[-empyre-] Welcome to Week 3: New Year:/New Tools and Technologies in performance based work

Simon Biggs simon at littlepig.org.uk
Mon Feb 23 15:17:17 AEDT 2015

Sue Hawksley (choreographer), Garth Paine (composer) and myself (media artist) have completed a couple of works in this area, most recently Crosstalk.

Documentation can be found here: http://www.littlepig.org.uk/installations/crosstalk/index.htm

Crosstalk is a collaborative interactive performance work for two performers whose movement and speech are re-mediated within an augmented environment employing real-time 3D motion tracking, multi-source voice recognition, interpretative language systems, 3D visualisation employing a custom physics engine, large scale projection and surround-sound audio synthesis. The acquired speech of the dancers is re-mediated through projected digital display and sound synthesis, the performers causing texts to interact and recombine with one another through their physical actions. The elements in the system all effect how each adapts, from state to state, as the various elements of the work - people, machines, language, image, movement and sound - interact with one another. Crosstalk reveals social relations, as articulated in language acts of various kinds (the performative), as a generative ontology of self-hood: an assemblage for 'making people'.

In respect of technological inspiration, the work borrows from Alan Turing's concept for the original Turing Machine. Turing wrote:

..an unlimited memory capacity obtained in the form of an infinite tape marked out into squares, on each of which a symbol could be printed. At any moment there is one symbol in the machine; it is called the scanned symbol. The machine can alter the scanned symbol and its behavior is in part determined by that symbol, but the symbols on the tape elsewhere do not affect the behavior of the machine. However, the tape can be moved back and forth through the machine, this being one of the elementary operations of the machine. Any symbol on the tape may therefore eventually have an innings.

Alan Turing, 1948, "Intelligent Machinery." Reprinted in "Cybernetics: Key Papers." Ed. C.R. Evans and A.D.J. Robertson. Baltimore: University Park Press, 1968. p. 31.

In Crosstalk the 'symbols' consist of people, their actions and the words they utter, combined with the sounds, texts and images generated by the system. These are all recursive elements that are all part of a feedback loop, often composed of other feedback loops, which ultimately determine the performance. The 'tape' is simply the duration of the performance in the interactive space. The output of the system consists of texts, sounds and the relational dynamics between all the elements, including the performers. The audience can also be part of the system.



> On 23 Feb 2015, at 14:27, Renate Terese Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Over the next few days I thought I would introduce a new thread and open
> it up to our subscriber list especially those of you interested in
> performance based work and technology.  Just this past week the
> choreographer William Forsythe was in residence at Cornell University;
> Bill¹s latest work revolves around the choreographic object.
> Forsythe writes: 
> A choreographic object is not a substitute for the body, but rather an
> alternative site for the understanding of potential instigation and
> organization of action to reside.  Ideally, choreographic ideas in this
> form would draw and alternative, diverse readership that would eventually
> understand and, hopefully, champion the innumerable manifestations of, old
> and new, of choreographic thinking.²
> Several of his latest works use objects such as the 400 pendulums
> suspended on overhanging sleds in his piece Nowhere and Everywhere at the
> Same Time
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59QRpcLgPOQ
> Or the robotic arms used in his piece Black Flags
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDVLfuQTafQ
> Additionally, Forsythe in collaboration with others at  Ohio State
> University created a motion databank which can be seen at the website
> http://motionbank.org/en/content/about
> Hope those of you involved in somatic practices and technology will share
> some of the tools, technologies and conceptual ideas that are inspired by
> them with us over the next few day.s
> Renate
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Assistant Professor of Art,Cornell University
> Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office:  306
> Ithaca, NY  14853
> Email:   <rferro at cornell.edu <mailto:rtf9 at cornell.edu>>
> URL:  http://www.renateferro.net <http://www.renateferro.net/>
>      http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net
> <http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net/>
> Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net <http://www.tinkerfactory.net/>
> Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/
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Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk


simon.biggs at unisa.edu.au
Professor of Art, University of South Australia

s.biggs at ed.ac.uk
Honorary Professor, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh

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