Immersive Projection Brings Virgil Ortiz’s ReVOlution to Life


Virgil Ortiz


Colorado Springs, CO | Colorado Fine Arts Center

Ideum has teamed up with Cochiti Pueblo artist, potter, and fashion designer Virgil Ortiz to create a projection mapped installation as part of Ortiz’s ReVOlution: Rise Against the Invasion exhibition at the Colorado Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs. This deeply compelling exhibition fuses traditional Cochiti art with Ortiz’s futuristic works to tell the story of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, and takes visitors into the future for the Revolution of 2180.

The Ideum team worked with Ortiz to bring his story to life with a visual narrative that first took form with a pre-show Prelude. Ideum continued working with Ortiz to create the longer eight-minute immersive showpiece for the exhibit, which tells the fanciful story of next century’s Revolution:

Set in 2180, the Pueblos are in chaos and the invasion of Native land continues as the scourge of war rages everywhere. The Aeronauts summon their fleet and prepare for extreme warfare against the invading Castilian forces. The Aeronauts search for any remaining clay artifacts from the battlefield, knowing the importance of preserving and protecting their clay, culture, language and traditions from extinction.

Ortiz and Ideum worked with Colorado College to determine the most effective way to utilize the 1800-square-foot exhibit space and create a powerfully immersive environment for visitors. The exhibit features large scale projection on three walls of the gallery, each utilizing a single projector, with 3D mapped projection on two obelisks and moon models. A battle scene between the Aeronauts and the Castilians fills the center of the exhibit space, with full sized mannequins sporting battle regalia designed and created by Ortiz. In addition, the side walls include projection mapping utilizing Ortiz’s family symbol, Wild Spinach, and his signature “turkey track” X signature.

The collaborative process for creating the projections involved several months of filming and editing content to fine tune the unfolding story. To create the compositions and projection mapping on the walls, Ideum used TouchDesigner, a real-time design tool that allows an unprecedented level of control to modify and design content on the fly. Ortiz and Ideum were even able to make small but critical design refinements onsite as the exhibition was installed.

The Ideum team took great care to maintain Virgil Ortiz’s vision and create an experience that not only provides an immersive and entertaining visit but also educates visitors on Pueblo history. Ortiz has made it his mission to create a narrative of the Pueblo revolt to inspire and engage future generations, and with ReVOlution, he draws heavily on science fiction and technology to attract younger audiences. The exhibit challenges visitors to look at the past, re-examine the traditional historical narrative of Native Americans, and ultimately become excited about their future.