> Motivation
> Example Movie
> Comments
> Conclusion
> Related Experiments
> Setup

Performance Photo


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While working on we came up with the idea of cutting the trace into slices, which led to this experiment. The band introduced in is supposed to be a computer representation of a continuous motion in space. In fact the perception of a continuous space is just a mental construction. On the one hand the computer-generated space is discontinuous since the displayed image is just a discrete sampling of the space (the image consists out of a finite number of pixels). On the other hand the position of the sensors is sampled in certain time intervals and the band is constructed by making a straight connection between these samples. Our mind might construct a motion similarly by remembering just a few positions in the past. We cut the space in slices and stretch them apart in order to see how this could emphasize the discreteness of the digital space.


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Example Movie

Stage View
Computer Image
Similar to a movement trace is captured. This time two external factors are added: the first one is the continuous motion of the trace drifting towards the right side of the screen. The second one is cutting the trace into slices and spatially separating these slices.


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In order to make the idea clearer, we introduced to the trace motion a constant shift to the right side of the screen, thus behaving i bit like a flag in the wind. As there are two factors introduced now that exist independently from Nik's movement - the trace motion and a sliced space - the connection between the dance and its trace is less direct or obvious than in .

The slow drift of the trace to the right edge of the screen adds motion that is not coming from the dancer. Even when Nik stands still and does not move his hands, the trace travels to the right edge. With his beginning hand gestures Nik seems to be opening and closing the trace, which is widened and compressed together in rhythmic sequences. As Nik brings his wrists together the trace basically disappears, creating a missing moment in the history of the trace. This pattern is repeated when about a quarter of the way through the slices begin to appear; they segment the trace in regular intervals like a metronome to the traces' rhythm. The overlapping slices seem to jump quickly into each other and then slow down again. This rhythmical quality feeds back into the timing of Nik's movements.


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The idea of slicing a room, stretching the slices apart from each other and then compressing them again, was motivated by the concept of spatial continuity that we easily take for granted in reality in contrast to the inherent discretness of the digital space. Compared to the setup is clearer, but still functions on an intelectual level. One might understand the reference but one does not perceive it. The error in reasoning is that due to the fuzziness of our perception and our practice in reading digital images, the projection is perceived as a continuous space with black areas inbetween.


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Related Experiments


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  • Graphics PC
  • Projector
  • Polhemus tracking system: 2 Sensors
  • RF Button


  • The two Sensors are attached to the dancer's hands. The computer reads the realtime data from the sensors and stores their recent positions. A visual plane is constructed out of these positions by connecting the line segments defined by each pair of positions in a chronological order. A noise texture is applied to the resulting geometry in order to give additional visual information on the surface of the plane indicating the stretching of the segments. The left edge of the texture image is mapped to the most recent recorded line, the right edge of the image is mapped to the least recent recorded line. All in-between lines are mapped in equal spaced steps. Thus the texture image floats with the movement and stretches with fast movements.
  • The Virtual Space is cut into 12 slices. Each slice has a defined extension within which a part of the plane is displayed. The visible effect is a bit like cutting a sausage in slices and moving each slice apart. In fact here the space is sliced and just that part of the plane is displayed which falls within that slice. The slices can move arbitrarily in space. In this setup the slices are moved apart leaving empty spaces amongst them. Additionally their extension can increase.
  • The RF Button is attached to the dancer's left hand. A button press starts a transition to one of two predefined configurations of slices. In the first configuration, the slices are just moved apart as shown in Technical Screenshot 3 below. In the second one, the extension of the slices additionally increases. As a result, the same part of the plane might be displayed in two neighboring slices as shown in Technical Screenshot 4 below. The performance movie above shows the transition to the second configuration.


Technical Setup

Spatial Setup

Technical Screenshot 1

Technical Screenshot 2

Technical Screenshot 3

Technical Screenshot 4
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