My first week in New York city has been so busy that I have not had much time to do a retrospective of my eventful week, from August 15th to 22nd at EMPAC in Troy, NY.
I am happy to report that I was successful in creating a “visual music” presentation on 3 screens with one of the aspects controlled in real time using gesture control.
Adafruit shipped my Arduino boards to EMPAC and I was able to research on the internet and receive help from others in the workshop to understand how to make the system work. I chose the infra-red distance sensor and used information from the Adafruit website to help me program the board. My trusty Ubuntu computer handled all of the Arduino code uploading while I ran the Isadora program on the Macbook.
My performance was thrilling for me, but I was inspired and informed by the work that everyone else in the class showed on Saturday, August 21, 2010.
The first work we saw was by Joff, a theatre instructor who has a company that puts on plays in Second Life. The work included a grassy field with images of human figures that were short videos. The figures would fade in, seem to be sleeping, then move in some way, then fade out. We were invited to interact with the figures, but I found it fascinating just to watch them.
It was eerie and engaging as an installation and Joff might develop it further as a performance or to be more interactive.
There were two other installations, one by Ian (pronounced Ion) that consisted of a table and two chairs with a set of seemingly random objects on the table. The screen that faced the participants in the chair included a delayed video of individuals who had visited in the past mixed and overlaid with video of the present visitors. The more people that participated the more interesting the exhibit became as the past visitors would show up on the screen seeming to sit opposite the live participants.
Ian also staged an interactive performance and he was very generous in assisting with coding other people’s projects.
I hope to have more time to process the photos I took and I hope that Johannes (pictured here enjoying interacting with Ian’s installation) will be able to produce some video excerpts from the documentation of the Saturday events.
It was a full schedule and everyone worked very hard to create interesting and innovative work.
One of the largest collaborations was Sarah’s (shown activating one of the messages left) project. This was a complex installation that interacted with the visitor. As the person moved on the lighted squares the text and the audio would respond by changing. This process required complex programming, audio and text preparation and a lot of testing. The final showing was a great demonstration of the power of collaboration and the strong idea that Sarah realized.
Victor contributed to many projects as a programmer, electronic music composer and performer and finally, he revealed his own powerful statement.
Victor is a karate master who tracked his movement with a light controlled with infra-red tracking. It was a surprise to everyone who had watched all of the other projects evolve during the week with Victor seen as a helpful computer coder and audio designer. Victor amazed everyone with his grace and intensity as he put on a very effective performance.
More information about the activities of the busy week can be found on the workshop blog titled, EMPAC Live. Media+Performance Lab.
I do have more material, but no time at present. When I return home and I am shut in during the rainy season, memories of this wonderful week will pull me back to share more with you.