CANDYSTATIONS : VISUAL PERFORMANCE DESIGN
VISUAL PERFORMANCE DESIGN BY DEBORAH JOHNSON

PLANETARIUM

Produced by Sufjan Stevens

Stage and Visual Design:
Deborah Johnson for CandyStations

Technical Director:
Josh Higgason

International venues Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, the Barbican London and Sydney Opera House commissioned Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens to create a collaborative song cycle. Celebrating the solar system, the sun, the moon and the planets (including Pluto), Planetarium explores each celestial body using personal and historical narratives.

A cosmic visual set evoking the nature and energy of each planet is projected onto a large black sphere hovering above the band. The atmospheric content was created using a rich combination of analog and generative imagery – incorporating charcoal animations, volumetric pigments in water, sand, glitter, record players, light bokeh and sequential photographs from the extensive Cassini Solstice Mission archive.

The imagery’s holographic effect is aided by the black projection material covering the surface of the orb, allowing it to “disappear” when no light is hitting it.

Tools:
After Effects / Premiere / Quartz Composer / Director / Oils / Charcoal / Stop Motion