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New Media Performance

http://www.rhoadley.net/nmp - VLE - facebook


Timetable 2013-14, semester 2
Class 1 (RH) Tuesday 1300-1500 Hel029
Class 2 (RH) Wednesday 0900-1100 Hel029
Class 3 (TH) Wednesday 1100-1300 Hel029
Richard Hoadley's office hours
(teaching weeks only)
Monday 1300-1500
Tuesday 1200-1300
NB Sometimes office hours may be rescheduled in order to accommodate breaking events.
Please try to make an appointment in advance.
Structure and Notes
Assessment Submission Details
MPA Writing Guide

This module will introduce students to recent innovations in contemporary 
theatre and performance through a practical and theoretical consideration of new 
technologies and forms of information exchange available to theatre-makers at 
the start of the twenty-first century. Students will examine the technological 
interventions that give rise to mediatised performance and new methods of its 
dissemination. These ideas will be explored in practice through the use of 
technologies of sound, music and video to produce a piece of mediatised 
performance. Students will be expected to engage with the interfaces between 
live performance, digital technologies, social networking sites, mass 
participatory sites of video performance, online arts marketing and experimental 
film-making. Students will be assessed by the production of a short mediatised 
performance piece designed for dissemination through digital technologies, 
rather than within a traditional theatre or from a television studio location. 
This module also seeks to inform and guide students in the production of 
mediatised performance that may be used as a multi-media element within live 
theatre practice. Selected multi-media practitioners will be studied as they 
produce, react to and question the value of such technologies in performance.

Further Reading
Salter, Chris, (2010), Entangled, MIT Press
Broadhurst, S., (ed.), (2006), Performance and Technology, Palgrave

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Week 1 Outline: Introduction to the module - Making sure you can deal properly with 'old' media! - What you will and won't be able to do (it's up to you) - Keep an eye out for any examples of use of technology for inspiration or just storylines that you think might be good - use the Facebook group to share these. - Make a note of anything that interests you and bring it in to discuss. Preparing for this session - make a list of the technology that is already available to you. - This may include: mobile phones (consider each technology separately: texting, camera, email, internet, etc.), tablets, laptop and computers as well as social media (skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), cloud media (Google Docs, etc.), games, as well as fairly 'old' things: hifi equipment, TV and DVD... Lesson Activities - Overview of module - Use of course resources (website, VLE, Facebook group) - Department facilities - Faculty and University facilities - Assessment items - Examples There will be workshops covering the following: - microphone types and techniques; - checking levels, stereo image, using stereo image - sessions on sound or video checking, appropriate stereo, fade outs, etc - to implement and reinforce this, session on basic sound editing; - triggering ideas (from iTunes to Isadora): can be as simple as a series of cues each of which trigger a series of previously made recordings, or more complex, for instance the triggering happens when a particular performer makes a particular gesture; - preparation and workflow for performance - things that you have to prepare for and consider. - Will Baker will run a workshop focusing on Isadora from 2pm till 5pm on Wednesday 19th February in HEL 330 - Will will also provide short introductions to use of the lights, mics and remote cameras during classes in week 2. - Divide into balanced groups: Ideally, each group should have -- at least one person with access to their own game controller or Wiimote, -- at least one person with a reliable laptop and software they are prepared to use with the group, etc. - Discussion about aesthetics vs. technique vs. presentation Practitioners Our own use of technology. Olympic opening ceremony. Reading and resources for this session - d'Escriván, J. 2012. Music Technology. Cambridge: CUP background reading on microphones: pp. 45-61 - http://www.brightandloud.com/microphone-placement/ - http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/audio-music/question309.htm -- (Ten Types of Microphone) Tasks to be completed for next week or upcoming assessment submissions - Devise a piece where you use at least two elements of the media reviewed above. Pieces should be about 5 minutes in length. Here are a few suggestions for elements of pieces you might think about, but ideally please develop your own if possible, maybe inspired by stories in the media, your own experience, etc. New media should play a role, but the piece does not have to be 'dominated' by technology. - imagine that you're in a train, a boat or another type of vehicle where sound plays a significant role in identification. Consider ways in which you might use this way of