"Little Wars; the Carousel Project” (2001-2012) is based on the history of carousels (“little wars” in Italian). Carousels gained popularity as childrens's rides despite their orignal militaristic origin which gives them a an unacknowledged Grimmesque sinister aspect.
War games such as jousting tournaments later developed into carousels which currently exists for us as rides and now possibly as interactive inhabitants of virtual reality posessing artificial intelligence. In addition to horses, menagerie animals represented desirable characteristics needed for battle. All photographs were taken of actual rides on New York’s upper west side from 70-110th street, including a historic carousel at 65th street and Central Park West (Stein and Goldstein 1908) over a period of several years. Most of the rides are now gone. The music “Four Burlesques for Flute and Bb Clarinet”, by my father Dr. Irwin Swack (published by Shawnee Press) is reminiscent of medieval masque plays.
Currently the video can be presented in 2D on a plasma screen or projected on a large wall. "Carousel" is also being adapted for a 3D possibly interactive immersive environment using Maya. Ideally I would like to create a curved room like structure where life size 3D carousel images would be continuously projected moving in a circular fashion around the room. Additionally "Carousel" can be made interactive so that the animals follow human movement and perhaps incorporate elements of artificial intelligence.
Initially created in 2001 from still photographic images that were digitalized and animated using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Macromedia Director and later AfterEffects, Premiere and Protools . Carousel was first published in Printmaking Today in Winter 2001, mastered in 2002 under a co-production grant at Banff Centre for the Arts and is in the new media collection of the New Museum. It has been shown at Columbia College in Chicago in 2002, the Beecher Center for Arts and Technology (2003-2004), presented at ASCI in 2004 and Eyebeam for Sarah Cook and Beryl Graham in 2008 as part of the "Doubletake" collaborative project produced by Interactivos, , White Box Gallery in Chelsea and the Binghamton University Art Gallery in 2008. Its adaptation for a 3D immersive environment was reviewed in America 24 in 2012.