Visible and Invisible Actors of Interactive Audiovisual Performance

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WOODEN WORLDS by Javier Alejandro Garavaglia and Claudia Robles Angel/ Ethernet Orchestra: Interdisciplinary Cross-Cultural Engagement in Networked Improvisatory Performance by Roger Haigh Mills/ Insights by johanne Timm and Riccardo Attanasio/ f(x) - an audiovisual performance environment by Alo Allik/ Invisible performance in control room: Resonance between the performance and technical people by Suk Chon and Joonsung Yoon
Thursday, 15 September, 2011 - 17:00 - 18:40
Chair Person: 
Paula Roush
Claudia Robles Angel
Roger Mills
Johanne Timm
Riccardo Attanasio
Alo Allik
Suk Chon
Joonsung Yoon

WOODEN WORLDS - Aesthetical and Technical Aspects of a Multimedia Performance Using Real-time Interaction

by Javier Alejandro Garavaglia and Claudia Robles Angel

Wooden Worlds is an audiovisual, interactive performance by Claudia Robles Angel and Javier Alejandro Garavaglia. The piece, of variable length (conceived however to be about an hour long), is a complex multimedia performance, in which viola, video, photography, soundscapes, live electronics and live processing of pre-recorded sounds interact with each other in real time, all of which intersect in art, science and technology. The paper describes the technical aspects of the work as much as its aesthetical approach and intention. The concept of haptic images, as described by Deleuze [1] and their usage in the artwork is also introduced and explained.

[1] Deleuze, G., Guattari, F. and Massumi, B. 2004. A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia. Continuum International Publishing Group, NYC, p. 545.

Ethernet Orchestra: Interdisciplinary Cross-Cultural Engagement in Networked Improvisatory Performance

by Roger Haigh Mills

The study of interdisciplinary cross-cultural engagement in networked improvisatory performance serves as the starting point for Ethernet Orchestra’s [1] 2010 live international audio-visual performance, Distant Presences [2]. Combining the disciplines of free improvisation and Internet art, the performance spanned four continents and time zones, networking musicians at the University of Technology, Sydney, Kunstmühle gallery, Germany [3], and Londrina, Brazil, with visual “net” artists in Sydney, London and Munich. Employing various audio-visual network technologies, the performance was broadcast by FBi Radio, Sydney [4], and streamed on the Internet as “Radio You Can Watch”, allowing listeners to view the accompanying live visual mixing to the radio broadcast. The performance could also be experienced online by opening both the visual platform (VisitorsStudio) [5], and the stations Internet stream in separate browser windows. The ensembles eclectic combination of instruments included Turkish oud and bendir, Mongolian horse fiddle and throat singing, trumpet, guitar and laptop Max/MSP processing. Similarly, manipulated images were a combination of animations, movies and still images of abstract film noir

collage reflecting on the multifarious nature of location in the “construction and representation of identity” [6]. Improvisation is often considered one of many disciplines within the practice and research of networked performance. However, as a vehicle for cross-cultural collaboration it is unprecedented in its ability to create dialogical exchange and learning across cultures. The interdisciplinary nature of this practice also requires a convergence of theoretical and methodological approaches traversing the associated fields of, musicology, ethnomusicology, cognition and HCI (human-computer interaction). This paper outlines the technical facilitation of the performance and the creative strategies employed by the musicians and visual artists to collaborate together as a dispersed collective. Illustrating incidences of intercultural musical transferences and visual coincidences, it focuses on distributed perception and how, as Chion (1994) suggests, “listening with the ear is inseparable from that of listening with the mind, just as looking is with seeing” [7]. As a multimodal performance Distant Presences also highlights the use of metaphor [8] as a signifier for perception across the audio-visual spectrum, creating shared “codes of recognition” across cultures [9].


[1] Mills, R (2010) Ethernet Orchestra networked improvisation research and performance. [Online]. Available

[2] (2010) “Distant Presences” networked improvisatory audio-visual performance. [Online]. Available

[3] (2010) Kunstmühle Gallery of performing and visual arts. [Online]. Available

[4] (2010) fbi radio [Online]. Available

(5) (2010) VisitorsStudio multi-user A/V file mixing platform [Online]. Available

[6] Sansom, M. (2007) "Improvisation and Identity: A Qualitative Study." Critical Studies in Improvisation, Vol 3, No 1.

[7] Chion, M (1994) Audio Vision: Sound on Screen, Columbia University Press, p. 33.

