From bringing to life inanimate objects to transporting visitors into a new reality, projection mapping can be used to elevate experiences into new immersive territory. We spoke to audio-visual artist Carlos Bernal to explore how it works, how he uses it in his work and what the possibilities are for brands looking to create stand-out experiences.

Hi Carlos, can you tell us a little bit about what you do?

I’m an audio-visual artist, graphic designer and art director based in Manchester. My work is focused on the projection of light, motion graphics and projection mapping. I’m fascinated by how these elements can be combined to manipulate perceived reality, bring inanimate objects to life and provide immersive experiences.

It’s a new way of seeing digital art. Transmitting the feelings of digital art into a more grandiose and impressive experience and extrapolating it into something more tangible than a screen.


It’s a really interesting approach, how did you get started?

I started out in VJ’ing – mixing visuals for club nights and DJ’s. After a while I wanted to expand my audience and ventured into lighting festivals, installations and galleries. At this time, I started to think about how to package my art into stand alone experiences rather than as a backdrop for other artists.  

I began developing other things and collaborating with artists and music producers. I got really into the merging of visual effects, motion graphics and architecture to create unique experiences. This was my avenue into projection mapping – where content is mapped onto buildings to bring them to life. I use this concept in my work but have transformed it into something else by creating my own mediums of delivery.

Can you share an example?

DUUOME is a good one. It’s a 360 AV performance set inside a geodesic dome that quite literally brings it to life. The initial idea behind this was to create a dome big enough for the audience to be inside but due to budget restrictions we altered the design to be a 4m squared dome that is viewed from the outside. 

Myself and my music producer partner were inside controlling the show using a combination of AV and projection mapping. From the outside the effect varied – sometimes you could see shadows of us performing and sometimes it was fully opaque. We first showed this in Liverpool inside the listed landmark St George’s Hall and then later at IN-SONARA in Madrid.


How do you want people to feel when they experience your work?

With all of my work I try to erase the audience’s brains for the duration of the performance and take them to a new dimension. Going beyond digital experiences on a screen, it’s an opportunity for full immersion and introspection where every person’s experience is different.

Can you explain how projection mapping works?

It’s a technique that involves projecting video content onto surfaces such as buildings, sculptures or other objects to create the illusion of movement or transformation. Using specialised software, video is carefully mapped onto the chosen surface to fit its contours, resulting in a 3D visual effect or impression that the object is moving or transforming in real time.

You’re essentially working with a blank canvas/static element that you bring to life with your projections, whether that’s fabric, metal, wood or paper.

We’ve been working with you to explore the use of projection mapping and AV content for some of our client projects. There’s definitely a lot of untapped potential in this more mainstream space, can you share your thoughts on the possibilities?

Projection mapping and AV content are really powerful tools for creating engaging experiences as it allows creators to transform any surface into a canvas for their ideas, really blurring the line between physical and digital worlds. Whether this is in an art show, installation, live music or more commercial settings like retail, activations and brand events, it’s a way to elevate interactions and create a more immersive experience.

For brands, projection mapping could be used to create constantly evolving retail spaces that depict a unique experience for every visitor. It could be used to make an activation space more flexible, easily transforming it from retail to events with a simple change in content.  It’s also pretty sustainable if you think about it as it gives you the ability to reskin spaces without having to remake them.

Apple and Samsung do a lot of projection mapping but it can be a bit taboo because people assume it will be ridiculously expensive. This really isn’t the case, especially if it’s on a small scale but it does all depend on the size and requirements of the project.

There are a ton of different possibilities and ways to be creative with this. 

Have a project you’d like to discuss? Get in touch.