Desolate stretches of Saharan sand, bustling urban downtown – those two elements couldn't have less in common ... until artist Markos Aristides Kern and his visual design firm brought them together with the help of a beast of an automobile known as the Multimedia Offroad Vehicle, or MMOV.
German design firm Visual Drugstore embarked upon the Multimedia Offroad Vehicle Expedition (MMOVE) project in January, taking a two-week trip across the barren yet dynamic desert landscape of Tunisia. The purpose of the greater MMOVE project is to "connect various locations combining harmony and disharmony." In other words, they set out to project some of the earth's densest environments in one of its most empty; to fill the darkness of a desert night with bright, pulsating light; to transform, if only for a moment, large, dry rock into the intricate waterways of Venice, Italy.
An ordinary day in the desert isn't something that you undertake with just any sedan, and a multimedia art project featuring hundreds of pounds of video equipment is certainly no exception. In order to make the Saharan leg of MMOVE possible, a fleet of rugged, off-road vehicles was employed. Most central to the fleet was the MMOV, a MAN KAT1 6x6, and the MMOV 2, a VW MAN 4x4.
Both vehicles were outfitted with advanced projection equipment set-ups designed to cast sophisticated light shows within seconds. The large, capable vehicles, along with a support fleet, roved over road, dirt and sand in order to bring the design team to the middle of nowhere – the environment they needed for their vision.
That vision may seem a little bonkers to the non-philosophical non-art fan, but, like much art, it all comes together when you see the presentation. Brilliant colors lighting the desert abyss, city traffic flowing to and from nowhere, the hustle and bustle of foot traffic pounding one of the least hospitable environments on Earth – it all combines to create quite a dynamic scene.
Visual Drugstore plans to release a full documentary of its Saharan trip within the coming weeks. The greater MMOVE project will be ongoing. To get the full impact of the display, be sure to watch the seven-minute teaser video below.