[-empyre-] Simon Biggs

Simon Biggs simon at littlepig.org.uk
Tue Jan 12 10:40:13 AEDT 2016

Hi all

I’ve been off-list for a while as I’ve changed universities, countries, continents and hemispheres. I’m now based in Adelaide Australia - which is actually my home town, which I departed for the UK and Europe around 30 years ago. I’m now working at the University of South Australia, where I’m Director of the South Australian School of Art within the School of Art, Architecture and Design. I’m also Associate Head of this multidisciplinary school and Director of Research. In some ways my role here is not that different to that which I had at my previous university, Edinburgh. However, the weather, food and wine are definitely better here in Adelaide - which is a great place to live and work. Lot’s of work...

Last year (2014) I completed a major interactive performance work with two long-time collaborators - Sue Hawksley (dance) and Garth Paine (music). The work is titled ‘Crosstalk’ and employs multimodal interaction (realtime full-body motion analysis with voice acquisition and analysis) along with 3D video projection (employing a full physics simulation), multi-channel surround sound synthesis, dance, speech and an interpretative grammar engine. To date it has been presented at the Edinburgh International Festival and the Arizona State University Arts Museum and a shorter version was presented at the Electronic Literature Organization conference in Bergen. The work has also been demo’d at IRCAM Paris as part of MOCO 2014 and at CHI2015 in Seoul, Korea and was previewed at Bundanon, in New South Wales, in 2013. We’re hoping to perform it here in Adelaide during 2016.

Having managed to grab a little time for myself over the New Year break I’ve more or less completed a new interactive augmented environment titled ‘Dark Matter’. I’ll not say much about it for the moment, except that it is mainly made of stuff you can’t see unless you get into the middle of it, at which point the interactors illuminate the world around them. This consists of a 3D space densely populated with textual elements that interact with one another and the interactors. The matter is dark, visually and conceptually - not just dark physical matter but also dark cultural matter. Hopefully this work will see the light of day during 2016 - somewhere.

We’re setting up a new facility within the School called the Creative Computing Studio. This will be a research space for faculty, research students and visiting researchers to undertake experimental work with multimodal interactive systems across and between disciplines. The facility will have a full-body mo-cap system (Optitrack) along with large-scale 3D projection and various other sensing systems and display options, including head mounted and immersive. This should be fully implemented by the middle of 2016. We are also looking forward to collaborating with a number of other facilities around the world.



Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk

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