LONGING + FORGETTING

Installation / Performance – Interactive and generative video avatars mapped to an urban screen.

Creation: Matthew Gingold, Thecla Schiphorst, Philippe Pasquier
Dancers: Shannon Cuykendall, Matt Duncan, Sarah Fdili Alaoui, Meghan Goodman, Marcus Marshall, Joshua Ongcol, Priya Rajaratnam, Bladimir Santos Laffita, Nathalie Sanz, Cara Siu, Yawen Wang, and Martin Wong

Exhibited at the Surrey Art Gallery / Surrey Canada / 2014
http://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/14522.aspx

I was one of the 12 performers directed, filmed and rendered as video agents in the interactive and generative large-scale urban screen video installation Matthew Gingold, Thecla Schiphorst, and Philippe Pasquier, Longing + Forgetting.

The installation explores the use of mobile phone gestural interactions that control video agents projected onto an exterior building facade. This artwork extends the use of mobile phone interaction to create collaborative movement based public encounters in an urban screen setting. The intent is to invite gestural movement expression in public spaces.

Longing and Forgetting was created by filming 12 expert movement performers that transversed and scaled a specially constructed climbing wall. Somatic movement techniques that integrated emotion induction with movement improvisation were employed to develop performers’ characterizations of movement quality. A choreographic language was created so that each performers’ movement segments could be recomposed within a generative AI agent-based movement system.

Each human performer ‘becomes’ a video agent on the projected screen. Video agents are activated through the compilation of contiguous HD videos organized as a motion graph, a technology borrowed from the video game industry. On the building facade, each video agent is living his or her life perching on the windows, ledges or other architectural features available on the facade: some are sleeping or standing idle while others are crawling or even embracing. Movement was choreographed to enable the unfolding and evolving interactions between performers, as generated by the system.

Visitors to the installation can download an app and connect to the local network available at the installation site. The visitor’s gesture controls and disrupts the video agents movements creating new pathways and outcomes. The visitor can either rescue, liberate or restrict a video agents movement through their own mobile phone gestures. While several visitors can interact with the system simultaneously, their movements are accumulated. The accumulation requires collaborative participation between visitors to achieve their goals.

Longing + Forgetting explores new forms of public movement expression in urban spaces. It is unique in its intersection of somatic models, computational models, and cultural | social contexts for performance. This unique intersection of art | research contexts include somatic movement choreographic strategies combined with the development of video movement language applied to generative AI principles and  its implementation with a movement middleware architecture made possible through the m+m: Movement + Meaning Middleware project.