replying to Johannes "Future physical"

Amanda Steggell (
Sat, 26 Jul 1997 22:28:49 +0100

Johannes u asked a while back:

Question: (I am not experienced in webbased events, sorry). Could I connect my
PC and logged-in webscreen to a video projector and throw a live web dance (if
there is video and sound footage) onto my studio wall, inviting my
colleagues/myself to improvise with materials that are being interpreted
/broadcast on the Net - in the real space/screen space of my studio, and film
this with a camera and re-input it? Is that a feasible linkage set up?

amanda replies:

yes, this is how we conducted things in M@ggie's Love Bytes - we did it
with CU-SeeMe video conferencing - had several quickcam's each with their
own connection, and filmed the local space from several view points,
including the screens plus the local dancers.

(CuSeeMe is limited, as u know, but the principle works, and so it does on
more capable platforms if u have access to more than a modem connection -
also requires that ur colleauges do too - but as a web project??????????)

During the show remoters were dating M@ggie, basically. We, on the local
computers (me as M@ggie + 2 musicians (NOOD), egged them on and cued them
with feedback in text form like "cast that spell again, wizard" or "play me
a solo Aric, play it NOW!" The dancers (M@ggies) in the local space danced
infront of and behind the projection wall, their image from behind the wall
also projected on the wall! Behind the wall they improvised, infront they
danced a set choreography with pockets of uncertainty which r hard to
describe, but had mostly 2 do with sound coming in from the remoters, mixed
by our local musicians.

This process was actually most fun/rewarding in rehersal/experimenting as
we could take more time for the interaction to take place, also to follow
up threads. More intimate. We held open rehersals from our studio on a
public site, picking up unsuspecting participants and leading them onto a
private site. We then showed them themselves projected on our wall with the
dancers improvising infront of the wall/projection - and started to play

(We worked this way partly bcoz it is hard 2 get dancers online - those
with the capacity 4 such events r usually engaged in their own stuff, with
little time 4 dedicating themselves to fixed time sessions, though Troika
entered once while we were making a tv production, right at the end of the
last take! All praise to Troika !!!!!)

In the Motherboard we used a slightly different set-up depending on each
event's concept requirements and the remote participation was of a
different nature than with M@ggie: also the venue for one of the events was
huge. This set up was as follows:

On the stage we had a smallish screen where we projected CU-SeeMe images of
the two remote musicians participating: a singer from Cairo and a musician
from London. But only when they were participating actively with sound/
from Cairo via the telephone and from London, to b perfectly honest I can't
remeber if it was real audio or a midi exchange system used this time. All
sound from various sources went through a main mixer and broadcast on the
net: realaudio.

I filmed the stage with a prof. broadcasting camera, which was connected to
a video mixer. So the Cu-SeeMe stuff was filmed by me, also capturing the
local dancers and musicians - I moved around alot! The stage event was
mixed (power to the mixer!) with prepared animations and this mix was
broadcast live on the net via real video for those who could get in, and on
huge screens within the venue (local).

This mix was not embedded in our web pages, but accessible from them, so
they were kind of embedded anyway. U could not, as a remote viewer
participate in this event directly from the webpages, only via another
application. Participants could c (either in CUSeeMe or Realvideo) and hear
what was going on if they wanted to, but they chose to c the event on the
realvideo after it had happened, i think, but i'm not sure. I hasten to
add, the intention this time was only to get two remote participants into
the piece at certain predefined points during the seanse, while other
remoters were pure audience.

To cut a long story short, cross filming (a film of a film ++++more), and
mixing several sources and paltforms, has been the way of visualising
spaces meeting and stuff going down.

During the Motherboard installation at 6cyberconf., we had a image
from the local space embedded in the homepage and refreshed every 30
seconds. Of course remote guests could only look in - but the point was
this: the connectixcam was installed in a mini digital mosque (calling for
prayer 5x a day) and showed our space, also during performance which
occured as part of the installation, from Mecca's viewpoint - a paradox for
those spending time to ponder over it; but totally irrelevant for the kids
who posed for thirty seconds, and ran to the opposite side of the space to
c their image 30sec. l8ter on a monitor within a mosque-like tent!

During both of thiese projects we have recieved "GIFTS" - recorded
material, material from the past, which have been used. Especially in the
Motherboard which has been a collective process of both "finds" and "gifts"
- samples and packages! The packages also containing samples. I could write
more - but this mail is long enough anyway, so I'll wait 4 someone to ask.

I don't know if this is of any help to Johannes or anyone, the reply was a
bit of a mixmuddle - but mayb food 4 thought! Ha!
lurv xxxxxxamandaxxxxxxxxxx
(ps. a terrific thunderstorm is raging outside now - boom boom to u all)
Tel:+47 22563507 Fax:+47 22176225
Oscarsgt. 49 Oslo, Norway.