[dance-tech] Silent Room / Projection

  • From: "Johannes Birringer" <Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <MEDIA-ARTS-AND-DANCE@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 20:14:59 -0000

thanks, Hélène, for drawing attention to 
Skoltz Kolgen and "Silent Room"   

see also:

for a view of this work, 
strangely shot as if in a room full of people, can;t make it out whether those 
are real or not.

The display/projection apparatus however is captivating, immediately one thinks 
of the Dumb Type aesthetic , and  also the Japanese artists' frame speed /noise 
and heavy metal approach.

i wonder if you could  tell us  more about the content, or your perceptional 
experience being inside the room/installation,  and what you (given the 
apparatus, the constant splitting into 5 parallel or simultaneously moving 
twitching screen images, and its "up" - projection) make of the choice for 
5-channel projection and how this affects our viewing of the elements you 
mentioned. -- as it seems you were affected by the content of the images you 
thought you saw?  what could you see? how did you create a narrative or a sense 
of the work for yourself?  I think your feedback might interest others who are 
joining the discussion on GLOW and floor projection/down projection, and the 
relations of choreohraphy to interactive graphics and what Marlon called 
"digital expressionism"

Johannes Birringer

 Subject:        Skoltz_Kolgen

I saw the video work of skoltz_kolgen in Montreal and thought their 
work also had a very strong element of choreography, movement, 
humanness, tenderness, staging, theatricality... I saw the five 
channel video work entitled "Silent Room".  Beautiful!

If you get a chance to see their work, do it.


There is some video on the site.

Hélène Lesterlin
Curator, EMPAC


 From:    Kate Sicchio   Sent:   Tue 2/26/2008 5:24 PM
 To:     dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

 Subject:        [dance-tech] Re: Glow / dance projection

I have not seen Glow 'in real time', or even the entire piece via
documentation, but I know a little about it through working with Frieder
Weiss and my own work with his Kalypso software.

I do have some question for those who have seen it... Johannes described
feeling uninvolved choreographically. Are you loosing the dancer in the
performance because of the consistantly changing responsive projection?
I wonder what would happen if there was one constant responsive
environment for the entire piece? What would the differences be as viewers?

The floor projections to me represent an exploration of how we are
trying to remove the divide we have commonly come to know in dance
performance that utilizes video projection - and that is the space
between the dancer(s) and the screen. As Johannes points out, we are
looking to explore a fusion here and we should question whether or not
we have bridged that gap any.

Also I find the birds eye view becoming more a part of my world (or
maybe I am just more aware?). Just this morning I was looking up on
google maps a satelite image of the journey I was about to undertake...

I think in response to Matt's statement that 'real time tracking is to
free the dancers...' may not relate to Kalypso as much as other
softwares or perhaps there is less being fixed in Kalypso. Yes, this
material is confined to what happens in the camera lens, but it is not
confined to pre recorded material. Kalypso is almost solely based on the
changing of pixels in a live feed scenerio. I've found a big difference
in approaching this as a maker of work. I feel myself moving from a more
narrative filmic approach and into what I would describe as expressive.
I am concerned less about cinematic conventions which can be triggered
and have moved into a more painterly frame of mind.  So maybe we are
freeing something, even if it is not the dancer from the camera...

