My friends all know that I’ve had a long and fruitful relationship with the overhead projector. I began using it around 30 years ago to enlarge my sketches onto canvas, much easier than the old-fashioned grid method I never quite mastered. I got the idea from watching fellow instructors at the University of Connecticut type their notes onto sheets of clear acetate and project them onto the blackboard for the class to copy, saving them from having to tediously write everything on the board. I borrowed a projector from the school’s AV Room and never looked back!
Over the years, I’ve found dozens of innovative ways to turn my low-tech, now obsolete projector into high art. Not only can I enlarge my drawings to any size that suits me, I can incorporate real people onto and into my projections, taking photographs to preserve the experience. By overlapping photos or drawings, I can create totally new composite images. I can enlarge them to fill entire gallery walls. I can photocopy them onto sheets of acetate and by overlapping, create entirely new compositions which can then be transferred to canvas or video.
I can move images around and make them dance to music, then videotape the results. I can cut small figures or buildings etc out of paper and make them fill a room. While images from the projector are by their very nature ephemeral, vanish the second you turn off the machine, you can make a permanent record with your camera. I‘ve even discovered how to turn my experiments into prints which, when matted and framed, can pass for etchings or drypoints. No press - no ink – no mess.