[8] Lakoff, G and M. Johnson (1980) Metaphors We Live By. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

[9] Cumming, N. (2000) The sonic self : musical subjectivity and signification. Bloomington, Indiana University Press, p. 18.


by johanne Timm and Riccardo Attanasio

Insights is a research about the relation of two bodies exploring breath as a shared need and connection in a geometrical system of figures. The performers are attached to nylon strings in order to play with the tension and a third body is created in between.The performance starts with the unison of two bodies one behind the other.The two performers and the strings are the system that is in equilibrium when the bodies are diaphanous, communicating. This requires listening and coordinating impulses to operate in unison. The strings of nylon are a visible connection, like cables that transmit information. The glue links the strings to the skin, the surface of the body. The in- and out- breath is communicating vividly between the performers. Slowly a synergy between the performers establishes.When the pulling force increases or one of the performer moves independently without communicating, the nylon strings will cut off. This risk and fragility is subject to the whole performance. Once the nylon connections are detached the visualization of the third body vanishes. You can perceive the third body in between the two figures whose outlines are attached by the strings. By pulling the strings the points of the outline translate in space, like a figure in geometry (see picture no 3).

video linked:

f(x) - an audiovisual performance environment

by Alo Allik

f(x) is an audiovisual performance environment to enable exploration of 3-dimensional continuous spatial functions derived from the model of continuous spatial cellular automata. The time-varying functions provide the basis for sound synthesis and computer graphics parameter mapping. The audio and the visuals are independent from each other both physically and conceptually and the reciprocal influence flows in both ways in a non-linear manner. The segmentation of the visual space and acoustic time is controlled in the performance by affecting the behavior of the automata world in real time in an attempt to reveal the complex and organic behavioral patterns in three dimensions and modifying the mapping space in response to them. The audio synthesis, computer graphics and the performance interface have all been developed in open source software. Audio synthesis and performance interfaces are implemented in the SuperCollider programming environment, graphics functions in OpenGL and Open Sound Control (OSC) protocol is used for communication between the audio and visual applications. 

Digital technology has provided an incredible variety of opportunities for artistic exploration and has fostered a new perspective on human culture and society. It has forced scientific methods and concepts into the working process and aesthetic framework of an artist due to its very nature. The beginnings of the digital computer are inseparably connected to research into the biology of self-replication and the possibility of artificial life. The work of Alan Turing, John von Neumann, Stanislaw Ulam and many others was essential to the way the modern world operates and the fundamental concepts based on the spectacle of biological evolution and natural selection have been integrated into every piece of digital technology with which we have surrounded ourselves. However, we generally have little understanding of the nature of this technology and the long-term impact it has on every aspect of our existence. f(x) is a performance environment created to reveal some of the aspects and principles of digital technology. It is based on a concept that has only been made possible with the advent of computers - cellular automata – and was born out of research into artificial self-reproduction. It is designed as a live audiovisual experiment in which the performer interacts with a world of 3-dimensional spatial functions defined – analogously with the principles of cellular automata – in terms of each other. The performance is seeking to reveal complex patterns of behavior, generated by relatively simple instructions and rules that would uncover some of the elusive characteristics of digital media surrounding us now in almost every situation.

Invisible performance in control room: Resonance between the performance and technical people

by Suk Chon and Joonsung Yoon

ISEA 2009, Group PERFORMATIVE announced the performance of combination dance and technology. Major topic of that was the real-time connectivity between dancers and visual images. In this time, I would like to introduce the inter-relationship between the performance and the action of inspired people by the performance.

Korean traditional music ‘Samul nori’ is composed of percussion instruments. And ‘Samul nori’ played impromptu performance using patterns of ancient rhythm. This feature of ‘Samul nori’ has been unchanged as the most of ancient music.

September, 12, 2010, Korean maestro ‘Duksoo Kim’ performed ‘Samul nori’ with Group PERFORMATIVE, the technical staff company. One is ensemble of big and small drums. The other is variation of 4 different types of percussion instruments. We used a visualization system generated by rhythm of percussion instruments in this performance.

Originally, we wanted to use various input sound factors like pitch, melody and rage in this system. In the simulation, however, we found too many input factors make too tacky result.

Therefore, we chose the rhythm, which makes the most dramatic result, as major factor.

And we programmed music’s volume and speed could affect the image’s size and visual effect. Besides, we added real-time operation function which could make more various images in performance. Fortunately, this change was more effective in the performance than the original plan.

At the performance, the most interesting situation has occurred in control room. During the performance, technical operator was immersed in rhythm of percussion instruments.

And he began to manipulate the operating system to improvise without his cognizance.

His inspired control has been synchronized to the performance. As a result, the accidental link was able to express the feature of music like originally planned.

I can dare say the operator’s inspired control was invisible performance in control room.