Test_Lab: Dancing around technology

*Featuring: Armando Menicacci, Thecla Schiphorst, Carolien Hermans, and the V2_Lab developers.*

22 Feb 2007
22 Feb 2007

Test_Lab is a bi-monthly public event hosted by V2_ (Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam) that provides an informal setting to demonstrate, test, present, and/or discuss artistic Research and Development (aRt&D).

This event will be streamed live at

*Test_Lab: Dancing around technology*

Over the last decades, most artistic disciplines have been introduced to technological developments. In many artistic fields, the technologies introduced have been fully integrated in the artists’ daily practices resulting in an integration that often makes it hard to imagine the field ever existed without them. However, in the field of performing arts (physical artistic expression such as dance and theatre) this integration did not evolve as naturally. Although many attempts have
been made at adopting new technologies in these fields, the marriage
between the two was often forced, resulting in what was rather a
combination of technology and performing arts than integration of the
two. Nonetheless, recent artistic Research and Design (aRt&D) projects
have been exploring the relation between humans and machines within the
field of performing arts with very exciting results. Examples of such
projects in development will be presented, demonstrated, and tested in
/Test_Lab: Dancing around technology/. This Test_Lab aims to introduce
to practitioners in the performing arts new ways of adopting technology
in their field, and invites those working in this field to debate about
the relevance of (future) technology for their practices.

One of the main aRt&D themes of the V2_Lab is the development of sensor
and actuator technology for the fields of performing arts and
human-machine interaction. This Test_Lab aims to bridge the different
needs of and approaches to technology between performing artists and
soft-, hardware designers. This will be realized in this edition of
Test_Lab through the testing of two projects that are currently under
development in the V2_Lab; /Soft(n)/ and /Body In Bits And Pieces/. A
theoretical presentation by Armando Menicacci will further elaborate on
the theme. Both the two projects and the presentation are described below.

/Soft(n)/ is the working title for an interactive public art-experience
developed in a collaboration between Thecla Schiphorst (Director of the
Whisper* research group, School of Interactive Arts and Technology,
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver) and V2_Lab, within the framework of
the Passepartout consortium. This project is based on exploring emerging
network behavior through interaction between a group of soft networked
objects. It takes place in a social urban setting; a café or lounge. The
work incorporates the design of a group of interactive soft objects,
each containing a specially designed and custom-engineered multi-touch
soft input surface, motion detectors, an ability to output movement
(vibration), light, sound and physical deformation, and communicate
wirelessly to each other. The project includes the development and
testing of an interaction model based on input heuristics of touch and
movement. An earlier version of the project recently won the Gold
Exhibition Award at the ITEA 2 symposium.

/Body In Bits And Pieces/ (BIBAP) is an interactive Internet project
initiated by Carolien Hermans (Director of DansLab, Amsterdam) and is
funded by the Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NPS) and the
Stimuleringsfonds voor Nederlandse Omroep Producties. A prototype of the
project was developed in collaboration between Danslab (Carolien Hermans
and Benjamin Scheers) and V2_Lab. The aim of the project is to integrate
a dance movie in an interactive Internet application and to create an
interface that requires physical interaction to enhance the immersion of
the user. The project combines physical expression in two ways; by
cleverly integrating dance movie clips in the application and by
enabling control over the application by body movement of the user.

Armando Menicacci is the director of /MediaDanse/ (University Paris-VIII
/ ANOMOS, Paris). Menicacci will present how the body movement analysis
theory and practice developed in University Paris-VIII lead to new
relationships between dance and digital technology in some contemporary
artworks and fundamental researches created and conducted by his
research group. By doing so, he will show how MediaDanse forms a/
/structure of exchange between the fields of academic and technological
research, networks of artistic creation, cultural action, and the
general public.

Thursday, February 22, 2007, 20.00 hrs. admission: free

V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media, Eendrachtsstraat 10, 3012 XL, Rotterdam.
Phone: +31 (0)10 206 7272. Web: www.v2.nl

*Related links:*

ANOMOS: http://www.anomos.org/

Whisper(s) research group: whisper.surrey.sfu.ca

Dampf_Lab: dampf.v2.nl

V2_Lab: lab.v2.nl