Marek Ostrowski
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SAMPER sci-art

Panorama of Warsaw

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The author's "Panorama of Warsaw at the Turn of the Century" was realized by Marek Ostrowski on the basis of photos taken in August - September of 2000. This is a record of the town at the symbolic moment of the turn of the century - a moment in time to which contemporary changes can be referred to. The photos were taken from The Palace of Culture and Science, from the height at which now the Millennium Clock is placed. During a period of two weeks, almost 1000 photos were made - in different weather conditions and visibility, at different times of the day, with various resolution. In the end 600 photos were chosen, which were used to create a 360- degree, complete panorama of the town. For the purposes of the panorama, a projection was worked out that allowed to create a rectilinear continuum of streets that in reality are perpendicular to each other. At the same time a correction of foreshortening that occurs when simultaneously viewing such a large image both head on and from increasing observation angle was made.

The first exposition of the panorama in version v.0 (2.5 x 10 m) opened the Architecture Salon SARP 2000. The consecutive versions were constantly improved on and verified. The current exposition, presented at the front of Gallery Centrum is version v. 6.1.

The virtual form of the image is 165 m high (more then half the height of the Palace of Culture and Science) and 2000 m long (11811000 x 974000 pixels), fully saturated with details (to be viewed from a distance of several metres). For exhibition reasons the image had to be reduced ten - fold (at the same time reducing its resolution) and parts had to be cut off at both the top and bottom, which together allowed for physical exposition of the panorama. The currently exhibited image is only 11 m high and 133 m long. The ceremonial unveiling of the panorama took place on New Year's Eve 2002 and became a symbolic greeting of the New Year by Warsaw.

The exposition was set up as a joint non - commercial venture by the panorama's author, the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and the Gallery Centrum and is dedicated to the city and its inhabitants.