mygeorgetown: Capturing George Town in 360 Degrees
What may look like red standalone speakers are
in fact, a metal shell that is fitted with six cameras to capture and film its
surroundings. This is all part of a public space project titled 'mygeorgetown',
which documents the daily rhythms of our George Town World Heritage Site.
The Penang Institute-initiated project will be one of the many events to be
launched in George Town Festival (1 - 31 August 2014). The creativity that is paired with this
virtual documentation of George Town will surely appeal to you. The
'mygeorgetown' project consists of three aspects. As Penang Institute's Head of
City Stuart MacDonald explains, one includes traditional and 360 degree
photography; another is 360 degree time-lapse videos; and third is a map that
emphasises the connectivity, accessibility and walkability of the George Town
World Heritage Site.
Aside from the architectural styles and features of the buildings in George
Town, the project's objective is to cast a greater attention to the spaces in
between. 'Equal recognition needs to be given to both the living and built
aspects of the urban landscape and recognition of the tangible and intangible
components of each,' MacDonald says on how the idea of the project came about.
'When looking at the long term sustainability of the George Town World Heritage
Site, it is important to retain the strong sense of connectivity between
working, living and recreational opportunities in the city.'
An interesting feature of the 'mygeorgetown' project is the visual experience
of George Town in panorama using a virtual reality headset. To bring George
Town to live, the process requires different scenes of George Town to be
captured and compiled as well as live sound clips. 'So far we have collected
around 25 sounds, ranging from some of George Town's traditional crafts people
at work, to wet markets, to the sounds of food cooking to the sounds of our
religious institutions,' MacDonald describes.
the process involves heavy tech equipment, broken equipment is one of the
challenges faced but that is not all. 'The biggest challenge is also time. We
could do so much more if we had more time,' shares MacDonald.
How will this project define George Town in the end? ‘As a city
it has so much to offer from its unique architecture to its diverse
communities, this has shaped the city to be a fascinating place,’ says
MacDonald. ‘We see the enthusiasm for George Town through the amount of art and
photography that has appeared over the past few years, I guess we are hoping
that our website can become a place that brings all this together.
Experience ‘mygeorgetown’ at George Town
World Heritage Incorporated starting 1 – 28 August 2014. The exhibition’s
opening hours are Monday to Friday at 8.30am – 5.00pm. For updates and further
information log onto www.facebook.com/mygeorgetown.my and www.mygeorgetown.my.