[ISEA2014] Paper: Todd Cochrane & Isabel Valverde – Senses and places mediated by water. Can we sense kinesthesis in dance through ripples in a pond?


This study of kinesthesis starts from a dance perspective by considering a person’s sense of themselves in space, location and in relation to others as they go about daily activities. Kinesthesis is extended to a person’s body of presence expressed in media, including both dynamic media such as presence in 3D virtual worlds and in terms of the artifacts they produce and manipulate. Ways to sense people and places are in two broad categories: attaching sensors to the subject, or through remote sensing. In this work we develop public improvisational performance spaces that provide attached sensing of: heart rate, breathing and movement through accelerometers, and remote sensing through a web camera to allow expression of movement in the head, torso and arms. Synchronous remote presence with other dancers and the public is mediated through a location in a 3D virtual world that includes live video feeds of the dancers and remote live body data fed into avatars and effects at that location. Participants also manipulate their view of the 3D virtual world through a handheld game controller. Data is fed back into physical and digital media presences, affecting for example: body attachments, performance space effects such as coloured light, smoke and wind machines as well as effects in the 3D virtual world location. The collection and recognition of data used to create the feedback is through a computing system tailored for the particular performance space. Here we describe the practical application of literal liquid state machines in the form of small bodies of water to enhance pattern recognition that triggers feedback, with the intention that the systems automatically adapt to new performance spaces.

  • Todd Cochrane, NZ, is a software developer in research and for art and a senior academic staff member in Digital Technologies, Business Support Services at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), New Zealand, in the software development and web technologies domain. He started his research computing career in 1995 as a programmer in a team that created the disease outbreak management software for the New Zealand government.
  •  Isabel Valverde,  Institute for Humane Studies and Intelligent Sciences, Center for Arts and Technologies, PT, is a performer, interdisciplinary choreographer and researcher originally from Portugal. Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from U.C. Riverside, supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology/PRAXIS XXI (Portugal), her dissertation is titled ‘Interfacing Dance and Technology: a theoretical framework for performance in the digital domain,’ (publication forthcoming by FCG/FCT).

Full text (PDF) p. 310-313