Isadora + Processing + Kinect


Interview: Michel Weber


Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in South Africa and lived there for the first 10 years. Then we moved back to Switzerland to my parent’s hometown.

I bought my first computer when I was 21 and only then started to explore the digital world.
In 1998 I started as a lighting technician at the opera house in Zurich (Switzerland). But the light of a single pixel was more fascinating to me than the one of a light bulb. So I started to work more and more with video.

My first contact with Isadora was in 2004 when I had to find a solution for our theatre. After evaluating different software, Isadora played the trump card with a smooth and easy learning curve, but didn’t lack of complex functionalities for the advanced user.

I’m head of the video department at the theatre of the arts that belongs to the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 2011 I am also responsible for the video technic at the “Theater Spektakel” festival (it takes place every summer for 3 weeks in Zurich). Next to that I participate on various projects as a freelancer.

Would you class yourself as a performer, technician, director or other?
First I would class myself as a technician, because that’s how I started and that’s the reason why I am where I am now and then video-/interaction designer.

What projects have you been working on lately?
Last year (2013) I was asked to do the video design for Goethe’s Faust that played in a church in St. Gallen (Switzerland), I supported and trained a group doing video content for a dance peace and did all the video tech stuff for them and I did an interactive dance game for the Tanzhaus Media Lab in Zurich using Kinect and Isadora.

What has been the highlight of career?
Participating Amitesh Grover’s work “strange lines” at NSD (National School of Drama) in Delhi. He is a wonderful director with great ideas and it’s really satisfying to work with him.

How would you describe your artistic style?
Simplify as much as possible.

What technology do you use most often?
Software: Isadora, Motion, Photoshop, Quartz Composer etc.
Hardware: Kinect, Wiimote, TrippleHead, Cameras, Piezos, Arduino (low level) etc.

How has the Troika Tronix Isadora software helped you with your work?
Without Isadora I would probably do something totally different.

Do you have a website:
www.filmprojekt.ch

If you want people to contact you, you can also provide an email address here:
People can contact me via contact form on my website:
http://www.filmprojekt.ch/

Some of my work [video]


A good friend Dan Shorten from Anomic (Multi-Media Theatre) hired me for various projects in 2012 and January 2013. You can see a trail of these events in my past posts.

Basically I worked in all of the development stages and then worked in the background as a sort of’ technical supervision’ role for all three of the projects in the video. If Isadora had any hick-ups I could jump in and solve and problems; especially in Helsinki were the conditions were so extreme.

This professional video from Polymath films did a fantastic job as they followed Dan and the various projects from start to finish.  I was lucky enough to be interviewed at the Heslinki Event at LUX too; you can find my section from 7:10 (but watch it all its well worth it!)

Can computers fill the role of choreographers?


Can computers fill the role of choreographers?

 

A really nice article here. Lots of comments and thoughts from Mark Coniglio, Troika Tronix, Troika Ranch, NI Mate from Delicode and more… including a video:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/computers-and-dance-an-emerging-duo/2013/03/16/67071308-8e68-11e2-b63f-f53fb9f2fcb4_video.html

Interview: Gertjan Biasino


Isadora User Gertjan Biasino tell us about working with Isadora, processing, quartz and how they are being put to use in projects such as Atelier Oerol and Nr. 10….

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Would you class yourself as a performer, technician, director or other?

I am Gertjan Biasino; I studied audiovisual art in Sint-Lukas Brussels, where I specialized in combining film with other media. After I graduated in 2010 I kept on making hybrid forms between audiovisual media and life performance. Next to my own projects, I work for different artists to realize their works. (as programmer, video operator, stage designer, performer,…)

What projects have you been working on lately?

Beside smaller projects for others I’m currently working on 2 projects of my own.

One project is for the “Oerol Festival” June 15th to 24th. This is a festival for cite specific theatre. I am part of a two-year program called “Atelier Oerol“. This year we make a study for a bigger work next year.

My project for this year is called “Nr. 11: A”. It is an installation/performance during the night. The main aspect is the dark adaptation of the eye. This experimental installation/performance investigates how an individual experiences the adaptation of the eye to a dark environment. Some research can be seen on the Oerol site (in Dutch)

 

The second project premiers end of august. It is called “Nr. 10: B” and is the second part of a triptych performance series: project “Nr. 10”

This is a project about rituals. In ancient times mankind wanted to control the unintelligible nature with rituals. But what role can rituals perform today? What was/is the use of the sham control of a ritual? And what role can technology play in a modern ritual?

The performances are based on the Aztec human sacrifices. A small film of the 4h performance can be found on myspace.

What has been the highlight of career?

As I am just beginning, everything I did where highlights for me.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I think it can best be described as a hybrid form between different media, where every media has an equivalent role to the end result. In every work interaction plays an important role, therefore almost all of my works are live performances or installations with a live element.

What technology do you tend to use?

