Interactive technologies have become a part of many different artistic practices. Nowadays artists make use of sensors, electronic circuits, computation, and algorithms to create engaging aesthetic experiences.
Marije Baalman applies her extensive experience as an artist and as an engineer to guide the reader through the creation process of interactive digital artworks. She elaborates on different techniques for creating meaningful interactions and presents detailed case studies of a range of artistic work from the field to illustrate the techniques in practice.
Composing Interactions brings together aesthetic considerations, practical guidelines for project development, and an overview of sensors, circuits, and processing algorithms.
The title of the piece refers both to wind instruments as a category of musical instruments, and wind instruments as devices to measure the wind speed.
Flying and steering a kite, give you a sense of the wind not just as a measurement, but in its details, its variations at different heights, and changes in time. To fly a kite is playing an instrument, where subtle gestures with the hands can have profound changes in the direction that a kite is flying.
The performance the machine is learning is a theatrical performance highlighting the process of training a machine with realtime gestures: the labour that is absent from most dialogues on machine learning. In an attempt to livecode with gestures, the performer finds herself directed by the machine to repetitively make gestures to generate time series data samples for the machine to learn from.
Wezen is a serie of a music-theatre works where I try to explore the relationship between theatrical gesture and musical instrument, between the body and the sonic world. In Handeling new approaches are explored using the same gloves as in Gewording, extended with gyroscopes and magnetometers. In this performance, the focus is on the role of the hands, giving a distinct role to each hand in the musical control: one hand for selecting, starting and stopping musical processes, and one for shaping them.
or livecode embodied
Livecoding performance with SuperCollider, using the laptop and the act of livecoding as the sole material.
A live performance where I rehearse livecoding with a one-handed keyboard by playing the scripts of other livecoding artists. This piece takes a look at how to practice livecoding and the skills it involves. It questions whether performing other livecoded scripts is still livecoding.
in collaboration with Nina Essendrop, Wen Chin Fu, Matteo Marangoni, Erfan Abdi
Three sound ambassadors visit and show the audience how they perceive the world through sound, by guiding them through three games/exercises and showing them a short sound ritual.
Each trial was connected to collaboratively playing an instrument. All trials allowed (some of) the audience members to explore the use of the instruments and the sounds they made based on different parameters and with game-like goals for how several audience members could play (with) them at the same time.
in collaboration with Wen Chin Fu, Matteo Marangoni, Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti, Jochem van Tol, Harpo ’t Hart
How to Defend Yourself From Danger is a participatory performance inviting the audience to take part in a self-defense workshop. Combining elements of slapstick comedy and gestalt psychology, the concept of safety is explored by examining how threats are perceived from the standpoint of our bodies and our senses. The Chinese proverb of the three wise monkeys states “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. Can we take control of our fears by taking control of our perceptions?
A cocoon lies on stage, barely recognisable in the dim light. An almost static chord is sounding in the space. The light changes in color – the chord is changing slowly in pitch and texture. The cocoon seems to move – the light seems to get brighter and gradually shift color. Suddenly a fast movement – a sound erupts into the space, the light flashes – then again everything quiets down – the movement, the sound, the light.
Wezen is a serie of a music-theatre works where I try to explore the relationship between theatrical gesture and musical instrument, between the body and the sonic world. In Chrysalis the focus is on slow movements and the body as a whole - becoming conscious of the minimal movements within and of the body. These minimal movements are amplified through the use of sensors and light and sound, and physical connections to the cocoon-like structure.
Wezen is a serie of a music-theatre works where I try to explore the relationship between theatrical gesture and musical instrument, between the body and the sonic world. In Gewording (Becoming) the link between physical and sonic gesture is explored during a live performance, combining movement of the body and live coding.
Wezen - translation: be, character, creature, essence, gist, nature, being, intelligence, also orphans
Wezen is a series of solo music-theatre works where I try to explore the relationship between theatrical gesture and musical instrument, between the body and the sonic world.
Residency at Constant (December 2012)
The first stage of development was supported by a residency at Variable/Constant in Brussels.
Collaboration with Attakkalari Center for Movement Arts, Bangalore, India
Chronotopia is a dance theater re-imagining of the one of the oldest Indian epic poems: the Tamil epic Silappatikaram. Attakkalari’s multi-media dance production is an episodical journey, which explores the movement of five performers through a physical and emotional landscape of contemporary life: birth, love, marriage, war, devastation, death and transformation. Establishing a link, between the landscape and the emotional as well as spiritual mindset of the protagonist, images from ordinary human existence encounter the intervention of inexplicable forces.
In collaboration with Chris Salter and Michael Schumacher
Schwelle II is a live dance theater performance with master improviser and former William Forsythe/Ballett Frankfurt dancer Michael Schumacher. During the fifty minute work, the spectators experience a person undergoing the traumatic transformation of the body in the period between death and rebirth. At first, the spectators witness an almost immobile Schumacher sitting at a table, condemned to execute a series of futile, minute tasks. Violent physical spasms and vocal outbursts interrupt this stasis, overtaking the performer’s body.
Sampling theorem, total playing time: 43 minutes.
Live performance at Büro Friedrich, Berlin (DE), 24 July 2004.
Nord Micromodular, low-fi samplers, custom built controllers – overall performance interface.