THE USER IN FLUX

Pat Subyan et al. – Flow

Web 2.0 technologies have created shifting roles for everyday users by allowing them to do more than just retrieve information. The shifting roles of users not only affect the way users interact with digital media but also inspire many artists to explore new methods for producing art. We are interested in the shifting of roles that new media artists, designers, and scientists constantly negotiate within the rapidly shifting field of new media art.
Flow is a 5-minute improvised dance performance where movement qualities are extracted in real time from the performer’s body using EffortDetect. EffortDetect is a real-time machine-learning system that applies Laban Movement Analysis, a rigorous framework for analyzing the human movement, to extract movement qualities from a moving body in the form of Laban Basic Efforts. It produces a dynamic stream of Laban Basic Effort qualities in real time. We extend the use of EffortDetect by designing a visualization system that uses movement quality parameters to generate an abstract visualization for use in dance performance. The movement qualities are visualized in a dynamic, evocative and meaningful way in real time. The visualization system maps the Basic Efforts to design rules, drawing parameters, and color palettes to create a meaningful visual representation which an audience can interpret in the context of human movement qualities. We propose that at the end of the performance, we will encourage the participants to come onstage to interact with EffortDetect and explore the visual aesthetics, shifting their role from audience to user and author.




Pat Subyen is a doctoral student at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. He holds a MFA in Computer Art from School of Visual Arts, New York in the USA. With a background in graphic design and interactive media, he is interested in the area of generative art and design. His research interests include generative graphics, visualization art, and human movement. Pat works have been shown in Asia, USA, and Canada. He is currently working on generative abstract visualization of human movement qualities using artificial life techniques.


Diego Maranan is an artist, activist, and academic whose interests lie in the intersections of motion, bodies, technologies, and culture. He is an MA candidate at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, where he previously studied computing science and contemporary dance. He has facilitated workshops both in new media art and in movement practices in Europe, Asia, and Canada. He is an instructor at the University of the Philippines Open University, an affiliate faculty with the Centre for International Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and the Emerging Technologies Coordinator for WeDpro, a non-profit organization that promotes the protection of human rights of women, youth and communities in the Philippines.www.diegomaranan.com


Kristin Carlson is a choreographer and dance researcher currently pursuing an MSc in Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University in Canada. Her interests include computer-aided choreographic process, digital performance and experiential research. She holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the USA. Kristin has choreographed and performed in Canada, the US, and New Zealand and has recently worked on research projects on dancer interaction with projected text as well as developing a system for autonomously generating movement catalysts for use in choreography.


Thecla Schiphorst is a Media Artist/Designer and Faculty Member in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. Her background in performance and computing forms the basis for her research which focuses on embodied interaction, sense-making, and the aesthetics of interaction. She is particularly interested in the poetic forms that cultivate affect, materiality and experience-modeling within human computer interaction. She is the recipient of the 1998 PetroCanada award in New Media awarded biennially to a Canadian artist, by the Canada Council for the Arts. Her media art installations have been exhibited internationally in Europe, Canada, the United States and Asia in many venues including Ars Electronica, the Dutch Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF), Future Physical, Siggraph,, the Wexner Centre for the Arts, the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, and the London ICA.


Philippe Pasquier joined Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology in January 2008 as an assistant professor. Philippe Pasquier is both a scientist specialized in artificial intelligence and a multi-disciplinary artist. As a scientist, his work has focused on the development of models and tools for endowing machines with autonomous, intelligent and creative behavior.
As an artist, he has been acting as a performer, producer, jury, committee member and teacher in many different contexts. He is serving or has served as a member or administrator of several artistic collectives (Robonom, Phylm, MIJI), art centers (Avatar, Bus Gallery) and artistic organizations (P: Media art, Machines, Vancouver New Music) in Europe, Canada and Australia.

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