My new piece for LightNight Liverpool was inspired the QWOP and Octodad games as well as Beverley Hood’s Glitching performance. In these, characters’ limbs move in very disjointed and unnatural ways, almost as if their skeletons were made out of jelly!
For my piece I took elements of these and use them in a live performance piece. I wanted to explore how computers interpret human actions and how these are understood, translated and sometimes miscalculated in this processes.
The digital mirror of Rachel Sweeney sometimes takes a life of its own, though my own input and sometimes through errors and the unpredictable nature of the hardware and software. Rather than attempt to avoid these I embrace the errors and use them as part of the visual experience.
The XBox Kinect controller is used to track Rachel’s movements. Whilst popular for gaming and experimental performances it is still a realtively new piece of hardware interface, and as such is prone to glitches. It was interesting for me to see how Rachel modified her natural movements and expressions to work with the Kinect when in fact it should be the Kinect that learnt from her behaviour!
As technology finds its way into more areas of art (and our lives in general) it will be interesting to see how this call-and-response relationship to technology will affect artistic practices or if the devices will modify themselves to our needs.
The performance at LightNight allowed me to explore working with live performers in a new way. In my past work I usually worked behind the scenes, either as a visualist/VJ or designer. Never had I been at the forefront of a performance!