michael naimark

SEE BANFF! is an interactive stereoscopic installation. It bears a strong - and intentional - resemblance to an Edison kinetoscope, which made its public debut one hundred years ago in April 1894. It achieved instant popularity, but was short-lived. One and a half years later, in December 1895, the Lumiere brothers publicly exhibited projected film, and cinema as we know it was born. The kinetoscope became a transitionary symbol during a turbulent era in the media arts.

Physically, SEE BANFF! is a self-contained unit about the size of a podium, made out of walnut and brass, with a viewing hood on top and a crank on the side, as well as a selector for chosing one of the silent "views."

These views were filmed around Banff and rural Alberta in autumn 1993. They were recorded with two stop-frame 16mm film cameras mounted on a "super jogger" baby carriage. Stereoscopic recording was either triggered by an intervalometer (for timelapse) or by an encoder on one of the carriage wheels (for dollys and moviemaps). Since the filming was "stop-frame" (rather than "real-time"), time and space appear compressed.

The imagery is part of an investigation of the role of media and its relationship to landscape, tourism, and growth. Recordings were made dollying along waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, and farmland; moviemapping up and down popular natural trails; and timelapsing tourists.

SEE BANFF! looks and feel like a real kinetoscope. Turning the crank allows the user to browse back and forth, to "move through," the material.

Video (0:30)

See also:

"Field Recording Techniques for Virtual Reality Applications"
VSMM, Gifu, Japan, 1998

"Art ("and" or ‘versus’) Technology: Some Personal Observations"
Art@Science, Christa Sommerer, editor, Vienna and NY: Springer Press, 1997

"A 3D Moviemap and a 3D Panorama"
SPIE Proceedings, Vol. 3012, San Jose, 1997

"Field Recording Studies"

Immersed in Technology, Mary Anne Moser, editor, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996


The Art Formerly Known as New Media Exhibition, Walter Phillps Gallery, Banff Centre, Canada, 2005

Naimark 1977-1997 Exhibition, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, 2005

American Museum of the Moving Image, New York, 2000 (permanent collection)

Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, 1998 - 1999

Dallas Video Festival, 1997

University Art Museum, Berkeley, 1995

Mill Valley Film Festival, California, 1994

International Symposium for Electronic Art (ISEA), Helsinki, 1994

Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada, 1994


from "Field Recording Studies" (#3)
Art and Virtual Environments project,
The Banff Centre for the Arts

and the Immersion project,
Interval Research Corporation

Conceived and Directed by
Michael Naimark

Executive Producers
Douglas MacLeod, Banff Centre for the Arts
David Liddle, Interval Research Corporation

Principal Collaborators

Film Production: Gilles Tassé, Banff
Video Post-Production: Charles Lassiter, Interval Research
Software and Optics: Christoph Dohrmann, Interval Research
Interface Electronics: Robert Alkire, Interval Research
Cabinetry and Mechanics: Robert Adams, Interval Research
Technical Assistance: Scott Wallters, Interval Research
Special Cabinetry: Andy Hope, Piranha Design, San Francisco
Special Mechanics: Mark Pauline, Survival Research Labs, San Francisco

Additional Collaborators

Banff Centre: Lorne Falk, John Harrison, Cathy McGinnis, Mary Anne Moser

Roy Cross, Banff; James Martin, Canadian National Parks Service, Banff; Mireille Perron, Alberta College of Art, Calgary; Capital Film Lab, Edmunton; Studio Post, Edmunton; Banff Lifts Ltd., Banff; Columbia Icefields Tours, Banff; Whyte Museum, Banff

Interval Research: Aviv Bergman, Lee Felsenstein, David Gessel, Noël Hirst, Jason Lewis, Carol Moran, Steve Saunders, Chris Seguine, Andrew Singer, Richard Shoup, Rachel Strickland, Bill Verplank, Cedric Whigham, John Woodfill, Ramin Zabih

Thomas Cockrill, Byron Antiques, Byron, CA; Judith Donath, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge; Lisa Goldman, Interactive Media Festival, San Francisco; L. H. Lassiter, M.D., Miller Eye Center, Chattanooga; Daniel Zelinsky, Musee Mecanique, San Francisco; Allied Diner Film and Video, San Francisco; Monaco Film Labs, San Francisco; Western Images, San Francisco; Exploratorium, San Francisco; San Francisco Art Institute