[A]ura Video


A nice 3 minute video from Aura here, it’s a bit late – i’ve been rather busy!

[A]ura – WYSIWYG
What You See Is What You Get

A performance-gallery with open-source-choreography
One day the internet will be as sacred as a giant ancient cathedral. And everybody will sacrifice their details to pay tribute to the digital gods.
In the interactive performance (A)ura, the user is transformed from spectator, to creator: during the weeks before the premiere they can find a unique feature at ChoreoMixer, with which they can design and remix the choreography and contents of (A)ura, by using the browser.
Walter Benjamin says that in modern art the aura of the work of art withers because of mechanical reproduction, and inaccessibility, due to too close a proximity to the observer.
At the same time, a completely different aura of amazement will be created by new technologies. Every user can be a choreographer, an innovative remixer and in that way create his own virtual memorial which perhaps will follow its own unexpected ways. Closeness and distance will join crosswise in a new way.
But what about the situation when the digital medium refuses to cooperate with the user?
What you see is what you get.
choreography/dance: Elke Pichler
music/video: Alexander Nantschev
stagedesign/costumes: Monika Biegler
programming: Stefan Lechner
interactive technical support: Graham Thorne
legal consulting: Clemens Lahner
pr: Stefan Eigenthaler
camera: Philipp Aichinger
Kindly supported by:
MA7, Kosmostheater and Ars Electronica Center”

Isadora 2.0 – My thoughts.


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So I have waited a while before I blogged about Isadora 2.0. I did do a short blog not so long ago talking about the mapper and my work at Glastonbury.

But this post isn’t about me. It’s about Isadora 2, a new breed of Isadora. A stronger, more powerful Isadora. So much though, discussion and time has gone into it. Hundreds of emails, screenshots, skype sessions and more.

Isadora isn’t just an upgrade. It’s a radical new platform.

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I am not going to just copy and paste all the new specs, you can read them [here] instead I wanted to talk openly about why I love it so much. I love it because Isadora 2 still is the Isadora we all know and have supported for many years. It still has the same workflow, sense of direction and module approach. Isadora still does everything you’d expect. In fact, apart from the new blue splash screen and the modern dark grey theme, it looks just about the same. But I like that. Why fix something that isn’t broke? There is no need too – so Mark didn’t.

But what was broke, or breaking (dying?) is Apples quicktime support for video playback. It was clear that it was becoming increasingly unstable and just not fit for purpose. I know that Mark spent lots of time playing around with old and newer Quicktime libraries but it was inevitable that a change was needed. It’s no secret that other similar softwares are now running on AV foundation or other libraries. Not Quicktime. So it wasn’t Isadora’s fault crashes and movie playback was starting to show a weakness. She was doing her best to play the files but the Quicktime *stuff* was failing and there was nothing she (Mark) could do. But now that has changed. She has a new pair of shoes and is ready to run! But it isn’t *that* simple.

Mark decided to keep some of the Quicktime coding that was useful, useful for specific codecs. So a movie player in Isadora now switches its coding depending on the file type you load in. You will see this in the “PB Engine” (Play Back Engine) output of the movie player for reference. It switches between Quicktime and Av Foundation, it does this seamlessly so you never have to worry about it. It’s a big step forwarded and results should become clear, especially with the added bonus of being able to play multiple HD videos…. I won’t spoil the fun. I will let you try it :)

I also really like the IzzyMap. I’ve been using this for quote a long time, but each time it has evolved more and more. It’s now at an amazing standard and it’s superb. I am not going to ramble on about it, it does EVERYTHING! and more… the more but I will talk about. You can basically do all your mapping and then publish the mapping points. These then show as inputs in your projector actor. This means everything you do is editable – live. So if you have a moving stage, scenery or some crazy animatronic DJ booth ( – do they even exist?) then you can automate, or move it in real time and have the mapping follow it. It’s a pretty crazy tool to have. Obviously stage automation is not new. But to do it in a <$500 software and have such flexibility is new!

What else; javascript actor, Spout for Windows and other interface tools, a few updated actors and of course the lovely new interface. What else could you want right now?

A few pics…

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