Automated followspots provided ghostly 3D representations which matched the movement of participants in the remote rooms. The installation used eight Mac 250 units for the aerials and four MAC 250+ fixtures for the projections. In addition, four MAC 300 moving heads were fitted with speakers and parabolic reflectors so that sound beams could also be directed to the location of the participants.
German laser specialist LOBO Electronic is undergoing considerable expansion and is moving to new premises. The company can now be contacted at Robert-Bosch-Strasse 100, Industriegebiet Essingen-Dauerwang, 73428 Aalen, Germany.
Martin Professional's US subsidiary, Martin Professional Inc has been awarded the lighting contract for the Sepulveda/Century entrance of the new LAX Gateway project. Designed and specified by Los Angeles-based Dawn Hollingsworth of MRH Design (Moody, Ravitz, Hollingsworth Design Inc), the project will feature nearly 500 Martin Professional Exterior 600 lighting fixtures, used to illuminate columns at the entrance to LA International Airport. The fixtures will be programmed to change colour and will synchronise with an additional 15 smaller glass columns located on Century Boulevard, the main road approaching LAX. The complete lighting project will be controlled via a customised system of Martin ProScenium lighting controllers. Helix Electric Inc, constructors and engineers for the $25 million LAX Gateway portion of the $110 million LAX improvement project, are supplying the complete job. Upon completion in June 2000, the project is certain to be the largest automated exterior colour-changing lighting system in the world.
PRG announced today that Paul Edwards has joined the operations of the Lighting Group in the newly-created role of director of standards, headquartered in North Bergen, NJ. In this position, Edwards will be responsible for developing and implementing equipment test and preparation standards for the companies within the Lighting Group. Edwards worked with both Avolites and Vari-Lite Europe before relocating to the United States. During a 10-year stint with See Factor in New York, he served in technical sales, as the head of research and development and as electronics department manager. Most recently, Edwards was the US general manager and chief engineer of DeSisti Lighting.
Caribiner International contracted Essential Lighting to manage the lighting design for the recent Allied Dunbar Sales Convention. The brief from Caribiner's producer, Andrew Price was, as always, to make the event better, bigger and faster than ever. The set designs and drawings were distributed electronically by the beginning of December. Working in Essential's new WYSIWYG suite, lighting designer Tony Hall then turned these into a full blown drawing, complete with the attendant lighting of 190 moving fixtures (170 Martin MAC fixtures, 14 moving mirror units, 3 CityColors, a 7Kw Xenon searchlight) and some 60 generic fittings. Five days of intensive lighting programming followed, using Whole Hog II lighting desks for the moving elements of the show, and a Pearl 2000 for the Generic aspects. Two Wholehog II desks were used for show control, linked together as a master desk and a tracking back-up desk. One of the outputs of the Hog was overdriven to obtain the required five strings of DMX for the moving lights. The Pearl 2000 was backed up by an ARRI Reflections unit with an overdrive box, to cater for the two strings of DMX being sent from this desk.
The Lighting Division of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Institution of Lighting Engineers has launched the programme for a millennium lighting conference to be held in York from 9-11 July 2000. The conference will include sessions and case studies on remote source lighting, quality in lighting and light pollution.
PLASA EXCLUSIVE: PLASA electronic news can now reveal that Electronic Theatre Controls has appointed Mike Lowe as managing director of ETC Europe. Previously of Teatro, Lowe's appointment re-affirms the company's position as a truly pan-European player, with its growing team of employees from both the UK and continental Europe. Lowe formed Teatro Srl, Italy, 13 years ago and prior to this was with Rank Strand, where he was managing director of the company outside of the US, helping turn the company round into profit after continued trading losses. His international management experience makes him ideal for ETC Europe, which has been growing at an annual rate of 45% since its formation in 1995. Lowe is looking forward to the opportunities that the role will offer: "The management style and culture within ETC is so right for our industry. An important factor for me is that ETC Europe has its own identity and culture - it isn't simply an extension of the American operation. The world is an interesting place at the moment: there are tremendous opportunities for the company with the right resources and the right attitude and I believe that ETC is that company."Welcoming Lowe, who joins the company in March, Fred Foster (CEO of ETC International) told PLASA: "I am pleased to have Mike join the ETC team. He will bring a new dimension to the leadership of ETC Europe and will add a strong European voice to the global management team of ETC International."
