The Painted Desert series grew out of a collaboration with the performance troupe Vessel. Part photography, part costume design, and part interactive performance, the project was commissioned by the Mesa Arts Center. A lot of planning and hard work went into the photoshoot in the Painted Desert. But the real highlight of the project was presenting it in front of a live audience, as did at the Spark Festival in Mesa last spring and will do again this evening at the Phoenix Art Museum.
As a photographer, I’ve presented my images in a variety of formats and venues over the years—magazines, gallery shows, books, film, etc. But this is the first time I’ve used photography as part of an interactive performance. The photographs are projected on people and objects as part of the piece. When we presented the show at the Mesa Arts Center, the entire complex became a moving art gallery of sorts, with images flowing across walls, ceilings, floors, and even people in the audience. As you can see in the photos below, the Vessel performers became living screens for the projected images.
Vessel is the brainchild of Rachel Bowditch, a respected performance artist recently named one of today’s 100 top creatives by Origin Magazine. It was a joy and an honor to work with her. For more about Rachel’s work, check out her website Vessel Project.
Here are a few more photos from the series. For more images, check out the slideshow here.