Paintshifter, 2017
Sculpture with film projection
Sculpture: Aluminum and polyester screen
Film: Oil, acrylic and various paints filmed live. Running time: 40 minutes; silent loop.
7' x 14' x 8'


I wanted to create a canvas for the painting films I make, a sculptural object that's also a film screen.

In a darkened space, object and film are seen together; in lit conditions, the work, without the projection, can be viewed purely as a sculptural object.

A key feature is that the film projection can be viewed from the front and back simultaneously, allowing imagery of flowing paint to be seen from every angle.

The sculpture spirals outward and grows vertically as it cantilevers twelve feet into space, avoiding vertical uprights that would block the projected image. This necessitated fabrication out of hand-forged aluminum; the sculpture, including screen, is completely hand made.

Paintshifter disassembles into six pieces, the longest, seven feet in length. The screen is made of custom rear projection fabric made of white polyester. Total weight of the sculpture is less than eighty pounds and the overall footprint of the work is 7' x14' x 8'.

A 3D modeling program was used to sketch with, then drawings and studies cut from paper were made into sculptural maquettes. These were used to create engineering drawings for fabrication. Small 3D prints were used as reference models.

Many of the painting films projected onto the sculpture are created specifically in its shape and can only be viewed when projected onto the sculpture itself. The painting films, which are approximately 40 minutes in length, are presented in an endless loop.


Special thanks to Ezio Blasetti for architectural consulting and film maker Douglas Trumbull for kind use of his shooting stage in documenting the project. Metal fabrication by John Graney.