Re: Working Multimedia

Kirk Woolford (
Wed, 11 Feb 1998 01:28:20 -0500

Hi Michael,

>I would really like to now what artists have ever undertaken work
>that is the same/similar, or artists that have used one or two of
>these aspects, as before the university will grant permission I must
>first prove 'its worth'.

During the 1996 "Future Moves" festival in Rotterdam, we put together a
workshop called "The CyberStudio". For various reasons, the workshop had to be
moved to Oshri Evan-Zohar's studio "Lamalo/Motek" in Amsterdam, where we had
access to a Polhemus Ultra-Track system, an experimental optical tracking
system under development by the University of Delft, and a bank of SGIs. We
together a few short segments using the Polhemus and displaying the results
live on an Onyx using Soft Image's channel drivers.

In the course of the workshop, one of the programmers from Delft tried to
some code to interface the tracking systems into Lifeforms. Had it worked, we
could have animated Lifeforms characters in real time, or used Lifeforms to
automatically notate the dancer's movements. Unfortunately, we ran out of
We did not finish the project before the end of the workshop, and I got tossed
out of Europe before the end of the year.

In 1997, I got swallowed by corporate America and lost track of Oshri,
Lamalo/Motek, and Lifeforms. A couple other participants in that workshop read
this list regularly. Do any of them know if the Lifeforms interface was ever


As for an example of a performance using interactive "aspects", take a look at
the live tracking system I designed and built for Charleroi Danses' "Moving
Target", discussed on this list several months ago. It's an example of a
interactive system used by a large internationally touring company. However, I
hate spoil the magic for anybody, but if they've seen the performance at any
point after the premiere in 1996, all they saw were dancers chasing canned
video. After the premiere, the company decided it was not worth the trouble
expense to take any computers on the road. We spent many nights fighting over
the merits of a "live" performance before the company ever allowed us to do
*anything* live -- and they were absolutely not happy when the live imagery
projected onto the back of a piece of cardboard during the opening night's
performance because the projectionist missed his cue.

Other good examples of a dance companies using interactive media might be
Michael Saup's "Binary Ballistic Ballet" which was used for Forsythe's piece
"Eidos Telos", and, of course, Yakov's work.

Hope this helps,
Kirk Woolford


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