From Sept 5-9th I undertook a workshop with my collaborator, breakdancer Tony Mills at the studio complex 3/3 and Inspace. We did a lot of experimenting to establish a working method bridging our disciplines. I brought a large resource of videos I’d put together by trawling youtube for gaming glitches, with an emphasis on sports games. We worked on translating individual glitches into real movements, and how these could be joined together into sequences of choreography. Towards the middle of the week we began introducing technology into the mix and explored data captured methods using the Kinect. In particular we used the MikuMiku animation software and the Moggproject DLL for Microsoft Kinect SDK. We presented the results at a scratch event hosted by Inspace on Friday 9th Sept, showing 5 short versions of the piece that we’d developed, including a 10mins performance demo and a 4 min interactive demo, performed in multiple versions.
Here are links to Version 4: Miku following Tony (via the Kinect)
And Version 5: Tony follows MikuMiku troupe as Miku (troupe’s movement is Tony’s choreography motion captured previously using Kinect – performed to Body Movin’, by Beastie boys – soundtrack not available on youtube due to licensing)
‘glitch choreography’ is a new digital performance project attempting to re-describe the movement derived from gaming characters, funded by an Artist Commission from Scotland & Medicine partnership, for the Human Race exhibition touring Scotland in 2012 and a Visual Artist Award, from Creative Scotland.
As the gaming world grows ever more sophisticated and ubiquitous, the movements of characters become more and more ‘realistic’ and perfect, thanks to constant improvements in software and hardware. Often derived from the real (using motion capture, for example), gaming characters of the 21st century have an extraordinary embodiment, fluidity of movement and naturalness. However, there are always imperfections and glitches, and it is these imperfections that I am interested in. Whether through unexpected programming errors or the users’ inability to control the characters in seamless game-play (resulting in bumping into walls, misfiring, etc) there is still the potential for awkwardness between spells of perfection.
I want to focus on the artificial nature of these glitches by having real bodies re-stage them. I am interested in the how real bodies might cope with, and interpret, such foreign and unnatural movement. By taking the digital and transplanting it, re-interpreting it, embodying it within the physical body – literally re-enacting it – does it disintegrate, transform, and become something new? Does it add something to our vocabulary of movement/ physicality/ humanity? How will an audience perceive such regurgitated movement, and what does it suggest about the performers’ physicality?
I’m keen to explore how the physical re-enactment can be embedded within a ‘live’ digital environment and how performers and/or an audience can interact and engage with this. I’m interested in the environment of the stage/set/site of the work as a potentially responsive, choreographed space, using the premise of home entertainment Dance-games (such as Just Dance, Dance Central and Michael Jackson: The Experience) currently available for motion controlled games consoles Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect. I’m currently creating two scenerios:
- An interactive installation available for the public to interact with.
- An interactive installation used as the site for a digital dance performance.
Here’s a link to a compilation of glitches on youtube