Cimatics presents
Cimatics, Brussels International Platform for Live A/V, presents a Masterclass Live Audiovisual Art, within the framework of the studio-program Experimental Media-art provided by the VAF (the Flemish Audiovisual Fund).
Because the biggest merit of live A/V is its cross-border and cross-disciplinary character the masterclass will challenge its participants to do just that: collaborate.

The goal of this blog is to generate an open-source effect: opening up the discussions from within the masterclass to the rest of the world. Let this be a call for everyone to participate and join or start a debate.
Eventually, this blog will be printed as a book. An additional DVD with the open-source versions (Creative Commons license) of the participants masterclass-projects will be available afterwards. So if you post something to this blog, you are co-authoring the book.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Arnold's personal approach to the flat corner proposal

For me, the experiments we do within the context of the Cimatics
Masterclass, give me the opportunity to explore different possibilities
regarding live video and sound in interaction with the moving body in a

For a long time already i want to do research on this subject. By making a
space ‘sensitive’ by means of different sensors, this space can become an
organism that communicates with an observer/performer. Working with
choreographers is in this context therefore very inspiring.

On a more conceptual level, a book i just recently started reading, “New
Philosophy For New Media” (Mark B. Hansen, 2006) can give us a lot of
input, especially on the subject of the human body in relation to new
(interactive) media.

The workshops of the Cimatics Masterclass will give me the chance to do
hands on experiments and through that, our group can hopefully turn these
experiments in to a live public (modern dance-)performance.

Experiments i will focus on (and will technically ‘lead’) are:
-Motion tracking with the camera on the ceiling, making a projected face stay
on the performer's body while moving through the space.
-Sound (generated granular sounds of the body, environmental sound).
-Interaction with live sound (for instance: voice triggering
movement/distortion of video projection, movement of body triggering
-Live filming and projecting with a delay, creating ‘temporal distortions’
-Motion tracking with the camera in front.
-Color motion tracking.

Proposal Flat Corner


The Flat Corner is a group of 4 artists collaborating on a common interest in exploring interaction of the body with live video-projection and live (generated)
This group consists of Arnold Hoogerwerf, Charlotta Ruth, Filip Sterckx and Ambra Pittoni.


The main core of our research could be synthesized in the concept of the Digital Facial Image that acts as an interface between the domain of digital information and the embodied human experience.
In relation to this we would like to do several experiments with projecting (recorded as well as live) human facial images back onto the body of a performer. In this way, we try to link 'flesh' (the 'warm', human and tactile world of the human body in performance) with technology (what in this sense could be described as the 'cold', resistant, screenbased world of digital media).

Through our research we will deal with different topics as: subjectivity and multiplicity, affection, gender, age and develop dramaturgical tools as well as technological/interactive tools. See 'Experiments'.
Our research aims to open different points of view on reality (what everybody is supposed to accept as reality). By twisting the appearance of a human, playing with similarities and differences between human faces (and especially the affection one almost automatically has with an image of a face), we want to create an experience of meeting a two faced person and increase ambiguity and 'play' with that in an artistic context.

As an extension of the interfacing real and surreal we plan to meet audience in a an everyday life context.
Flat Corner will site-specificly develop the work for different apartments and create a surreal version of the reality in an ordinary space. From the "Human Facial Interface" we would like to extend our research to a "Human Social Interface" which can be the interaction with an apartment. In this constellation of 4 artists with profound experience in the fields of choreography, performance, animation, VJ-ing, installation, sound and interactivity, we combine our knowledge and creativity to curiously go someplace exciting and 'new'.

Short Term Goals

Within the timeframe of the Masterclass, we will focus on experimentation and conceptualization. At the end of the last workshop we will have a framework which then can be developed into a live performance. The framework includes development of effective tools, try out aesthetics, try out dialog. See 'Experiments'
In order to develop and to concretize our work we would like to create occasions to meet physically. Between physical meetings each one of us would like to keep working and continue researching on our own. The development will be communicated through discussing and presenting further experiments on the cimatics blog.
In the immediate future we would also build a project-blog as a virtual space for meeting, discussing, exchanging and working. Within the blog we will build a database that will function as toolbox: definition and categorisation of what we had already experimented and its relative potential developments.

