Description of the challenges faced by the Tech Project
Moving Digits: Augmented Dance for Engaged Audience aims to enhance audience understanding and engagement in contemporary dance performances, and to allow to experience dance in an augmented way (even after the performance). The project also aims to empower dancers, choreographers and technicians with further tools for expression, archival and analysis. The use of technology to sense dancers is not new, but the combination of bodily sensing, motion tracking, visualization and sonification is, and especially so in a participatory form. The main aim is to use the advantages of available sensor and mixed media technologies in communicating the body language to the audience. Some of the main motivating questions during the process should be - in which ways can technology translate, transform or extend our bodily existence in space and time? What sort of new effects and meanings can this mediation produce or reveal? How can technology enhance the participatory potential of a dance performance? How can we use technology to enable two-way communication with the audience?
Brief description of technology
The residency will be hosted by MIREVI Lab (Mixed Reality and Visualisation), Hochschule Düsseldorf, as one of the three project partners. There is a wide array of sensor technology, motion capturing and mixed reality hardware that will be at hand to the visiting artist, as well as a team of experts assisting in sophisticated usage and experimentation. Human motion can be captured in a studio, utilizing an OptiTrack setup with the use of markers and a full body suit, as well as the non-intrusive markerless setup Captury which allows multiple persons to be tracked as they are. The available body-sensors range from sensors measuring muscle tension to basic brainwave sensors, providing the opportunity for analysis beyond the audio-visual domain. Various different Head-Mounted-Displays (HMD) allow creation of VR applications, like the HTC Vive Pro or the Samsung Odyssey, which uses Inside-out tracking for free movement in large scale environments. Additional hardware like 360 degree cameras, projectors and various mobile devices are available. As the project coordinator, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI, Portugal) can provide support and advice in the field of digital visualisation and sonification.
What the project is looking to gain from the collaboration and what kind of artist would be suitable
An artist with background in dance or choreography and with basic knowledge on sensor technology or/and mixed media (and preferably some previous experience with their usage) would be a prefect candidate. The ideal outcome of the residency would be a participative performance that combines some of the mentioned available technologies in innovative ways, so that it both encourages a higher audience engagement and understanding and enables novel ways of artistic expression. A prototype or a fully functional set-up should in best case offer solutions for multi-user operability.
Resources available to the artist
The artist will be provided with own space for movement exploration (concrete floor, no wooden dance floor available!) in MIREVI lab in Düsseldorf, with a high-speed internet connection and access to a wide range of body-sensors, motion capturing and mixed reality tools (projection mapping and 360 cameras are also available). In addition to regular expert support from the local team, a few days induction stage to different technological tools and visualization/sonification approaches will be offered by M-ITI, as project coordinator. A travelling budget for a short working visit or project presentation at one of the partners´ institutions - M-ITI in Portugal or Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava in Estonia - as well as the resources for additional equipment, is available.