Posts in the technology category

Strings of Photos

After I presented my summer projects, one of the pieces of feedback that really stood out to me was choreographing in a way that I was unfamiliar with. I decided that one of the first prototypes that I wanted to make, was to take this feedback and think about ways in which I can choreograph the technology. Using the 1,000 images that I used to create the photograph composites from my summer project, I strung them together to make movement sequences. I decided to not alter the sequence or timing of the images, solely for the purpose of seeing how all the photographs fit together.

From this initial sequence, I began to craft and shape the photographs more intentionally. The idea here is to choreograph a dance using the series of photographs I took. I am able to zoom in and craft the “dance” frame by frame. I began to go in and alter the timing of each photograph and play with the repetition and sequences of shots.

I am pretty happy with the direction of this and would love to continue working on “choreographing” a piece in this manner. After presenting today in class, I was given some good feedback, as well as some interesting questions that I need to ask myself:

• What is the difference between choreographing and editing? How does my decision making process differ?
• What are the affordances to still images versus film?
• What is the equivalent of a still image in dance?

In addition it was recommended that I watch “Playtime” and “Stranger Than Fiction”. I have ordered them on my netflix, and will write about them with my reaction as soon as they come.

This is an earlier dance work produced by the Danish Dance Theather, in collaboration with programmers Ole Kristensen and Jonas Jongejan, entitled Body Navigation. Unlike the other software, which was developed using OpenFrameworks, all the technology for this performance was built in Processing.

This suite of 3 duets, was developed at an installation exploring the relationships between “wo/man and technology”. I believe that this was one of their first collaborations and explorations into the world of dance/technology, and I feel like that were able to create some very interesting interactions. My personal favorite is the human pong, in which two dancers move their paddles based on their movements within a particular space. For me this interaction allows the technology to play more of an active role, rather than the passive/decorative role I had seen it play in later works.

My friend Richert posted this on my facebook ball yesterday, and I was so excited to get to watch it. It was obvious to me who the technical/creative master mind was behind the interactive visuals of this music video.

Frieder Weiss, came to the New School last year and did a workshop on his interactive software, EyeCon, which he developed himself. He was on tour with the Australian dance company Chunky Move, presenting their newest work Mortal Engine at BAM. The style and aesthetic that Frieder Weiss is able to incorporate into his work is amazing. Like everything that I have seen of his, the work is beautiful and exciting. It was nice to see it incorporated into a slightly different context with the Kylie Minogue video. The technology itself was “choreographed” during the post-production process, through editing. Enjoy!

I am fascinated with movement. This is probably why I am so drawn to the creation of dances, constantly developing new movement vocabularies and exploring the different types of physicality I can achieve with my body. But movement is fleeting. They occur within the briefest second, and then disappears into the next. One of the questions I continuously find myself asking, is if there is some way to document the history of our movements.

I was initially inspired by the photography of of Tom Carvaglia, who has experiemented with different types of photographic techniques to achieve a trail of movement. Last summer during bootcamp, he inspired me to investigated ways in which I could achieve this effect with a processing sketch. The outcome was extremely unexpected but surprisingly beautiful. Below are several examples of those experiments using my iphone as light in a dark room with my processing sketch.

This time around I wanted to see if I could achieve a more “photo-realistic” effect by using my camera. I tried several different combinations of aperture and shutter speed settings. I found that a slower shutter speed would give me more of a trail with the movement, but I lost some of the crispness of the subject. I decided the best way to figure out what the best setting was, would be to go out and experiment. One of my closest friends Molly and I went out into Williamsburg and shot dance phrases in several different locations. I personally love the industrial grunge aesthetic, and felt it would be an interesting contrast with the blurs of the movement.

After taking about 1,000 photographs, I brought certain sequences into photoshop and overlaid them on one another. Below are my final composites:

Since January 2010, I have been working on the development of an interactive performance piece, entitled Become Displaced. With this work I attempt to marry the worlds of multi-media interactivity with the more traditional dance/theater, audience/performer paradigm. To seamlessly integrate the visual and performance elements, I continue to develop a methodology where the technology and performance are created simultaneously. This method allows for dialogue between formerly separate mediums. With this project, I strive to incorporate technology with the audience’s experience. By blurring the lines between performers and audience a participatory experience is created, where anyone is able to interact with the technology allowing the audience to become performers. The performer and audience paradigm is undone. Become Displaced combines dance, video, animation and physical computing. The media components are generated live and not pre-recorded or choreographed. The real time dialogue between the performers and the technology, allows for experimentation and investigation within the creation.

The piece follows several characters through a cathartic experience at a self help/psycho-therapy clinic. The “patients” are called into an office, where each person has their own individual experience. They interact with projected images and sound (all generated live), which are triggered based on their movement throughout the space. Behind all the interactions is a strange “doctor” who is physically pushing buttons and moving gears to make these experiences.

For the months of May and June, The Baryshnikov Arts Center granted me a space residency to develop this work. Throughout that time, I focused on the development of several programs and investigated ways in which the specific technologies could be integrated into the performers experience. The residency culminated in a works-in-progress showing at in the studio. Below is a video of the full performance and here is a link to the blog that was maintained throughout the duration of this process.

For my section in Become Displaced, I wanted to explore the relationship between movement, sound, and space. I created a patch in Max/MSP that created a 4×4 grid of sound. Movement in any one of the “cells” would trigger a specified sound byte. The space itself almost becomes a land mine, bringing sound to the movements that occur within it.

At first I experimented with several different sounds that were distorted through their playback speed. Below is one of my early improvisations, exploring how my movement could be informed by the sounds they were triggering. I tried to play with repeating certain movements in order to repeat certain sounds.

After exploring these seemingly arbitrary sounds, I decided that I wanted the soundscape to be comprised of phrases. The conceptual idea behind this section investigated the struggle between one’s hyper critical inner voice, and their ability to keep going and persevere. While moving through the space I trigger negative sounds of myself saying phrases such as, “You’re just not important to me.” and “Go fuck yourself.” By the end I find myself finding the one spot where I hear “It’s Okay”. Below is footage from one of the rehearsals with the new sound bytes. The final performance can be seen on the Become Displaced Performance Post.

Over the summer my good friend, and collaborator, Chris and I worked together on the creation of an interactive dance performance piece entitled Become Displaced. While the entire performance and it’s creation will be posted under another project, two components have been separated. Each of these will document the creation of a Max/MSP/Jitter patch that was used in conjunction with choreographic material.

Veronica’s section of the piece was to explore her relationship to her family and roots, through the projection of home videos. I created a patch that tracked her movement throughout the space and consequently would play the home movie. The struggle then became in her inability to watch the film. In order to keep it playing she had to continue moving, however once she stopped to watch it, the video would stop and start from the beginning. The use of audio directly from the video, reinforces this repetition when combined with the video. The conflict was resolved, when we discovered how she could watch the movie and remain physical. By performing small movements, closer to the camera, she could watch the home video as it was projected onto herself.

Below is a screen shot of the max patch along with two separate clips from our rehearsals. The final version can be seen in the Become Displaced performance post.