OWS Geeks It
Up With State of The Art Laser Projections
The New York City Verizon building displays a 99% 'bat signal' to
the November 17 protest marchers.
High-Tech With Batman-Style Laser Projection Movement Rises To Mayor
Bloomberg's Childish Taunting Challenge
NewsFocus, by Tim Watts -
The New York City Occupy Wall Street
movement took their protest to a high-tech level with their November 17 march on
the Brooklyn Bridge. Leaders of the movement put together a high-tech laser
display on a prominent city skyscraper for all to see.
Responding to Mayor Michael
Bloomberg's calculated and premeditated taunting in a press conference following
the Zuccotti Park arrests, protestors were back in droves, however, this time
with a new twist. Despite Bloomberg's provocative challenge, stating that
less than a thousand people would show up, the protestors were indeed back,
but this time with an expensive new toy right out of the comic pages, a
Batman-style laser projection display to bolster their message.
The 99% signal was cast with
a $10,000 12K lumen
projector, onto the face of the
32-story Verizon tower from a nearby apartment building for all to see during
the march. It flashed chants and saluted other OWS cities in the national
The idea came during an OWS
leadership meeting, suggested from a protestor known only as "Hero." He and
fellow activists Mark Read, Will Etundi, Max Nova, and JR Skola came up with the
plan and set it in motion. Read went through a nearby city housing apartment
complex putting up flyers asking to rent an apartment for a few hours on the
17th. He found a taker in resident
Denise Vega who lived on the 16th floor. Fortunately
for Read and crew, Vega was enamored with the idea and donated the use of her
space for no charge, saying, "I can't charge you money, this is for the
people." After their meeting she enthusiastically proclaimed, "Let's do
When asked about the execution of
the display, Read explained, "The whole thing was a
combination of high tech and super jerry-rigging on the fly. The
Modul8 software we were using can do amazing things: sense the
angle you're projecting at, even if it's extreme, and modify the
image so it looks straight. But then, we held the projecter in
place with gaffer tape, a broomstick, some baling wire. We only
had 20 minutes to get it ready."
Asked if they were
worried about getting in trouble with the police, Read said, "I
was so sure it was not against the law, but I didn't ask my lawyer friends. I
didn't want to really know. The police knew where we were. They were pointing up
to the window. But no one stopped us when we left."
During the event Vega
and her family said, "If they want
to come up they're gonna need a warrant!"
The crew said they were able to hear
the response of the crowd below during the march. "Oh, we could hear the
crowd from the window. We heard them screaming, yelling," Read said.
Read was asked how he felt when it
was over. He stated, "I feel immense gratitude to these youngsters for
kicking my ass into gear. I'm feeling so much gratitude to everyone, for putting
their bodies on the line every day, for this movement. It's a global uprising
we're part of. We have to win."
A channel 5 FOX News helicopter was
said to have taken the video footage that is now making the YouTube rounds. The
video can be seen below.
There is a time when the
operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that
you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to
put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon
all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to
indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless
you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!
Savio Dec 2, 1964