THE USER IN FLUX

Steve Gibson & Stefan Müller Arisona – Virtual VJ

Virtual VJ uses the tracking capabilities of the Gesture and Media System – invented by APR of Edmonton, Canada – to allow two or more users to use space as an audio and video performance tool. Users literally wave their arms and new audio and video loops are triggered and sound and image filters are dynamically altered in real-time. Virtual VJ is a prototype for a new type of club-based performance, and can be used by anyone from the musical neophyte to the expert performer. Video and audio changes are precisely mapped so that users can intuitively find spatial correspondences between the two mediums and vary their performance on a personal level depending on their movements and aesthetic choices.
Virtual VJ will be first performed by two “rehearsed” performers and after this audience members will be invited to take the trackers and have their own individual performance. This performance scenario allows the audience users to be simultaneously grounded by seeing the results of the initial performance, but also allows a great deal of control in that they may vary their performance any way they see fit. The key conceptual idea that will be explored is the idea of cooperation and the sense of personal space in ephemeral, virtual systems. Audience members will be allowed to interact in whatever manner they chose, but at the same time noticeable results will be produced as they inhabit similar spaces, encouraging them to cooperate with each in order to produce dramatic audio-visual results.
Virtual VJ is currently under development and will be complete in Spring 2011. Documentation for Virtual DJ is widely available on-line. The following links will provide a suitable overview of Virtual DJ and will provide the conceptual and technical background to understand how Virtual VJ will function.
Full Documentation
Solo Performance with video added by Corebounce (Stefan Müller Arisona and Simon Schubiger)
General video examples
Still images
Sound, 3D motion-tracking and programming by Steve Gibson.
Video and programming by Stefan Müller Arisona.


Steve Gibson is a Canadian media artist, interface designer and media curator. He completed his Ph.D. at SUNY Buffalo, where he studied music composition and electronic music. He was also a postdoctoral researcher in media and technology at Concordia University in Montréal. He currently serves as Senior Lecturer in Interactive Media Design at Northumbria University. He was curator for the Media Art event Interactive Futures from 2002-07 and currently serves as co-Director of Digital Art Weeks (ETH Zurich).
Influenced by a diverse body of art and popular movements his work fuses electronica, immersive art, game art, montage and post-minimalism. He works in a range of media, from live electronic music to immersive and physical installation. His works have been presented in such venues as: Ars Electronica; the Whitney Museum of American Art; Banff Centre for the Arts; the European Media Arts Festival; ISEA; 4 & 6CyberConf. He recently co-edited a volume entitled Transdisciplinary Digital Art which was published by Springer. Personal website: http://www.telebody.ws/


Stefan Müller Arisona is a computer scientist and artist with main interests at the intersections of science, art and technology. His research focuses on interactive and generative design tools, on computer-assisted techniques for architectural and urban modelling and simulation, and on real-time multimedia systems. Stefan was visiting researcher at IRCAM Centre Pompidou (2003), received his PhD from the University of Zurich in 2004, and was a post-doctoral fellow at ETH Zurich (2005 – 2007) and UC Santa Barbara (2007 – 2008). Since 2008 he is a senior researcher at ETH Zurich and recently became a principal investigator at ETH’s Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. Stefan has been the scientific chair of ETH Zurich’s Digital Art Weeks since 2005, an annual symposium and festival that explores new movements in digital art. As an artist, DJ, and VJ, he has performed internationally and his artworks have appeared worldwide at renowned venues such as Zurich’s Cabaret Voltaire or the Ars Electronica Center in Linz. URL: http://www.arch.ethz.ch/~stefanmu

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