In order to offer a more competitive service, Nottingham-based NJD has spent the last year organising a new manufacturing facility in India. The result is a range of products identical to their UK equivalents, carrying the same design and engineering, as well as guarantees, but with improved packaging and user guides. The first four products from the range - Chaos, Chaos 2000, Blitzer and Datamoon - are now available.
The second Pulsar Student Lighting Designers Competition is to commence shortly with the first heat taking place in Melton Mowbray Colleges' technical studio. Contestants will able to use the latest technology recently installed by Pulsar Light which includes two Clay Paky Stage Color 300s and two Stage Light 300s, controlled by Pulsar's Masterpiece 216. Students from the performing arts department of De Montfort University, based at Melton Mowbray, are already queuing up to participate in the competition. Training will be offered by Pulsar at its Cambridge headquarters and the brief for the designers will be to come up with a design that complements a short piece of contemporary music. Two heats per month will see a number of students battling it out and the winners will then be invited to the finals in July where they will be asked to light a short piece of theatre specifically commissioned for the contest. Further heats will take place over the next few months when it is hoped that degree students from Loughborough University and Nottingham Trent University will also participate.
Loren Haas has left Vari-Lite Inc. Haas has been with the company many years, most recently as executive vice-president working out of the Dallas office. His departure comes at a time of restructuring for the company, which recently announced that it was, for the first time in its history, manufacturing products specifically for sale.
White Light has released a new, safe and fully rated solution to a standard lighting problem: rigging sidelighting on a lighting ladder. Until now, adjustable lighting ladders have generally been adjustable frameworks constructed from scaffolding. However, the advent of the new Lifting Of Loads and Equipment Regulations (LOLER), which came into force during 1998, means that this solution is no longer acceptable. Under the guidance of Richard Wilson, the company has designed a new adjustable ladder system, christened the LOLER Ladder. It consists of 2m vertical tube sections with spigots to accept cross-pieces at spacings suitable for commonly used conventional and moving lights. Cross pieces are fitted onto and then bolted to these spigots to form ladders with the desired rung spacing and, since standard diameter pipe is used throughout, lanterns can then be hung on the ladder using their standard hook clamps. The uprights are fitted with rated hanging points, allowing the ladder to be flown safely.
The Martin Group is introducing two new products for the American market. The MAC 500SP and MAC 600NT will replace two of the products that continue to be affected by the injunction placed on them by Vari-Lite Inc which prevents their sale in the USA. Martin's own engineers have developed a completely new patented colour mixing system for the MAC 600NT and both products lie outside of the American patent, which is the basis of the litigation. The Federal Appeals Court in Washington DC is expected to hear the appeal some time in February. Regardless of the decision in the case, Martin can sell the new products in the American market.
Attempting to live up to its name slightly too literally, The Moving Light Company - and its entire stock of moving lights - has moved. But not far - the company can now be found at Unit 8 Parsons Green Depot, just a few metres further along and on the opposite side of the depot from its old base. Formed in 1994 to handle the increasing demand for automated lighting technology, The Moving Light Company has since provided equipment to a huge range of theatrical productions, concerts, trade shows, films and even a performance at Buckingham Palace! The company's growing stock levels necessitated its move to larger premises.
Lighting manufacturer Osram Sylvania and Motorola Inc. have signed a definitive agreement which will see Osram Sylvania acquiring the assets of Motorola Lighting who manufacture electronic ballasts for the lighting industry. The sale, which is expected to be finalised in April, would see the Motorola Lighting business becoming part of Osram Sylvania's Electronic Control Systems business.
Transtechnik has installed an automated lighting control system in two Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation) television studios in Munich. The company used three Voyager systems to control the overhead equipment in the studios, two Focus lighting control systems, around 180 lighting hoists and 40 scenery hoists. In a studio where two production control rooms are shared between four television studios, the new system allows complex cues to be reset at the touch of a button. The network has been designed for redundancy and utilises Ethernet hubs and fibre optic cables, but the conventional method of DMX patching by switching over DMX connections also has its place, making unintentional access to one of the remotely-controlled studios practically impossible.
Triflite Cases, a division of Trifibre Containers International Ltd, has introduced new lightweight shock mounted 19" rack flight cases to its range. The cases incorporate a new lightweight aluminium floating frame suspended by eight rubber suspension mounts. Vertical rack mounting strips on the front and rear of the units allow standard 19" rackmounted equipment to be fixed in any position.
AC Lighting has appointed Sebastian Williams to its team of technical support. Williams recently gained a degree in Theatre Design, part of which included his final paper on computerised lighting design, from the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Before joining AC Lighting, he worked on a number of projects, including running a series of trade shows for Virgin Cola.
Following a major refurbishment programme in 1998/9, the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, has recently upgraded its technical systems to include over 90 Selecon luminaires. The theatre has taken possession of new lighting equipment for the main house and foyer areas. Lighting Technology Group (Manchester) supplied the Selecon kit comprising 24 special front-of-house profiles in a gold and cream finish to match the decor in the foyer, 30 high performance Fresnels, six 2.5k Arena fresnels, five 4-way cyc lights and 30 Aurora units. In addition to the Selecon kit, Lighting Technology supplied 15 James Thomas Engineering lighting bars, each with six Thomas Par 64 lanterns and an additional 40 colour-changer Par cans. All luminaires were supplied with the new Trigger Clamp from Doughty Engineering. The theatre also purchased an Avolites console and dimming for the venue.
London-based Lighting Technology has announced major developments in its reporting and organisational structure including the promotion of senior personnel within the Group. Garry Nelsson is now group sales and marketing director and Bruce Kirk Group projects director. They have between them ultimate responsibility for the total sales of the Group. Reporting to Nelsson, Ron Knell now takes on the role of export sales manager, Dave Short becomes sales office manager and Rob Williamson field sales manager. Andy Dodd is now Manchester branch manager, enabling Graham Bassett to join the sales force and handle the task of developing the North East of England for LTG products, following the acquisition of Sound Electronics. This branch will officially be known as Lighting Technology Newcastle from 1st March.Strategic restructuring of Lighting Technology Projects has resulted in the creation of Northern and Southern teams. Reporting to Bruce Kirk, project sales will be handled by Ray Dolby and Bruce Tompsett from London and by Ray Scott and Terry Reeves in the North. Eddie Hirad continues as engineering manager. James Jose joins the Projects Team and will focus on retail and commercial lighting, reporting to Ray Dolby. Jonathan Adkins continues to be responsible for technical sales in London, but will become a member of the Projects Team.
VLPS London has started off the New Year supplying equipment to a string of high profile motor industry events across Europe. For Volvo's launch of the new V70 in Brussels, lighting designer Glyn Peregrine used ETC Source Fours, Minuette and Cantata fresnels an Arri desk and Avolites dimmers; in Seville, Ford launched the new Transit, with lighting designed by Mike Sobotnicki, incorporating 12 VL5Arc and 16 VL6B luminaires, along with ETC Source Fours and Par 64s, all controlled via a Wholehog II. Other projects for Ford included the company's exhibition stands at the Brussels Motor Show (lighting design by Andy Offin) and the Amsterdam Motor Show (lighting design by Ross Corbett).
The recent Sports Awards of the Century gala evening at the Vienna State Opera House, with live performances from Eros Ramazotti and Sir Cliff Richard among others, was lit by a large automated rig supplied by Vari-Lite Austria. The rig included 18 VL5, eight VL6, 16 VL6B and 20 VL7 luminaires, programmed and operated by lighting designer Norbert Wolfsberger. The production company for the event was Cataclysm.
Color Kinetics Incorporated, manufacturers of full spectrum digital lighting, has announced the completion of its third round of equity financing, with Deutsche Bank as the lead investor. This round featured significant participation from the company's existing investors as well as from several new investors, and has raised over $13 million for the company. This latest round of capital will enable Color Kinetics to extend the digital technologies in its growing patent portfolio into new markets. It will broaden its product range based on its LED-based Chromacore technology, which has recently been awarded a US Patent - the first issued in its field. The patent covers standalone and network control of multiple LEDs for illumination and display. According to industry analysts, the worldwide LED market is estimated at $1.8 billion, with strong forecasts for rapid growth.
Bruce Jordahl has left High End Systems to become the editor of a new magazine - Pro Light and Staging News. The monthly title will address the touring and concert industries and will focus its editorial coverage principally on the US and Canadian markets.
At the recent AGM of the Society of Television Lighting Designers (STLD), the Society honoured the support it had received over the past 25 years from Strand Lighting. Bernie Davies, secretary of the STLD, presented a special award to Alan Luxford, Strand's long-serving sales manager, who was present at the very first meeting of the STLD which was held at Strand Electric's King Street showroom in Covent Garden, and has supported the society ever since.