Multimedia Performances

This month in LEA, guest editors Annette Barbier and Marla Schweppe look at multimedia performances through four refreshing and different essays that explore different aspects of the topic.

We begin with Joe Geigel's Virtual Theatre - One Step Beyond Machinima, which introduces a technical framework for defining and performing a theatrical work in a virtual space. As proof of concept for this framework, a real time, distributed improvisation is showcased.

In Cybernetic Performance Art; The Trouble with Blurring the Distinction Between Art and Life, Jason Van Anden and Lauri Goldkind look at developing technology to make artworks improvisationally simulate emotional behavior in real time and space, and discover how a boundary was crossed between the disciplines of static sculpture and live performance.

Following that, we embark on a Patchwork in motion: A practice-led project investigating the shifting relationships and processes associated with the performing body in interactive and non-interactive visual environments with Maria Adriana L. Verdaasdonk.

Finally, Paul Hertz deals with VR as a Performance for an Audience, which contemplates the possibility of creating VR performances in a traditional musical performance or theatrical situation, with an audience, as a hybrid or intermedia art form.

Amnon Wolman's desktop performance unfolds differently, in real time, each time it is played. It addresses not only our ever-varying sense of time, but also the intimate space of the desktop in creating a unique, individualized performance for every listener.

Accompanying the issue is a specially curated gallery. Jack Ox's networked performance proposes multiple points of entry as well as of reception. While creating a live, real-time event, she also incorporates static images, visualizations of musical sequences.

Benoit Maubrey incorporates sound and video "accompaniment" into the body of the moving performer. Christina Ray and Glowlab challenge our notion of performance by using cell phones to transmit the spectacle of everyday life observed. Bob Gluck invites viewers to enter into the use of ritual objects, which respond to and amplify their actions, making them participants in a dialog with the work.

Pedro Rebelo creates musical "prostheses" which extend the acoustic into the electronic realm. Bob Ostertag examines the relationships between our bodies, our society's detritus, and the machines that interpret our actions, our computers. The special issue is available at: http://mitpress2.mit.edu/e-journals/LEA/archive.html and the gallery: