poppy_components

A Toe-Tapping, Dancing 3D-Printed Robot Plays Music

Making Music With Poppy from Pierre Rouanet on Vimeo. It can “learn” to tap its toe and bob its head. And then it can make sounds as you move its arms. It’s a robotic interface for music – a bit like playing with a very smart toy doll. To show off its interactive/interfacing abilities, the team behind Poppy used music. Poppy is a robot that can be produced with a 3D printer. All the hardware and software are fully open source. The idea – fused with cash from the EU’s European Research Council for funding science and creativity – is …

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Dancer to Score to Animation: Coding, Decoding, and Recoding in a Choreography Lab

When it comes to dance technology, it isn’t enough to team dazzling engineers with dancers. Making digital technology meaningful to those steeped in the craft of dance means artists getting their hands dirty. Dance has a history in experimental exploration, from Merce Cunningham’s pioneering work with the LifeForms software (directly in his choreography) to digital dance hybrids created by the likes of Troika Ranch (Dawn Stoppiello/Mark Coniglio). The Motion Bank and Frankfurt, Germany could be the scene for dance tech’s next act. Choreographer William Forsythe launched a four-year project in Frankfurt am Main to collect data using Microsoft’s Kinect. The …

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Surveilled, Controlled, Exhausted: Augmented Dance on Machine-Human Interface’s Dark Side

If BODYLINE BORDERLINE takes your breath away, perhaps you can thank the fact that it takes the dancers’ breath away. Computer vision in dance is now an accepted trope, to the point of being nearly cliché. The challenge is in part that the human eye’s capacity to follow nuances in movement contrasts to the crude capabilities of even the most sophisticated digital systems. But there are also opportunities for new angles on the material. Whereas so much dance with vision has focused on sparkly wonderlands of particle effects and the like, blissful mirror amusement parks, BODYLINE BORDERLAND has a different …

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Surveilled, Controlled, Exhausted: Augmented Dance on Machine-Human Interface's Dark Side

If BODYLINE BORDERLINE takes your breath away, perhaps you can thank the fact that it takes the dancers’ breath away. Computer vision in dance is now an accepted trope, to the point of being nearly cliché. The challenge is in part that the human eye’s capacity to follow nuances in movement contrasts to the crude capabilities of even the most sophisticated digital systems. But there are also opportunities for new angles on the material. Whereas so much dance with vision has focused on sparkly wonderlands of particle effects and the like, blissful mirror amusement parks, BODYLINE BORDERLAND has a different …

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Note from the Editor: Music for Dance, Music and Movement

“Dance music” is a term that has lately become maligned all over again. And the press is often fond of deriding the music of machines, as if drum machines and computers are sentient alien technology that climbed out of the smoldering remains of a wrecked UFO rather than the handiwork of someone’s imagination. For me, though, these two materials – movement and machines – are the reason I do what I care about this field, exploring new sounds in a way that is human and gestural, whether the music is in an experimental concert at 8p or a party in …

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Augmented Dance, in New Daito Manabe Music Video for Nosaj Thing

Dancers become canvases for animated geometries, spawning abstract flurries of shapes and particles above them, in the computer vision-driven choreography in Nosaj Thing’s new video “Eclipse/Blue.” The dance seems perfectly calibrated to Nosaj Thing’s dreamy, polished production and the delicate vocals of Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead). This is not Kinect – it just isn’t fast enough. Daito Manabe uses the Point Grey cameras, which operate at higher speeds. To me, oddly, some of the most beautiful moments come toward the end as the dancers become darkened silhouettes. To their credit, Daito Manabe and creators directly acknowledge the work that inspired …

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If Your Body Were a Moog: Experimental Voyager Sounds + Contemporary Dance Portraits

six short stories about… from Vlaicu Golcea on Vimeo. The ubiquity of the classic subtractive synthesizer could make you think that its sounds are limited to familiar sounds. But it simply ain’t so. Part of why I think these designs endure is that it remains possible to coax new musical gestures, to voyage through new timbres. And so, with a small dose of Reaktor, Romanian composer/musician Vlaicu Golcea coaxes beautiful and surprising sounds from the Moog Voyager. In a strangely synesthetic experience, these sounds match perfectly the choreography. I’m often a fan of creating musical spaces that don’t touch each …

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Stories Come to Life, as the Human Element Meets Projection Mapping

Projection mapping live performance art – The Alchemy of Light by a dandypunk from a dandypunk on Vimeo. “The Alchemy of Light” makes projection mapping more than a sculptural, light-painting illusion. It allows the digital motion image to interact with the performer. And the human performer is a big part of what makes this work. The project comes from performance artist by the name of “a dandypunk” (Joel Sebastian), and the Cirque du Soleil-veteran performer makes his movement as dazzling as the projected imagery. The work is in turns fanciful and poignant, and the dance of imagery and the dance …

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The Intimacy of Gesture, in Videos for Sigur Ros, aka Let's All Run Through the City

Sigur Rós: Varúð from Sigur Rós Valtari Mystery Films on Vimeo. Perhaps there’s no science to transforming music into visual medium, any more than there is a single way to translate a poem from one language to another, or a single way to feel. But because music is a tongue that can speak in a mysterious syntax, it’s all the more fascinating when the image we see is one we can share. It’s like sharing a dream. So, as Sigur Rós shares their new album Valtari with a series of filmmakers, with no instructions or intervention on interpretation, you see …

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The Intimacy of Gesture, in Videos for Sigur Ros, aka Let’s All Run Through the City

Sigur Rós: Varúð from Sigur Rós Valtari Mystery Films on Vimeo. Perhaps there’s no science to transforming music into visual medium, any more than there is a single way to translate a poem from one language to another, or a single way to feel. But because music is a tongue that can speak in a mysterious syntax, it’s all the more fascinating when the image we see is one we can share. It’s like sharing a dream. So, as Sigur Rós shares their new album Valtari with a series of filmmakers, with no instructions or intervention on interpretation, you see …

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