This piece was awarded with funding from the Council for Cultural Affairs’ 2011 fund for transdiscipline performing arts that involve technology. The show premiered on September 22, 2011, at Quanta Art Foundation’s Quanta Hall.
INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE with iPhone
Generally, audience watchs the performance and receive message passively in digital performance. In this project, we try to create an interactive performance which people can interact with dancer using their mobile phones. We develop an iPhone app named as Luciérnaga which is available in the iTune Store. For Luciérnaga app, it’s an light storage which people can use camera to capture the light in real life and play with the light ball in their iPhones. In the theater, people can use their iPhones to take part in the performance. They can control the objects in the stage and generate special sounds to create a soundscape with others in live performance. Therefore, Luciérnaga app is a medium between audience and performance.
We set up a local wireless network and arrange the 8 different zones in the theater. Audience can connect to our control server based on a unique number when entering the theater. For iphone app, we analyze the captured pictures and change the size of light ball based on the brightness. We design a special sound for iphone app. It can generate an interesting sound based on the change of different gestures, accelerometers and size of light ball. For control server, we monitor the connecting status for each iphone and send different commands to trigger different sound effects and music. In 8 zones, iphone would generate different sounds with different volume and order. All of them would collaborate with each others and create a special sound experience in the performance.
REAL-TIME IMAGE PROCESSING
We generate real-time animation by an open source programming language which is called Processing.
In order to create better translation of actions into image, a Kinect sets upon dancer to detect movement and get position information. All the image effects are realtime system controlled by dancer movement.
In order to increase the projection area on the stage, we use picture-frame stage design. It makes three projection areas which are floor, background screen, and frames. Three projectors are connected to three computers separately but synchronous operation. Each computer is a sender and receiver simultaneously. Open sound control protocols are used to communicate with each other. This type of system framework can synchronize visual generation, sounds, and iPhone control.
THE TEAM: Theatre Company of LeeQingZhao the Private, Taiwan
Yu-Chuan TSENG, Project Leader(TW)
Chien-Wei WU, Dancer, Choreographer(TW)
Liang-Yen LIU, Director(TW)
Santiago LATORRE, Sound Designer/Composer(SP)
Kuan-Ying WU, Integration and interaction design(TW):
Chi-Ping CHIN, Interactive video programming(TW)
Yi-Ching HUANG, iPhone app programming(TW)
Chia-Hui CHEN, Stage design(TW)
Wei-Ting CHEN, Interactive Engineering Integration(TW)
The digital performance [Dinner of Luciérnaga] is a transdiscipline project. It was created by more than 10 talented members, including dancer, Choreographer, artists, interactive designers, sound designer, engineers, director, stage designer and light engerineer. The ides of [Dinner of Luciérnaga] is a story about the relationship between light and human. How we depend on light in everyday life? In the visual perception, what we see is the photoreceptor neurons in the retina collect the light and send signals to a network of neurons that then process those impulses and gives information about what we are seeing. In digital era, we sit in front of the computer, access the information thought the light(monitor).
LIGHT AS METAPHOR
We use the term “Luciérnaga” as a metaphor, indicating the human lived with light. The “Luciérnaga” is a firefly, is light, is us. Therefore, the [Dinner of Luciérnaga] is a story about light as resource of energy resembling as food. The light is the elements to construct a kitchen. In the kitchen we cook our meal with light. Eventually, it is a dinner with self.
In this performance, dancer plays with light dots. The interaction between dancer and light presented the relations disputes. The light dots are the representation of audience on scene. We created a interactive interface – [Luciérnaga] to invited audience to become parts of the performance image on the stage.It is a simple iPhone App game to capture light. Before entering the theater, the audiences need to download the app.
The play included five parts and 50 min length.
1. When audience in the theater, they are asked to login the network. When the signal connected, the audiences become one of the light dot presenting on the stage. The more photos taking, the light dot bigger. The audiences can control their own lights by waving the iphone. When the phone waving, the sound playied according to the direction and force of shaking.
2.The dancer plays with light in the mode of push, adhesion and integration. The relation between dancer and light are mixed feelings. He plays with light, but also try to escape from light.
3. However, The light is inescapable. It becomes the elements to build up one’s own kitchen.The dancer constructs kitchen with the light and creates a blueprint kitchen.
4. In the kitchen, dancer cooks it own’s dinner waiting for someone to have dinner with him but no one came.In the process of cooking, the music pieces are sent to all the audience’s iPhone and creates a surround sound effect. The images of creature such cat, butterfly show and disappear on the stage and then appear in the audience’s iPhone. In the final, the virual man walks to the audience iPhone and breaks up into fragmentation
5. Finally, it is still a dinner with self, the virtural world collapsed. The projection image of virtural world are falling apart, and the real objects of paper scraps are pouring down. It is one’s inner world, we swing and squeeze in the real and virtual world.
In the process of creation and Cooperation, we are in the search for new communication for differece region and new form of theatrical expression. When you enter the theatre hall with iPhone and take part with the performance. You are not just a viewer but become one of the performance. The interactive process thought iphone is a experiment. With the interface of personal device, we wish to create a brave new theatrical experience.
photo by 吳燦興