identification dramatically, from utiising a simple aural backdrop, to more sophisticated manipulation with the expected meaning of 'sound effects', etc. - if some members of the group have mobile phones or other devices, consider ways in which use the devices to direct a performance. Maybe a sub-group sends a number of performers messages telling them what to do (c.f. Bruce Nauman). - use a variety of electronic devices from the home to generate and exploit sonic and visual entertainments. - make a set of basic videos and/or sounds. Edit them and trigger them at points during a performance that also includes live action. Find ways of making interplay between the two, if possible (faking liveness). - use spaces on the projection screen as well as stereo panning to determine the positioning of actors on stage (faking liveness) Other books and resources: Online access: Intimacy across visceral and digital performance Maria Chatzichristodoulou; Rachel Zerihan Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan 2012 Literary art in digital performance case studies in new media art and criticism Francisco J Ricardo; Ebrary, Inc. New York : Continuum International Pub. c2009 Digital performance a history of new media in theater, dance, performance art, and installation Steve Dixon Ebrary, Inc. Cambridge, MA : MIT Press c2007 Mapping intermediality in performance Sarah Bay-Cheng; Ebrary, Inc. Amsterdam : Amsterdam University Press 2010 Electronic performance support using digital technology to enhance human performance Philip Barker; Paul van Schaik; Ebrary, Inc. Farnham ; Burlington, VT : Gower c2010
Week 2 Outline: Presentation and critique Lesson Activities - Present short devised pieces and evaluate the use of audio and video in them - Peer critique: evaluate pieces (what does and doesn't work, technical problems, integration of the technology, etc.) - General discussion about the role of technology in performance in general and the theatre in particular. Some practitioners ...and how they have used New Media - Joyce, Finnegans Wake - Beckett, Not I (1973) - Beckett, Rockaby (1980) - Cage Variations V, 1965 - Cage, Tudor, Cunningham - http://movimientolaredsd.ning.com/video/john-cage-variations-v - Roaratorio (1976-79) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNE1ezCTGMk&feature=related - Cage Musicircus Isadora Tutorials - Tutorial 1 - basics Tasks to be completed for next week - You should research the influence of Futurism as found in performances involving new media. You may use the argument put forward by Steve Dixon in Chapter 3 of 'Digital Performance' (see below), that Futurism is at the heart of what we now call New Media Performance as the starting point of your reserach. In your groups prepare short presentations (10-15 minutes) of case studies that include video and any other found materials to support it. Through a system of discussion board/Facebook posts or just by talking to each other, lay claim to found videos or materials that you wish to present so as to not overlap with others. - Use the following as the basis for your research and presentations: - Dixon, S. 2007. Digital Performance. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press Read Chapter 3: Futurism and the Early-Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde - The above book is available in paper form in the University Library or in electronic form with access from the UL catalogue. - There's also a futurism paper by Steve Dixon providing much of the information of the above chapter available here. - Here's a translation of the first Futurist manifesto - Information about Futurism on the following page may be of use or interest: http://www.paulj.myzen.co.uk/blog/futurism/ Finally, you might also have a look at ISEA (International Symposium of Electronic Arts) proceedings for some up-to-the-minute examples of technology in performing arts.
Week 3 Outline Presentations involving the influence of futurist ideas in New Media performance. Isadora software is introduced. Lesson Activities - Presentations and demonstration of Isadora software - Discussions with groups about first assessed performances Practitioners - Bruce Naumann - Good boy, bad boy 1985 - Clown Torture 1987 - Shit in Your Hat - Head on a Chair 1990 - David Hall - This is a Television Receiver 1976 - Stills from This is a Televison Receiver Commissioned by BBC TV as the unannounced opening piece for their Arena video art programme, March 1976. Programme produced by Mark Kidel, conceived by Anna Ridley and presented by David Hall - Compare Alvin Lucier I am sitting in a room 1969 - Alvin Lucier I am sitting in a room part 1 - Alvin Lucier I am sitting in a room 2 - Alvin Lucier I am sitting in a room 3 - Alvin Lucier: Music for Solo Performer (1965) - Alvin Lucier Music On A Long Thin Wire - David Hall Tap piece (intervention) Isadora Tutorials Isadora Instructions 1 Tasks to be completed for next week or upcoming assessment submissions - In your groups, generate a new 8-10 minute performance, or, if preferred, edit the previous performances to include elements using Isadora, including at least one effect type (for instance, feedback) and the addition of text elements on screen.
