[ISEA98] Panel: Todd Winkler – Mapping Movement to Sound: Recent Sound lnstallation & Dance Projects using Movement Sensing Systems

Panel Statement

Panel: Sonic Boom

Devices for translating movement into computer data hold great promise for producing interactive music in dance works and installations. Motion-sensing dance challenges choreographers and composers to discover believable links between specific movements and the sounds they produce; connections that are both convincing to an audience and empowering to the dancers. This requires hours of training and experimentation in order to craft an appropriate response system for each new work. Sound installations pose a different set of problems since they must attract and hold the attention of novice “users,” inviting them into the space and encouraging them to move. In either case, compelling material will help these works go beyond the simple novelty of making music ‘out of thin air’. This paper presents two years of research and creative work using interactive movement systems, culminating in the productions Dark Around the Edges with Walter Ferrero and Songs for the Body Electric with Gerry Girouard. Both works utilize the Very Nervous System (VNS), a motion-sensing device, created by David Rokeby, which uses video cameras to report the location and speed of dancers to a computer Similar systems monitor participants in two installations in which movement alters projected video and music.

  • Todd Winkler (USA), Brown University, Rhode lsland.