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

Performance Photo


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How can we make a visual representation of how the body occupied the space during a past movement? One way is to permanently repeat the movement on the screen. The longer the movement is, the longer it takes to repeat it. If we cut the motion into several fractions in time and repeat these fractions simultaneously, we can show the whole motion in a fraction of time. In this experiment we are using cubes as a representation of an occupied space and record the cube size and position with the computer. Two of the cube's opposite corners are related to the dancer's hands. The dancer determines the start of a motion entity and it's end. All recorded motion entities are replayed simultaneously as a loop.


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Example Movie

Stage View
Computer Image
The distance – horizontally and vertically – between the two hands creates a cube. The two hands span a diagonal between two cube corners, the cube edges are aligned to the coordinate axis of the virtual space. The larger this distance is, the larger the cube appears. With the RF button in one hand the dancer switches the recording function within the set-up on and off. With time many cubes are accumulated.


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Usually during this process we were working without sound/ music but moving within this set up was like very deliberately composing a visual score. The dancer put the score together piece by piece and based his next decision on what he had previously done. "Listening" to your own movement is not unfamiliar to dancers. Here this "listening" is visually amplified and not only a matter of the dancers' awareness.

The fact that the cubes can be altered in size, that they can be stretched and compressed, made it possible not only to move and distribute the cubes in space but also establish a bouncing or pumping movement and rhythm inside the cubes. The visual rhythms of the pumping cubes and the bouncy quality find their way back into Nik's body. There are also moments of trying to catch the timings that are already set up on the screen and to play with or against these timings.

The dancer decided to sit and move along the floor most of the time. There was an intuitive need to ground both the body and the cubes, to provide a base on which the bouncing could happen. When Nik's body was still and not moving for some moments, one is able to read the complex timings that are created between the cubes. In another try-out of this set-up there was no limit in accumulating cubes, and we ended up with more than 20 cubes. In such a complex jungle of motion and pulses it became difficult to recognize a rhythm.


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One aspect of this experiment is the translation of the dancer's hand positions to a cube shape. In opposite to where an object is created over time and any hand-position contributes to the object's form, here the cube is always a compact object by itself. This knowledge automatically causes very compact hand gestures.

The other aspect is the question if we are able to partially reconstruct a dancer's motion out of a simultaneous playback of its fragments. It seems that three to four motion fragments mentally can be combined to the complete logical motion (since we remember the order), a higher number of cubes appear to become a gesticulating crowd, it looses the sequential aspects.


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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. They are defining the opposite corners of a cube in the virtual space. The orientation of the cube's faces is orthogonal to the three axis of the virtual space coordinate system. Thus the cube visualizes the orthogonal rectangular space between the hands of the dancer. The Technical Screenshot below shows the sensor as a green wireframe sphere.
  • The RF Button is attached to the dancer's left hand. A button press starts the recording of the data delivered by the sensors while the cube is still controlled by the sensor. The next button press finishes the recording. A new additional cube appears on the screen, which is controlled by the looped playback of the recorded data. An infinite number of these recordings can be played back in parallel. With the button presses, the dancer determines the beginning and end of a motion unit.


Technical Setup

Spatial Setup

Technical Screenshot

Performance Photo
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