Long term goals

Within half a year the Flat Corner group aims at gathering in several places at least with two persons at the time. These meetings can simply function as a work in progress inside their own apartments.
We have also sent in an application to the festival "Body Navigation" taking place in St. Petersburg in July 2008. Our proposal for this festival is a site-specific work in progress inside an apartment that will be open to the audience.
Our goal is to have an apartment in Brussels during the Cimatics Festival 08. Based on the continuous process "Flat Corner" will prior to the festival move into an apartment that during the festival will be open for the audience in the evenings.


Experiments we have done :
-Live filming and directly projecting.
-Same face on same face projection.
-Different recorded faces projected on live faces.
-`Gender-blending´= projection of a man on a woman and vice versa.
-Motion tracking with the camera on the ceiling, making a projected face stay on the performer's body while moving through the space.
Planned Experiments:
-Sound (generated granular sounds of the body, environmental sound).
-Interaction with live sound (for instance: voice triggering movement of video projection, movement of body triggering sound)
-Filming of a full body and projection on a full body
-Projection with feedback and delay effects.
-Live filming and projecting with a delay.
-Projection of clay animations (frame by frame projection on a sculpture in clay which gets manipulated in a stop-motion way) on a face.
-Motion tracking with the camera in front.
-Motion tracking a persons movements in a bed (nice context..)
-Color motion tracking.
-Recording a person who is smoking.
-Projecting on a person who is smoking (on the smoke).
-Projecting on a face with see though face mask (wet surface).
-Filming the profile of a face/body and projecting on the profile of a face/body.
-Projecting on see through screen (to shift between two dimensional projection and three dimensional projection).
-Projection an old face on a young person and vice versa.
-Collecting and digitizing youth pictures of a person and projecting them on the `now´ person
Possible scene for the apartment:
Bathroom scene: Two performers standing in front of a mirror in the bathroom. Faces/bodies are projected on them. Spectators are standing behind them and
follow the performance by looking in the mirror.


Mark B.N. Hansen - New Philosophy for New Media (2006):

In this experience, the infelicitous encounter with the digitally generated close-up image of a face - and specifically the affective correlate it generates in you, the viewer-participant- comes to function as the medium for the interface between the domain of digital information and the embodied human that you are.
(p. 129)

To my mind, the The digital Facial Image (DFI) and the affective response it triggers offers a promising alternative to the profoundly impoverished, yet currently predominant model of the human-computer interface. (p. 129)

Thus, rather than than channeling the body's contribution through the narrow frame of preconstituted software options, the DFI opens the interface to the richness of the bodily processing of information. For this reason, the DFI allows us to reconceptualize the very notion of the interface: bypassing exploration of more effective technical 'solutions', it invests in the body's capacity to supplement technology - its potential for collaborating with the information presented by the interface in order to create images
(p. 130)

If we can allow the computer to impact our embodied affectivity directly, our communication - and indeed our coevolution - with the computer will be opened to a truly new, 'postimagistic' phase.
(p. 131)

Affectivity is more than simply a supplement to perception (as Deleuze maintains) and it is more than a correlate to perception (as Bergson holds). Not only it is a modality of experience in its own right, but it is that modality - in contrast to perception - through which we open ourselves to the experience of the new. In short, affectivity is the privileged modality for confronting technologies that are fundamentally hetereogeneous to our already constituted embodiment, our contracted habits and rhythms.

We can now pinpoint exactly how digital facialization differs from Deleuze's refunctionalization of facialization in Cinema 1:
Whereas Deleuze celebrates the close-up as a liberation of affect from the body, the Digital Facial Image aims to catalyze the production of affect as an interface between the domain of information (the digital) and embodied human experience (p.134)

Gilles Deleuze "Francis Bacon - Logique de la sensation"

'....the figure can be almost reduced to an head. Bacon is a painter of heads and not a painter of faces. Is there a big difference between the two.
The face is a structured spatial organisation that cover the head as the head is depending from the body.
Bacon de-structure the face making the head rising upon the face....
Can we objectively say that the head is flesh? As well that the flesh is spirit?
Is' t the head the closer part to the bones?
The head is flesh, is a block of flesh which separe itself from the bones.'