Sunday, November 28, 2010

Improvised Storytelling with Pixels

Since this is a blog about the spoken word, I thought it would be interesting to show how we do not always need words to communicate. I attended an experiential art show organized and lead by Prof. Philip Baldwin of Stonybrook. He asked a small group of dancers to improvise some moves in front of a computer propped up on a chair. The trick was to be close enough to the computer so that the sensors would pick up the moves. As dancers shifted and floated across the floor, their gestures appeared in pixel clusters on the wall. Each move also made a computer-generated noise. Their communications transformed into imagery and sound, fueling viewers' imagination. While we wondered what these moves might mean, we were also trying to make sense of their 3D reflections and unique music. 



Later, using the Michelangelo software, we were able to get a sketch of these movements on the computer screen and project them on the wall. Impromptu stories in 3D, told through dance... 

Professor Baldwin was joking that what he put together with his fellow artists was the same gaming technology that sold millions. I was thinking it could be used at events, house parties or even in virtual events where consumers are asked to create their own iterations based on a given theme. For the record--Baldwin didn't charge us for the show though he could and should have. 

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