Kind Regards

Johannes Birringer wrote:
> hello all:
> we recently started a brief discussion of Chunky Move's GLOW, after Marlon 
> Barrios Solano's  posting of the interview videos with Gideon Obarzanek , and 
> Matt Gough wrote his critical feedback regarding the notion of a "digital 
> expressionism" put forward by Marlon after the interview.
> Marlon was impressed by the "choreographic essay", and his interview was 
> indeed very helpful, providing us with nore inside  information on the 
> composition and the completion of the work, and a view from Frieder Weiss 
> (the programmer/engineer who created the interactive Kalypso software 
> architecture), once made available, will also be very welcome indeed.
> Matt did however raise some challenges to the "digital expressionism,"  and i 
> hoped there would be more debate..  (thanks, Matt, to your replies to 
> the~POST-CHOREOGRAPHY  forum,  it is really heart-warming that one can get 
> such detailed and critical response to the writing here --)
> I want to cite Matt first, then add some obervations:
> Matt wrote:
> <<<<<
> "i chose elements that i felt were meaningful, that i could create
> some element of expression [with,] beyond just the visual effect"
> the use of real-time tracking and graphics is to «free the dancer in
> time and space». this is not a «no fixed points in time and space»
> freedom (einstein / cunningham), the freedom lies only within the
> projected frame:
> "the dancer is mostly lying down so she kinda floats in the frame
> rather than having a bottom and a top [.]"
> "[i wanted] to free the body in the frame, it was an easy thing to lay
> the frame on the floor so that the body is free to move around."
> «glow» indicates a return to the renaissance perspective. works that
> use single camera tracking and projection often exhibit this classical
> presentation. the result is that space and time have a fixed point.
> symbolic and figurative expressionism, authoring meaning via
> metaphors, a fixed front . these principles / features are not reliant
> on technology. they are contexualised and implemented by technology.
> "[I] wanted to work with video projection mostly as a form of lighting
> and actually using it from the top looking down"
> «glow» uses performance technologies to contextualise (post)modernist
> concerns. it is not the use of technologies as concept or for their
> own sake.
> the projection allows gideon to «keep [the] human form» but also show
> the «otherness of ones self». this is not a tension between body and
> technology, the tech is simply a tool for representation.
> ....
> matt
> *************************************************************************
> "i chose elements that i felt were meaningful, that i could create
> some element of expression [with,] beyond just the visual effect"
> How would one analyze GLOW except within a tradition//context of "visual 
> effects, since the performance,  as has been pointed out,
> was entirely overdetermined by the grid projection on the floor.
> Interestingly, and this will only resonate with visitors to the CYNETart 
> festival at Hellerau/Dresden,  there were quite a number of performance this 
> last November -- all using top-down floor projection,  one of these works 
> actually using a an enormous floor fieldprojection (large rectangle) dwarfing 
> the solo dancer in an amazing way while also submerging her, finally 
> swallowing her.  The floor interactive "plateau" was also used throughout the 
> festival as an experiment for audience interaction with remote sites (using 
> the same top-down projection and the same Kalypso  software interface), 
> creating the test site for "tele plateaus."
> A heavy emphasis on floor projection and use of video/digital graphics as 
> only light source creates distinct parameters for dance and the perception of 
> movement inside the lit area/motion kinetic area.  It creates a set of 
> constraints  (mentioned by the choreographer himself :  " the dancer is 
> mostly lying down so she kinda floats in the frame") that is produced by her 
> having to lie/slide and move laterally on the floor a lot, and by being 
> flattened, and not lit fully/roundly, but if lit then only through white 
> light from the video. Since the digital video/animation graphics  are mostly 
> black and white,  and heavily using geometric swirling lines, curves, 
> blotches,,  the human dancer is silhouetted or a shadow figure almost, 
> flailing across the nervous imagesystem which appears to respond/analyse her 
> motion.   The questions that came to me (not about any subject, or 
> expressionism, or self) generally remained on the surface agitation of the 
> floor. the graphics move in response, very quickly, almost instantaneously, 
> and so our eyes perhaps get drawn to that effect , these visual "effects" of 
> what the dance seems able to generate.
> "[I] wanted to work with video projection mostly as a form of lighting
> and actually using it from the top looking down"
> we look down on this sliding, moving,  curling, zigzagging, streaming graphic 
> liquid response --- we are watching animated graphics of quite lovely, 
> exquisite power, sometimes beauty, eloquence, and then, in the second half of 
> the half hour performance, even a conceptual density emerges insofar as the 
> shadows or light echoes of this narcissistic dream become haunting,   a bit 
> uncanny even, as the lively graphic blotches & shapes (to stressful static 
> loud electronic sound) are now ghosts that come back to the figure, or amass 
> around her, break part and flee,  some sort of meta-physical hide and seek, 
> not sure.  The dancer, whom i had almost neglected, makes her presence felt 
> again, if in an awkward manner  (with gurgling voice and difficult breath, as 
> if she was frightened by something, then speaking gibberish, then falling 
> silent again, the use of the voice made little sense to me, but i saw/heard  
> it as a kind of desperate plea,  not be to looked top down upon, as a 
> silhouette trying to catch or drive away the digital animations.
> The history of projection (light) in the theatre  --  a much neglected area, 
> and worth going back,  i also had to think of how such current work 
> (interactive digital graphic anims) harks back to the beginning of 
> photography (Muybridge, Méliès)´and film s (early) technical advances, 
> apparatuses of projection, cinematographic machines.  Later,  Judson, and 
> other contexts,  performance art and dance casually or carefully includes 
> 16mm or super 8 projections, then video appears, now digital video, graphics, 
> motion graphics.  --- all of this relying on projection and sometimes the use 
> of projection as only source of light.  Light sculptures, kinetic art (from 
> Moholy-Nagy to the more recent video artists like Tony Oursler or Mona Hatoum 
> experimenting with video presences and video characters).  Light patterns, 
> graphic applications.  
> How does one dance with projection as a form of lighting?  or light as 
> drawing?  
> it is rather interesting that the technical dimension, in Frieder's 
> programming and composition with Kalypso, is slowly leaving the clunky 
> feedback response cybernetics of Eyecon  (trigger lines and trigger dynmic 
> fields) or any  VNS and BigEye follow up motion sensing software - and poses 
> some compositional questions to us, whether we still see the answers as 
> structured /choreographic (Gideon's work surely is choreographic in the sense 
> in which Matt has carefully elaborated) or in a framework of real time 
> telepresence / improvisations with "informe".(the informal/the unformed). The 
> tele-plateau is thowing down a constantly evolving, responding , behaving, 
> curling folding slipping image-movement, mostly completely abstract.
> The perceptional effort is enormous, and perhaps it is  synaesthetic 
> confusion that begins to grab our attention, bother us, trouble us.   The 
> motion kinetics challenge particular sensory perceptional rhythms in our 
> brain and body, and they have an electric affect on us, no doubt.  The 
> proximity to frames (strobes), increase / decrease of speed (frame rates) is 
> worth pondering, there are also algorithmic questions (why did Frieder 
> program the piece in this way?, what image palette does he, and others work, 
> from?) that begin to interest me here.
> I felt uninvolved with the dance/r for most of the piece, emotionally left 
> cold, choreographically -  i have forgotten most of the turns and turn-overs 
> on the floor immediately, the apparatus (male machinery and on the floor a 
> woman slithering in the maelstrom of powerful machining) predictable,   
> "expressionistically" Glow is underwhelming,  and "freedom" is not quite what 
> i associated......but yet, it has a certain atavistic power. I think it is 
> entirely owed to the light projection, the electrical prison house that is 
> drawn here on the floor beneath us.  Interactivity, naturally, begins to look 
> ever more the aesthetic red herring or, to stay within grid of metaphors, the 
> cul-de-sac,  it is.  The motion graphics on their own can be quite riveting, 
> no doubt. As projection on top / over  a dancer,  one begins to have 
> questions about the point that is made here, the synthesis, the fusion that 
> is hinted at (female figure becoming light?, becoming-electrified)?
> regards
> Johannes Birringer
> London

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