Interaction, Performance and Projection
by: Terry Lewis Clark
For this creative project I would like to develop my understanding of three mediums namely Interaction, Projection and Performance. I am fascinated by how these elements work together to improve both the performance space and give a unique experience to its audience.
I will begin by analysing four projects, which I believe to have some or all above elements, and discuss how these projects are interesting to both myself and the audience.
Further to this I would like to develop an idea for my own performance piece, taking inspiration from each of these projects and paying close attention to the type of visuals being projected and how they are interactive.
Sila Sveta - ’Levitation’
This piece developed by Sila Sveta (http://silasveta.com/) and Anna Abalikhina is a choreographed dance performance, which focuses on the themes of weightlessness and gravity. The way the video is filmed is an unusual way and is an important feature of the project as its recorded perspective contributes to the overall themes.
The dancer interacts with the visuals creating an interplay between the digital and physical worlds and its abstract feel is further accentuated by this perspective. Another feature of the visuals are the smooth transitions between the different scenes, which I believe links the core ideas of the performance together. The way that dancer seems to almost interact with the swarm and the whale could help make the audience believe that they are real.
This project stated that the visuals were rendered in real-time and that there was a tracking system implemented with the dancer. However, I found that this was not clear in the overall look and feel of the performance and more slightly obvious interactions may have helped to link this idea better.
Waltz Binaire - ‘Soap and Milk’
I chose to analyse this installation as I love the idea of using data within my creative piece to bring context and meaning to the visuals. Binaire uses tweets regarding the installation (#DataVis) and shaders in order to demonstrate the organic flow of communication between its online and present audience.
His use of shaders, in order to produce the overall effect, exemplifies how beautiful and complex data visualisation can be. Furthermore, Binaire invites his present audience to interact with the piece, dispersing the bubbles and moving the water, as if to give focus to a theme of human destruction.
I believe that data gives a hidden dimension to the visuals and increases the installations legacy, as its audience would maybe discover what the tweets were and revisit the videos about the installation online.
Kimatica - ‘Ione’
Kimatica are a small group based in South London who have developed a body projection performance piece. Their fusion consists of ethnic world dancing, costume, pointcloud visuals and interactive systems. Their aim is to provide its audience an outer body experience by having interactive hallucinogenic visuals with electronic drone music.
The Interactions here are with the performer as she moves so does the visuals in tandem, this is achieved with a 3D camera and visual programming software.
What I like most here are they way they have represented the dancer and created an out of this world experience for it’s audience. They do this by using growth and particle systems in order to expand from our human form. I can see this being a focal point of a performance as the visuals lend themselves to show of the dancer at a particular moment.
Adrien M & Claire B - ‘Pixel’
This project couples a stage dance performance with projection technology to give its audience a perception based experience, whereby the visuals trick the eye in believing that there is a hidden depth to the stage setup and that the visual systems used are interacting with the dancers. The visuals themselves are partly physics based with a sense of gravity and also focus on cloth like simulations.
My favourite part of this performance is when the star scape suddenly create an interesting perspective, whereby it seems that the whole of Space is falling over and passing through to the front set of dancers. This also create a transition from the front set of dancers to the back set and draws the audience's attention to them.
The next scene after this Space rotates with the dancers as if they are controlling the environment by their position. This is interesting to me as I feel that interactions have some sense of control and I would like to explore this more in my project.
Overall, I believe that that four projects above are good examples of the type of work I would like to draw inspiration from. The projects all possess one or more of my three main ideas of Interaction, Projection and Performance. These three elements together help to create a dynamic and fresh experience for its audience by using perspective cues and complex systems with interesting flowing behaviours. Furthermore some of the pieces showed the direct link of interaction from the performer to the visuals and this creates an interesting aesthetic for the audience.
By using these complex systems I can also play with the perspective view and rotate these to show a hidden 3D depth to the flat 2D surface. I would also like to try and incorprate data into the visuals to react them and this could be a way to have the audience participate in the live show maybe using hashtag tweets. i aim to produce a set of visuals created using physics, cloth like simulation and/or shaders as this is an area I would like to understand more.