If you’ve heard of INSA, chances are you’re thinking of animated walls right now. For those who don’t know him (and you definitely should), INSA is famous for his stop motion GIF-ITI artwork – animated GIFs created from graffiti paintings.
The UK street artist recently created the biggest animated painting for another GIF-ITI project, but with two changes from his ordinary workflow. Rather than painting a wall INSA painted an entire parking lot, and instead of a regular camera he used a satellite to capture his creation!
You know how sometimes you are to close and you need to go a bit further back in order to get the frame you want? Well for this project INSA sent the camera 431 miles back (or up, in this case).
Since each painting was 14,379 square meters, INSA and his crew of 20 could not see how accurate they were painting. The artist explained how the managed to paint twenty hearts for each frame:
“Each heart alone is 24 metres across, and not being able to step back and see the work in progress meant I had to rely quite a lot on my calculations on scraps of papers. There was months of back and forth discussions, location scouting. The design and planning I did on my own, a logistics team were coordinating the satellite and filming, then my assistant along with a team of 20 people were on site to help get it done.”
The final GIF was created from a total of four photos that were taken on four consecutive days, totaling in a painted area of 57,515 square meters. The photos were captured by two satellites owned by Airbus’ commercial satellite division, Astrium.
In a rather rare occasion in today’s digital world, INSA had to wait an entire week until he was able to view the images. Only once they were sent back from space could he overlay the images and find out if the project was successful.
While the heavy lifting was done in Brazil, INSA says “for me the actual gif was made in space by the satellite – I just had to compress it fit for web viewing”.
In case you were wondering, by ‘heavy lifting’ I mean 576 man-hours worth of painting.
During the video INSA says “internet has changed our view on art. I wanted to cross both worlds and make work that existed in online space even more than it existed in real space”.
I’d say he succeeded.
If you’re into a more down-to-earth kind of graffiti photography, you should check out our post about Martha Cooper.