Technology plays a big role in my work. In almost all projects I use different technologies that always serve as a support.

Of these technologies I think I use Isadora 70% of the time. I combine it with processing, quartzcomposer, matrox box for different beamers, lanbox for dmx control, arduino to control other electronics, kinect,… But the main technology is Isadora where I can control every live aspect of the performances.

How has the Troika Tronix Isadora software helped you with your work?

I think it has played a big part in my development to the work I make now. In my second year on Sint-Lukas I wanted to make a live video performance, but I really didn’t know how. And little by little I started to learn how to use Isadora. Because it is so simple to use I could experiment a lot with it. By trying and experimenting I also developed ideas on how to use technology in art.  And theories on interaction with the live audience or the actors/musicians… All these ideas I use now in my work and I am still developing new ones.

Describe Isadora in three words:

Simple, (a word for the fact that it has many possibilities), quick and flexible!

Do you have a website: http://www.myspace.com/gertjanbiasino, (website is under construction)

What to contact Gertjan?: info.gbiasino[at]gmail[dot]com

Isadora Interview: Matthew Haber


I would like to Introduce Matthew Haber. I have been in contact with Matthew for quite a while now, we often email each other about various bits and bobs and I am always blown away with what he has done, what he is doing and what he is going to be doing!

In my opinion he is ahead of the game and is always thinking of the next creative step! His new ‘Lab 254’ looks very promising and I can’t wait to see what he and the team deliver.

Find out more about him…

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a Boston/New York based artist/designer/programmer.

Would you class yourself as a performer, technician, director or other?
I think I describe myself on my website as an “interdisciplinary artist and maker”, which I would characterize as a pretty accurate if vague description. I am most often listed in programs as a projection designer or programmer.

What projects have you been working on lately?
Recently, my efforts have been focused on the technologies that we work with. Specifically, I have been work on some projects with the goal of making interactivity much easier in both live performance and installation. I have also designed a couple smaller shows recently and I have an interactive installation opening in a gallery in Boston at the beginning of May.

What has been the highlight of career?
Definitely nothing that I have done so far.

How would you describe your artistic style?
Definitely still being developed. My theatre work has often been on shows with a strong documentary/historical bent (think Laremie Project, etc) so I continually find myself gravitating towards a textural collaging of archival content. I am very interested in exploring the interactions between light, form, and shadow so my installation and dance work often speaks to this.

What technology do you tend to use?
I do a lot of my performance work in Dataton Watchout and, to a lesser degree, QLab and Isadora. My installation work and interactive performance design is almost exclusively in IsadoraCore supplemented by Quartz Composer as needed. I am also a big fan of MadMapper in conjunction with Isadora.

How has the Troika Tronix Isadora software helped you with your work?
I love Isadora because it allows me to work much more fluidly than I can with a more typical workflow where I am creating content in one set of programs, rendering it out, and then cuing it in some sort of content-delivery system. I also, find that Isadora is a much better match for the way that I think compared to some similar programs such as MAX so I can work in it extremely efficiently.

Describe Isadora in three words:
Versatile, Extensible, Experimentation

Feel free to add any extra comments here:
I mentioned my work with interactivity technology above and you can follow what is going on with that here: www.lab254technologies.com

Do you have a website:
www.matthewhaber.com

If you want people to contact you you can also provide an email address here:
matthewhaber{ @ }matthewhaber[dot]com

Isadora Loopdiver Documentary


I am a little bit late with this one, well worth a watch….

Find out about Troiks Ranch’s Loopdiver performance!

http://createdigitalmotion.com/2011/08/loopdiver-dance-technology-performance-by-troika-ranch-in-full-length-pbs-documentary/

Alternative link: http://video.pbs.org/video/2061970500

Interview: Gavin Morris


Gavin Morris


Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Gavin. I make stuff using computers for people to play with. I run a sideshow called the Digital Funfair which is an evolving collection of interactive pieces I’ve made over the past few years,house in a big marquee. I take it to a variety of events in Britain and Europe.

 

I was really into computers and video games in the eighties but at some point realized that I was in danger of turning yellow and having no friends. So I went out in to the world and did a lot of quite stupid dancing. This has probably informed my work since I got sucked back into computers again in the late nineties – I haven’t looked back.

Would you class yourself as a performer, technician, director or other?

Well I put “Interactive Inventor” on my business card cos it seemed to sum it up at the time. Running the Digital Funfair involves a lot of being a technician though – taming naughty computers and programming – also quite a lot of driving, some admin and a lot of sitting around on sofas. Development time in the winter – making new pieces, working on ideas and fixing/refining old stuff. That’s kind of the bit I love really.

I’ll call myself an artist if there’s money in it or if I’m talking to someone I think will be impressed! Sometimes I think I’d like to be more of a performer.

What projects have you been working on lately?

