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An OtB Discussion
An OtB Discussion: How does new technology impact the creation of new performance?
November 9-10, 2005

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Thursday, November 10
    my work in the visual art world
    By Juniper Shuey

    For me the use of projectors and interactive multidisciplinary materials is always in relation to what i am hoping to express. I have been attracted to the use of projection due to its physical qualities in a space. i enjoy the use of projection as a "projected" experience I like to use this medium in regards to the human experience so usually my projections are at a 1:1 relationship. These projections help me to create real perceptional shifts in the viewers experience. The projector as a medium allows me to create moving and shifting environments that can match the size of the human participation.

    In my own work i am uninterested in the label of video artist because my interest in video is actually more based in the physical presence of the projection. This then works to define my Visual Art.

    The process of this work is based more on a physical concept then on the materials used but the process is defined by the materials used. To make a projection video sculpture there has to be a lot of experimentation included to see what effect the viewers eye will have on the whole process.

    In some of the examples that Lane showed, especially from the openended group apealled to me since it brought the human physical experience to animation. Then that animation complemented the form of dance being collaborated with.

    posted by juniper @ 8:28 pm | Permanent link

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    A few examples
    By Lane Czaplinski

    Since Juniper and I have referred to technology in a generalized manner, I think it’s good to give a few examples of artists employing technology in specific ways:


    (I’ve stolen text from the following websites that describes each project)


    Kurt Hentschlagger/FEED


    In Feed, "3D real-time characters, human figures, “reside” in a flickering world on a panoramic screen - a projected window completely filling a wall in a physical space. They are driven in their emotions and motions by behavioral procedures or algorithms, realized for the most part by a real time physics engine. All motions, proceeding from such physics simulation are "procedural" in the sense of programming, and like in nature, are unpredictable within their own milieu or “action space”. Motions are not hand animated, captured or looped in any way but are constantly being generated and regenerated, taking on different paths until the system eventually is shut down. Because the figures are animated in this way they can interact or “live” with each other in their screen world "independently", causing additional commotion.


    Bill T. Jones, Paul Kaiser, Shelley Eshkar, and Marc Downie/22


    In this live performance for the stage, three elements interact: the physical performance of Bill T. Jones, who dances while telling two intertwined stories; the virtual music of composer Roger Reynolds; and the virtual spaces and movements of 3D projections by Downie, Shelley Eshkar, and Paul Kaiser. In actual performance, Jones is motion-captured in real time, allowing our imagery to respond to – and even intervene in – his story. The imagery neither “illustrates” the stories nor duplicates Jones' figure; rather it evokes odd parallel spaces and dual figures (boy and man) which inter-relate complexly with the stories and the stage space. The 3D scenes are rendered in real-time, with timings, durations, and placements determined autonomously by the underlying AI program.




    The End Of Cinematics is a dreamlike meditation on the history of cinema as well as a reflection on corporate entertainment and its transformation of the potential art of cinema. Suggesting that plot and screenplay have become artifice (while corporate entertainment continues to insist on its supremacy), The End Of Cinematics captures mundane scenes ("pictures of people talking" as Hitchcock would dismiss) of its characters and surrounds them in a world dominated by music and random sound. While the plot revolves loosely around a death threat (the MacGuffin, if you will) and the chance interaction of a man and a woman, these seeming threads of continuity are, in reality, a tool to draw the viewer into a new way of experiencing movies (though, admittedly, the effect can be disconcerting at first). By reversing the traditional hierarchy of dialog, image, and sound, The End Of Cinematics offers the opportunity to examine but one of the many possibilities afforded filmmakers and videographers at the beginning of the 21st Century.


