MA goes to Deakin University

Posted on Monday, December 7th, 2009

Earlier this year, Deakin University was looking for a lighting control package, a video control package and networking solution to enhance its performance spaces and studio control. MA Lighting and ArKaos were able to supply a simple solution for the lot.

When Lighting Designer Scott Allan is not lighting the stages of theatre world, he can be found leading the Technical Group and managing specialised projects for the Arts Faculty at Deakin University, in Melbourne. Scott has been contracted to the University for the past five years and successfully balances this along side his Lighting Design career.  

During 2009, Scott designed and developed an interactive digital gallery – the Phoenix Gallery – to meet the Faculty’s growing demands of displaying digital art works. This includes most of the final outcomes from the areas of Graphic Design, Animation, Motion Capture, Photography, Film and Television. The Phoenix Gallery is a hybrid exhibition space, where traditional art works can be viewed along side digital screens or projections with ease.  

The University also has five performance spaces each equipped with significant patching, dimming and rigging infrastructure, but relied on localised control. By introducing an advanced MA network, and sectioning off each discrete space as an “MA world”, users can access the same control equipment to control any one space, from any location.

Scott’s experience in MA control goes back to 2001 when he purchased the first grandMA in Australia, installed into a permanent theatrical environment for the Gold Coast Arts Centre. Scott and Russell Jones then continued to expand the Arts Centre’s MA networks and infrastructure.   For Deakin University, Scott designed a wireless control system that leverages off the MA control applications for Wi-Fi using On-PC, iphone and ipod Touch.

The control upgrade was necessary to control the video integration in the art galley and for the large amount of digital scenography used in the live productions by the Dance and Drama departments. The control system comprises an MA Ultra-Light, two two-port nodes, two ArKaos Media Servers, five Mac-Mini’s and a Mac Book Pro. The Phoenix Gallery has LAN switchable 8-in, 8-out video and audio patching that can be sent to 24 locations in the space. There are four permanently installed 50″ LED displays, three pre-wired mobile display-walls and the ability to project images onto any surface, including the three large Barrisol sails which hang overhead.

These can be backlit by LEDs and Scott chose eight Studio Due Archi-LED. Both general lighting and traditional gallery lighting were sourced from Selecon’s Aureol range. Fifty Zoomspots and eighteen Wall Washes hang off three suspended rectangular trusses, which include a custom patching system. ELC panels are set up as remote DMX triggers, providing one-touch solutions for visitors, work light and pre-programmed exhibition scenes and cues.

LSC dimmers power the gallery and the space doubles as the foyer entry for all the performance spaces so Scott continued the theatrical look of the rig with silver truss, black fittings, black roof and white screens.

Equipment for the project was supplied by Lightmoves.