Re: (1) request info on interactive floor; (2) Interactivity benefits

Yacov Sharir (
Fri, 08 May 1998 17:47:49 -0600 (CST)

<x-rich>Dear David

In response to your question regarding the "electronic dance floor" I
am submitting the following.

As a result of my collaborative efforts with composer Russell Pinkston.
The floor was designed to accommodate my wish to provide the dancers
with a greater input in the creative process while in performance. (In
this case interact in real time with the composer via the application
of pressure or weight sharing with different parts of the floor)

The floor is capable of transmitting precise position coordinates,
velocity and pressure information in the form of standard MIDI. The
surface consists of a large number of Force Sensing Resistors (FSRs)
which are attached to heavy duty plastic sheeting and covered with
polyethylene foam. The sheets may either be placed on top of or beneath
a standard Rosco Dance floor. The FSRs are typically arranged in a grid
with 16 columns (left to right) and 4 rows (front to back) which

results in a 16' square dance surface with 64 1' x 4' velocity and
pressure sensitive regions, each of which is assigned a separate input
channel of a Voltage to MIDI Interface Box which has 64 analog inputs,
plus MIDI Out. The MIDI Box incorporates a Motorola MC68HC11
microprocessor and can be programmed to convert input/output analog
signals to/from any desired MIDI messages, on multiple MIDI channels.

Composer Russell Pinkston and myself had created (to date) three works
utilizing the floor, as well as present the floor in various
conferences around the world. I am hoping to have an opportunity to
present the floor at the next Dance & Technology Conference.

I hope this information is helpful.

Best Regards, Yacov.....

>Dear list,


>In a message dated 5/8/98 3:33:45 AM, Johannes Birringer wrote:


>>I went to see Yacov's dance concert, and - stunningly - the piece

>>(Electrical Mask) that had triggered the whole form/content debate

>>well, it had been removed from the program (some computer or

>>trouble). It was a beautiful concert, anyway, and the audience
wasn't even

>>made aware that in one of the works the "electronic dance floor"

>>sensor devices linked to Midi sound) was utilized.


>***Please let us know who engineered this "electronic dance floor",

>was this performance, and how we might have the opportunity contact
them. We

>are always interested in like-minded projects, and potential for



>>One might ask of course why we then need an interactive design

>since the

>>same dance piece perhaps could be done in analog or traditional mixed



>*** The conclusion we've reached is that, if it can be made economical

>widely availble, the IDEAL benefit from interactive dance/music

>is to the PLAYERs (dancers) themselves PRIMARILY, and only SECONDARY

>to viewers/listeners. An intelligently/precisely composed/sequenced

>choreographed/performed piece could conceivably "fake" almost any

>interactive system, in other words even for an improvisational piece
where the

>dancer(s) generate music by their movements, the dancers WILL know,
but how

>can anyone else really KNOW it's interactive??


>***Thus, while initially beginning from the performance realm in our

>interactive dance/music system development seven years ago, by four
years ago

>we realized, let's try to make this available to the public at large
so they

>can have the direct BENEFIT, namely, "I'm effortlessly creating real
music and

>cool visual media responses just by my body." That's where the
euphoria is,

>where the technology serves the whim of our creative gesture as if by


>***We ARE planning stage performance(s) of our interactive platform
use as

>well, but leading into mixed venues of concert/webcasting/home/linked

>based entertainment sites for cross-venue jamming (via such as

>intercast, etc.), also broadcast/simulcast music videos and

>announcing /leading into where the public can go try it themselves (at

>theme parks, malls, as it rolls out commercially.)


>***By the way, one way you can proove it's NOT "faked" is with animals
- we've

>had some fun with dogs, cats, and birds, and have considered
integrating these

>into concert venues (at least for a fun moment or two). We also are

>considering some very do-able possibilities for dolphins, although
we're not

>too happy about the captivity aspect so it's more a technical


>David Clark, CEO

>Dance Media, Inc.