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Week 4 Outline To evaluate how well we have integrated Isadora into our workflow Lesson Activities - Evaluation of the techniques employed - Introducing cyborgs and notions of teleoperation Reading and resources for this session - Dixon, S. 2007. Digital Performance. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press Read Chapter 10: Virtual Bodies Tasks to be completed for next week or upcoming assessment submissions - Student research on cyborg art approaches like Stelarc and the research of Prof. Kevin Warwick. Use Facebook to claim examples Practitioners - Stelarc - Extended Body: Interview with Stelarc (text) - Stelarc: the body is obsolete (3:49 video) - Stelarc: The Man with Three Ears (13:40 video), OR - Stelarc: The Man with Three Ears (14:03 video) - Kevin Warwick - Kevin Warwick (text) - Project Cyborg 2.0 (text) - Cyborg Life: Kevin Warwick Interview (7:48 video) - Professor Kevin Warwick - Keynote Speaker at Science and Information Conference 2013 (25:00 video) - Google Science Fair: Kevin Warwick Interview (4:40 video) - (Somewhat out of date) list of interviews - El Dibuixant - Marcelli Antunez Roca - El Dibuixant - Marcelli Antunez Roca (60:00 video, see 16mins) - Paul Sermon, Telematic Dreaming (1992) - Susan Kozel, Across Bodies and Systems, 2009 - Art Shock - The Human Canvas (extreme) (52:00 video) - Video: The F.D.A. Approves a Bionic Eye - A sensational breakthrough: the first bionic hand that can feel - How to Build a Bionic Man - CYBORG FOUNDATION | Rafel Duran Torrent Also to discuss if time: - Uncanny valley - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNdAIPoh8a4 - Orlan - Golem - Frankenstein - What if the sun disappeared? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rltpH6ck2Kc Isadora Tutorials - Tutorial 2 - compositing images - Tutorial 3 - using scenes
Week 5 Outline Talking about cyborgs: students present group case studies on cyborgs and virtual body extensions Lesson Activities Presentations and a workshop on basic video and sound manipulation. Reading and resources for this session Dixon, S. 2007. Digital Performance. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press Read Chapter 13: Cyborgs Tasks to be completed for next week or upcoming assessment submissions Isadora performance 1: In your groups, present a devised piece using Isadora and including other media covered so far. Incorporate image manipulations into your pieces or start a new piece that makes use of them. You can start from scratch or use previously developed ideas; Pieces should be between 8 and 12 minutes long; You should include at least eight different videos and/or still images You should including composited images; You should include at least four different scenes; You should include at least two different sounds; What should it be 'about'? Choose a story in the recent press for inspiration, or a passage in a book you like. Take a simple idea from life, like work or colours or animals and think about how you might use that. See these instructions Practitioners You may find it useful to look at the work of the following practitioners for inspiration: poles pps danse 1996 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNl5iDsyWxY http://www.ppsdanse.com/en/repertoire/poles.html Corpus Corvus p123 Digital Performance troika ranch future of memory Isadora Tutorials Isadora Instructions 2 You may find the following online tutorials useful: Tutorial 2 - compositing images Tutorial 3 - using scenes Tutorial 4 - Performance: Best Practices Tutorial 5 - Using Effects
Week 6 Outline - Controllers and video manipulation Introducing Controllers: Isadora Instructions 3 Lesson Activities We present the devised pieces set last week and then introduce video manipulation of images via controllers; Hands-on activities with video delays and effects; Carry on with these exercises: Isadora Instructions 2 Check that we're okay with Audacity as a sound editing environment Tasks to be completed for next week or upcoming assessment submissions Isadora performance 2: Presenting devised pieces using Isadora and including other media covered so far. Devising a piece that uses remote controlling or enhancement of gestures through video game controllers and the Wiimote Practitioners You may find it useful to look at the work of the following practitioners for inspiration: Christian Marclay Back to Back Theatre Matralab Isadora Tutorials Tutorial 6 - Value Scaling (Part 1) Tutorial 6 - Value Scaling (Part 2) Tutorial 7 - The Self Generating Patch
Week 7 Outline - Regarding soundwalks... We evaluate the performances from last week, inluding use of controllers and of image manipulation techniques and then discuss soundwalk devising strategies. Practitioners Janet Cardiff/George Bures Miller soundwalks and installations The Muriel Lake Incident Blast Theory, 'Can you see me now' - I'd Hide You - Blast Theory on Northwest Tonight (2008) - So, err... by Blast Theory (2009) - Blast Theory - A Machine To See With (2011) - Fixing Point 2011 - Blast Theory Videos http://www.soundwalk.com/ and http://soundwalkcollective.com/ An article on soundwalking World Listening Project notours.org aporee.org ...just Google 'soundwalk' You can also try the following software (unchecked as of March 2013): SonicMaps (http://www.sonicmaps.org/) Lesson Activities - Introducing the noTours sound walk software for augmented