Artists from Multiple Disciplines Contribute To ContainedÂ² Performance/Installation
Posted: February 5, 2007
ContainedÂ², a performance/installation work that combines multiple disciplines through the use of technology and strives to push the definition of each, will be presented at 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 10 & 11) in the Burke Black Box Theatre at Denison University. Both performances will be followed by an artists talk and reception. The presentation is free and open to the public.
ContainedÂ² was conceived and created by the artist's group MIX, whose interest is in exploring technology, the arts, and the collaborative opportunities this kind of work encourages. MIX consists of five artists from the visual arts, dance, theater and music departments at the University. They are: Sandra Mathern-Smith, associate professor and chair of the dance department; Alexander Mouton, assistant professor of photography/new media in the art department; Christian Faur, visual artist and media technologist in the computing services department; Aaron Fuleki, musician/composer and web services manager in computing services, and Mary Sykes, lighting designer from the theatre department.
ContainedÂ² was most recently presented in September 2006, by invitation, at Dartington College of the Arts in Devon, England, as part of the international conference on digital technology and the arts. With the addition of a custom built portable grid that is suspended above the performer, and the use of voice recognition software, ContainedÂ² has changed dramatically from the first presentation two years ago. A continually evolving work, the addition of voice and improvised text has given it a greater sense of drama and narrative.
ContainedÂ² explores notions of containment, juxtaposing questions of what contains and what is contained. Archetypal themes related to containment such as body, home, circuit, landscape, and narrative are explored through the integrated media. Fundamental to its design is the artists' interest in creating a physical environment both conceptually and aesthetically driven that integrates equally physical structures and electronic systems and offers the opportunity for a temporally bound improvised performance and a stand-alone installation.
The processing core of ContainedÂ² comprises five networked computers, one dedicated to sound and the other four each connected to one screen/projector. Using the computer program environment MaxMsp/Jitter, the screen/projector system receives and processes input from four video cameras and a wireless microphone. The system is responsible for analyzing this data in real time, then intelligently invoking changes in the physical environment. A database of moving and still images and text are accessed through voice command and the agency of the system. The ensuing changes completely alter the nature of the space, through mechanical motion, amplified audio processing, and projected visualizations. The resultant generative performance/installation is a semi-autonomous system that independently captures, releases, and contains not just the primary agent, but also the audience member's perception of the liquid space that is continuously evolving around them.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- ContainedÂ² performance/installation concert; 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 10 and 11), Burke Hall Black Box Theatre (240 West Broadway). Free and open to the public. For more information call the Dance Department at 740-587-6712.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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