    Blast Theory/I LIKE FRANK


    In March 2004 Blast Theory premiered the world's first 3G mixed reality game, I Like Frank in Adelaide, at the Adelaide Fringe. I Like Frank took place online at www.ilikefrank.com and on the streets using 3G phones. Players in the real city chatted with players in the virtual city as they searched for the elusive Frank. Whether playing on the streets or logging from around the world, players built relationships, swapped information and tested the possibilities of a new hybrid space.

    posted by lane @ 3:47 pm | Permanent link

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Wednesday, November 9
    Effect on the audience
    By juniper Shuey

    So continuing on with the comment on how the audience is effected by the use of technology...When technology is used in an effective manner it is almost unnoticeable. It is an addition to the story and (i believe) it makes some stories stronger. "Jet Lag" is a good example of that accomplishment. In that peice the story became real for the audience in part because of the use of the sound and the projections completed the picture. This brings up the issue of editing in one's work. All things that are extraneous should be removed. Clear and concise is how most communication is best delivered. Sometimes those parameters are hard to define in art but somehow as artists it is our job to find what that means to our performance The trap that modern technology brings is that people often are fascinated by the possibility of the the technology and have a harder time seeing if it is really a part of the story. For modern technology to really participate within a performance it has to be edited with the same rigor as all the other things we put in to our performances. This often seems to be when technology fails. When we are jarred away from the aesthetic of the performance by any of theater's technologies, it is often because the technology has become transparent and it seems more about look at what i can do. As artists who are using the technology it is our responsibility to try and remember what it means to our purpose.

    posted by lane @ 9:06 pm | Permanent link

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    Technology on the viewer experience.
    By Juniper Shuey

    Modern Technology, like all technology of the past, has been utilized to create performances that add depth to the the medium. The audiences of our time period are very accustomed to full dynamic and relatively interactive technological experiences. It is true to form that theater would continue on that path as well since theater is often a mirror to society. So the use of technology is a way of creating stories and experiences for the viewer that have a continued depth that is more congruent with the experiences of everyday life. Theater's roll in culture has changed a lot since the advent of radio, tv and Movies but one major thing it has always done is create experiences for viewers that transport them to another place. Technology has always been a part of that. Whether it be the trapdoor in the floor a performer can disapear down in the midst of fog and lights or the use of screens and projections in combination with lights that create a mystical performer. These Technologies have always been used on conveying stories to make the experience for the viewer that much more enlivening. If a director or choreographer understand the possibilities of technology and then stay true to what they want to convey then technology will become seemless and beautiful. A good example would Builders Assoc. show five years ago at on the boards called JetLag where the use of video and sound made the experience for the viewer seem that much more real. The viewer was transported to the experience of boat on the water and to the experience of the exhaustion of flying a plane. This was a seemless use of modern technology to tell us a story. have to go back to work

    posted by juniper @ 1:43 pm | Permanent link

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    How does new technology impact the creation of new performance? A means to an end?
    By Lane Czaplinski

    Welcome to the second installment of our pre-show blog which is intended to illuminate ideas and issues raised by the artists on our stages. Since we are currently hosting The Builders Association and the presentation of their newest work, SUPER VISION, this is an opportune time to look at the big question of how new technologies are impacting the creation and presentation of new performance.

    Perhaps an interesting place to start this conversation is by examining if current technology has actually changed what audiences experience from a piece of new music, dance or theater. Multimedia shows and approaches have been solidly in vogue over the past twenty or thirty years, and but for a few exceptions, I’m hard pressed to find many current examples of new work that radically departs from what has been happening since 1980. That said, what does seem to be changing is the number of artists whom have replaced notebooks with PowerBooks. As a result, I wonder if technology is more influential in how performance is created and less so in terms of the final product?

    posted by lane @ 12:59 pm | Permanent link

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Friday, November 4
    Come Back later...
    By The Administrator

    Nothing here yet. But come back Wednesday to read a conversation about technology and performance.

    posted by sara @ 7:54 pm | Permanent link

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Who better to write about what happens at On the Boards than the people who support and attend our performances? Making art is part of a dialogue between artist and audience, and so we've created Blog the Boards... More

Our Question
To inspire dialogue, we are posing an overarching question related to each of our NPS presentations this season. These topics are not meant to dissect the work, but rather, encourage thought and conversation broadly on issues regarding the creation of contemporary performance, through preshow talks and our blog.

NOVEMBER TOPIC: How does new technology impact the creation of new performance

Wed, Nov 9 at noon

About Our Bloggers
Thanks to our bloggers: Wayne Ashley, John Bain, Lane Czaplinski, Ben Rubin & Juniper Shuey.