This workshop explored the use of projected media. Artists from 6 continents used simple motion tracking, infrared cameras & audio sensors to generate visuals for performance and storytelling.
The Prague Quadrennial is a massive two-week event that takes place in Prague in the Czech Republic every four years. It has done this since 1967. It is an international festival that celebrates visual and spatial design for performance. It is the largest performance design event in the world.
There are many components to the Prague Quadrennial. These include live performances and public exhibitions, as well as lectures, workshops, and experimental labs.
The Prague Quadrennial includes work from all over the world. There are no limits to the type of work you might stumble upon.
In 2023, we presented a workshop as a part of PQ Studio. It was aimed at artists of all career levels.
The workshop was titled Individual and Environment. It was about a process that involves exploratory use of digital media to create performance.
It emphasized rethinking how we create performance,
and how we create, operate, and integrate media.
The intention of the approach is to amplify
the role of the individual in the process.
Participants used a variety of controllable technologies and interactive effects.
There were methods to track performers and interact with them in real-time.
The workshop was presented at the Department of Dramatic Theatre (DAMU) at The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
This is in the beautiful and bustling part of Prague called Old Town.
It took place in a large classroom with an added cyclorama, projectors, and sound system. The windows were covered over.
About twenty participants attended from
fourteen countries and six contintents.
We experimented and played. We discovered possibilities that existed between the performers and the media.
Everyone had input towards performance content based on their response to the dynamic environments.
Everyone shared their ideas and contributed to the process.
Participants worked in small groups to create moments based on discoveries made through experimentation.
The work relied on simple, bold choices taken directly from trial and play.
They helped each other identify striking moments as they happened.
The process began with improvisation, then the harvest of
moments to be assembled into short performances.
The standard formula for making a show is to work through a script, making choices on lines and staging without visuals or technology.
At the end of that process, lighting, scenery, and projections are added to reinforce the work that has already been done.
If the medium is dance, this work is all done beginning with a piece of music.
In this workshop, we break that model.
We start with the visuals and the technology, and we allow the story to be informed by what is around us.
One of the tools in use was an overhead infrared camera.
The system we used allowed any media or visual output to
be placed anywhere on the floor or wall.
The first day we explored tools. This section includes basic motion-tracking
The overhead camera changed how performers could play to the audience and provided unexpected effects, like these visual echoes
Technology was used that converted sound into visuals.
As day two progressed, some participants brought in fabric, props, or music.
As new tools were introduced, groups created performances using them.
The workshop cullminated in three final performance pieces.
This is from About Now.
This is from Fleeting.
And this is from Crossworlds.