Roots Time Travel Experience

Roots Time Travel Experience at Floriade 2012 in Venlo was the starting point of a cultural-historical route across the site of the World Horticultural Expo. The province of Limburg commissioned Tinker imagineers to invent, develop and produce a multi-media event on the origin of the North Limburg landscape. It became an extraordinary narration, enhanced by the setting, music, film and special effects. In the run up to the Floriade, archaeological research was carried out at the site of the St. Jans farm. It turned out to contain traces of habitation dating back to the mid-Stone Age, as well as barrows, a livestock pen, ancient cart tracks, mediaeval foundations and much more. The province of Limburg wanted to make visitors aware of the history of the place, and for this purpose to lay a cultural-historical path around the old St. Jans farm. The farm itself would be the point of departure and would introduce the characteristics of the landscape. At this location, the story of the creation of the North Limburg landscape would have to be told in an attractive and exciting way. It is an abstract and complex story about the way in which man and landscape influenced each other in North Limburg for over 5000 years – and it would have to be told in a way that would appeal to a wide audience. Tinker imagineers came up with the Roots Time Travel Experience, showing 5000 years of landscape history within 8 minutes. The Experience starts when the audience enters the old barn, which is filled with tools, sacks, barrels, buckets and a tractor. People sit down on various objects and then the lights are turned off. The performance starts, and 15 beamers project the story upon the old, rough walls and on the ceiling. The story moves from one spot to another, and the projection surfaces are rarely illuminated at the same time. The footage was largely shot for the purpose in the vicinity. It includes landscapes, people using all kinds of traditional tools and even a flock of sheep we made jump over the cameras. In addition, we used the historical colour films of Alex Roosdorp from the Limburg Museum collection. The periods are connected by the music and by an animated tree, gradually turning from an acorn into a full-grown oak. The presentation contains several overwhelming effects, but they have been included for a reason. If a flock of sheep rushes towards the audience and jumps over them (their bellies projected on the ceiling), it tells the story of erosion by overgrazing. The steam train drawing in signals the arrival of artificial fertilizer and its impact on the landscape. And when morphing techniques and sound effects suggest that the tractor starts to move, it announces the beginning of mechanized agriculture. By using state-of-the-art technology (Coollux operation of the beamers to have the projections of 15 beamers fit seamlessly) and by consulting with several experts on the historical eras, we have created a unique presentation. A fabulous experience that has turned an archaeological and historical narration into an event that is accessible and comprehensible to a wide audience.

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