Re: Ultimate Interactive

Robert Wechsler (r.wechsler@rzmail.uni-erlangen.de)
Thu, 1 Jan 1998 16:03:10 +0100

>> One of the things I like about working with electrodes is that they do not
>> read motion at all, rather muscle tension.
>> That is, they show, or amplify what the audience cannot see so well but
>> perhaps can feel. "Dance" is not just the motion of bodies in space!
>>
>
>Electrodes are new to me. I may be misunderstanding but wouldn't the
impulses from
>these electrode sensors cause muscle spasms or twitching? How do they
sense the
>muscle contraction? An anatomy lesson might be in order to place the
electrodes in
>the correct places. From what I can imagine the sensor reads contraction-0/1,
>release0/1 and would send the data to an effect authoring tool. Lot's of
wires?
>

Everytime a muscle contracts, a certain amount of extraneous electricity is
emitted. (The basis of the EKG machine, where the heart muscle is analysed)
This electricity can be measured on the surface of the skin. The voltages
do of course dissipate through the body, so it is important that the
electrodes (sensors) be placed as close as possible to the origin and
insertion of the muscle whose contraction you are interested in using. It
is then a matter of carefully defining the range of the signal in relation
to the media event you are controlling so that, for example, a sound might
go from off, to very loud depending on how strongly the performer contracts
his muscle.

There are number of other tricky points in this kind of work. but perhaps
this introduction is useful.

Oh, and yes, there are definitely a number of cables involved. Even with
careful tucking away of the electronics in little belt-worn boxes, I still
start to look pretty cyborg-like when i perform with these things.

-robert

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Robert Wechsler and Helena Zwiauer Phone: (49) 911-397472
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