aurality, substituting environment sounds and performing in open spaces with GPS guidance. You may use, but are not required to use noTours. Contact Mat Skidmore if you wish to borrow an Android phone with noTours software installed. - Introducing soundwalks. - Headphones are required for the following: Binaural sound. - Or try this one. - ARU noTours Facebook Group - Using Audacity to edit sounds and create soundwalks and sound installations. - Using iMovie to edit and create movies - here are some tutorials, and some more... - Using games controllers with Isadora. Tasks to be completed for next week or upcoming assessment submissions In your groups, create a short new devised work using sound walk technology and ideas. Isadora Tutorials to work through - Tutorial 8 - Live Video - Tutorial 9 - Interactive Control with Live Sound - Tutorial 10, Part 1 - Custom Interfaces with Control Panel - Tutorial 10, Part 2 - Custom Interfaces with Control Panel
If you do wish to use noTours: The noTours app can be downloaded directly onto your phone from www.ultranoise.es/anglia/noTours.apk After it has downloaded, pull down the 'notifications' menu from the top left, and double-click on the noTours icon / select install. Then check out the noTours editor, and try setting something simple up. Currently, the noTours application plays all soundfiles at full volume, so you need to normalise each soundfile to the relative volume you might want, and confirm that when testing the walk in situ. In the noTours app, soundfiles fade in/out over 2 seconds when a circle boundary is crossed. To avoid a fade, insert 2 seconds silence at the beginning / end of the soundfile. Soundfiles can be mono or stereo wav or mp3s (up to 320kbps); mp3s work best. Do not use spaces or unusual characters (?!@^%& etc) in your file names, or they will not sound in your phone. After you have downloaded a zipped version of your completed walk to your computer, your project will be inside a folder named with 3 digit integer, such as '427'. Rename this to something more user-friendly (though no spaces) if you like. Inside this folder will be an empty sub-directory named 'sound'. In this, copy the soundfiles for your project (whose names will match those of the files named in your project, e.g. soundOne.mp3, etc.) Hints: When choosing the names of your soundfiles only use lower-case letters. No numbers, symbols or spaces. At least when starting out, make your 'soundpoints' nice and big and if you do this at home in your garden, cover both your neighbours' gardens! This gives you the best possible chance of good clear coverage. Once you have your points sorted and recognised you can be more detailed and experimental. To start with, I would recommend only using 'soundpoints' rather than 'soundscapes', but feel free to investigate. Here are a couple of mp3s that I know work
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Week 8 Performing outside Presenting preliminary versions of the sound walk performances. Evaluation and refining the sound walk performances. Check that we're okay with Audacity as a sound editing environment. Discussing ideas for final performance: for next week please have some plans for what your group will be aiming to perform for the assessment in week 12. Outline Monitored rehearsals Lesson Activities Presenting the sound walk performances. Evaluation and refining the sound walk performances. Discussions about final performances. Outlining the task for next week. Reading and resources for this session Dixon, S. 2007. Digital Performance. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Pressread Chapter 20: "Theater" in Cyberspace Tasks to be completed for next week or upcoming assessment submissions Research case studies in MUDs (Multi-user Dungeons), MOOs (MUD, Object Oriented), MMOs (massively multiplayer online game) and related, like second life avatars, G+ handouts, Google docs performances, etc. and prepare a demonstration of these techniques. See here for more info. Practitioners Forkbeard Fantasies Wooster Group http://www.forkbeardfantasy.co.uk/ Isadora Tutorials Tutorial 11, Part 1 - Interactive control with MIDI Tutorial 11, Part 2 - Interactive control with MIDI
Week 9 Preparing for assessment Outline Check final groupings Outline rehearsals for next two weeks Bring along draft essays for me to look at while others are rehearsing Alternate rehearsal venues To do: lists of jobs for group members lists of required equipment and who is to provide it Any other class-wide requests? Talk to each group about what they're going to do Isadora Tutorials Isadora 4: Video in and Effects Tutorial 12 - Playing and Manipulating Sound Tutorial 13 - Activating Multiple Scenes Practitioners Robert Lepage Faulty Optic http://lacaserne.net/index2.php/robertlepage/ http://www.stationhouseopera.com/ YouTube sites: 'A Beginner's Guide to 'Crossing the Celluloid Divide' http://www.forkbeardfantasy.co.uk/Use_of_Film_3.html
Week 10 Outline Monitored rehearsals and checking of written element for submission Isadora Tutorials Tutorial 14, Part 1 - Creating your Own Actors Tutorial 14, Part 2 - Creating your Own Actors
Week 11 Outline Monitored rehearsals and checking written element; Details of next week's final performance will be agreed.
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Week 12 Final Presentations Outline All final performances are presented today; They will be double marked and video recorded