17-Jan-2013 (Thu)
Wherein we dazzle your razzles.

After seeing it in action for a couple months, I wasn't really happy with how Room Four turned out. It was just too plain and unfinished looking. So I set the minions on a new project: paint the whole thing in dazzle camouflage, floor to ceiling. It's that sweet spot between Cubism and Naval warfare!

The trick is to point a video projector at the wall, then trace it. But it's going to take weeks. They've gotten one small section finished so far, and I love it. With all the mirrors in that room, it's going to look amazing.

It might be a little reminiscent of the Keith Haring mural that used to adorn the walls of the lounge. History!

Dazzle Ships, in addition to being the best album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, were military vessels early in World War II that were painted not to conceal but to confuse: with these overlapping stripes, it was very hard to estimate size, range and heading. This was a big deal before the invention of Radar. Here, watch this informative video on Naval Fire Control Computers from 1953:

A related pre-Radar trick were the Sound Mirrors, which incidentally is a really good song by Clock DVA. But we don't have any of those. Yet.

We're also hanging miles of dark red curtains in Above DNA. I really like how that room looks all white, but what I don't like is how much time and money it takes to keep it clean. It gets scuffed so much we were repainting it almost weekly, which is just too much work.


14 Responses:

  1. Amber Steele says:

    This is brilliant and fantoozle! Great links to history. Are the red curtains looking, along with all of the black and white stripeyness, rather reminiscent of the Black Lodge?

  2. jml says:

    I'm familiar with dazzle camouflage, but the first thing I thought when seeing that is it's a really bad idea for a club. You're either going to give drunks the spins (and the associated projectile vomiting), cause druggies to freak out and/or sit in front of the walls for hours while drooling all over themselves, or give epileptics seizures when strobes start hitting the walls. If you're really lucky you'll hit the trifecta and get all three in one night. Honestly, just looking at the pictures makes me twitch a little (I've been two of the three at various points in my life, so I have a little background here).

    • Ronald Pottol says:

      And penrose tiles for the floor!

      Also, Dazzle was a WW1 thing, radar basically makes it moot.

  3. phuzz says:

    I've always thought of doing something similar in a hallway, except with concentric circles, 'aimed' at the front door. So when someone walks in, they'll see crazy black and white lines, until they reach the end of the hall and turn round and see the pattern.

  4. Pavel says:

    Wouldn't it be faster to paint the entire wall white, then turn on the projector and just lay masking tape over the white sections, and then spray the whole thing down with black paint?

    • jwz says:

      The folks doing the actual painting claim, "masking would make it take longer and come out messy". I have my doubts, but I'm not the one on the ladder.

  5. Awesome. I've got "Dazzle Ships" framed on my work office wall - http://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/jon.dowland/tmp/v/1.jpg

    I once tried to source a Wadsworth print but found it surprisingly difficult.

  6. oh er embed for the lazy yet curious, a possible intersection of 0:

  7. Peter Bierman says:

    I was so dazzled by the first shot of the painting-in-progress that I lost track of which way was up!

  8. adolf says:

    I like the dazzle, but I think it needs more Brute!.

  9. Dazzle Ships is absolutely the best OMD album.

    Is there a possibility of doing some clear plexiglass acrylic wall-sheeting over the wall for protection? Not sure if it's monetarily a solution, but has got to be better than repainting every other week.

  10. sousou says:

    Yes, I think that