I’ve been working on a webcam scratch mixer called Scratch Yourself Stupid – it’s like a homebrew Kaoss Pad (I think anyway – I’ve never actually had a go on one) which uses a DJ Hero turntable as a scratch controller and has a video element too. I’ve been working around it for a couple of years – I initially made it with vinyl but realized I couldn’t work with stylii in the interactive environment. It would involve a lot of cost or a lot of labour costs.

 

I’ve been playing with the Kinect as well – been playing about making an av looper using the depth information from that – its amazing technology that I could never have afforded a few years ago when I first discovered motion tracking.

What has been the highlight of career?

For me its all about the moment when people suss out what’s going on with a piece and really love it. It happens a lot in the Digital Funfair and if I’m not too grumpy it really moves me. Some of the first nights when it kicked off were amazing. I felt like I was a part of something collaborative and felt incredibly fortunate that people liked what I’d made. For me I make interactive work for the end user and their experience is what its all about – anyone who disagrees with this is up there own arse doing something different.

How would you describe your artistic style?

Heath Robinson vs Daft Punk

What technology do you use most often?

The Internet – I use it and abuse it but its pretty much a constant in my life. An amazing tool and a total distraction.

In terms of software I use Isadora, MaxforLive, Max, Ableton, Resolume and getting into OpenFrameworks. Hardware wise its Maschine at the moment – but usually computers + arduino + sensors, mame encoders, cameras etc.

How has the Troika Tronix Isadora software helped you with your work?

I came to Isadora from Eyesweb, which if you’ve never heard of it is a free windows only graphical user environment for motion tracking. It made OpenCV stuff accessible to me at the time and at the time was amazingly powerful – I was always trying to get it to do things it wasn’t suited too namely playing video and audio. Isadora could actually play a video file without totally draining CPU cycles and whilst its tracking features were primitive compared to Eyesweb it had a lot of strengths. It was great for prototyping ideas and really good fun. I put together an AV set synced to Ableton Live using a custom patch and loved it. I converted my Virtual Coconut Shy to run on it (from Flash) and so far have used it for two other pieces – Peep Show and SmackBottoms. It’s turned out to be a kind of Director substitute.

 

I find the workflow of Isadora really good fun, especially in the early stages of a patch/project and it really helps me to get ideas together quickly without losing momentum. I really don’t know how Mark Coniglio the creator can pull it off on his own, particularly with people like me hassling him for obscure features and performance improvements the whole time!

 

 

Describe your work/style in three words:

Jolly Good Show.

Feel free to add any extra comments here:

I couldn’t really do the 3 words thing justice.

Also please buy my ipad app imixitup

Do you have a website: http://www.digitalfunfair.co.uk

Do you have any links to YouTube/Vimeo or a blog, if so you can put them here: http://vimeo.com/user423859/videos

http://www.youtube.com/user/gavspav

 

If you want people to contact you you can also provide an email address here:

Info at digitalfunfair dot co dot uk

 

Interview: John Phillips


John Phillips

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am an intermedia artist. I use video, audio, graphic design and interactive electronics to create solo media works, performance works, collaborative installations (with sculptor Carolyn Healy), as well as produce media components for theater/dance groups. I also teach. I am an associate professor of media arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US.

Would you class yourself as a performer, technician, director or other?

I’m an artist, which can encompasses many roles.

What projects have you been working on lately?

As a collaborative artist, my partner and I just took down an immersive multimedia installation in a university art gallery, so we are caching our breath a bit. We are in the planning phase with several venues on the US East Coast for our next installations. As a solo project, I am currently working on a large public art piece in the city of Philadelphia.

What has been the highlight of career?

Always to come, no? But certainly my time spent doing a sound/sculpture installation In Beijing, P.R. China was memorable.

How would you describe your artistic style?

Controlled magic is the goal, abstraction is the usual means.

What technology do you use most often?

Video cameras, audio recorders, speakers, projectors, TH2Go, laptops, lots of hard drives, microprocessors, adaptors and wires and more wires… as well as a variety of software (IsadoraCore, FCP, Motion, Digital Performer, Metasynth, Modul8).

How has the Troika Tronix Isadora software helped you with your work?

Isadora is the program I use when I really need something that I can trust to work and continue working for me. I have used Isadora as the media center for several installation works. The exhibits usually last for several months. As an example, a piece we did in Seattle used one Mac laptop w/Isadora, 2 external drives, a TH2Go, 3 video projectors, 6 audio speakers and a sunlight sensor all running in real time from Isadora. One hard drive failed during the run, but IsadoraCore kept on functioning! And of course, the ability to design a complicated system of interaction combining midi, video and audio is a given with Isadora. In performance situations, its modularity and reliability are also very important to me.

Describe your work/style in three words:

intuition, beauty, communication

Do you have a website:

http://www.terragizmo.net

Do you have any links to YouTube/Vimeo or a blog, if so you can put them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/JJHP3

http://www.vimeo.com/19062844

If you want people to contact you can also provide an email address here:

jp[at]terragizmo[dot]net