The Visualized Opera: Vitruvian Melds Dance, Digital with Operetta [unrender]

Get ready for the high Renaissance of the digital. The individual ingredients remain the same. But the threads of transmedia work, spanning everything from traditional costume design and choreography to the latest generative projections, draw ever closer. A new generation of artists treats projection in the theater as something elemental, something that demands exploration. Vitruvian, premiering its latest iteration in Berlin Friday as part of our event unrender with LEHRTER SIEBZEHN, has gradually evolved in the ways it interweaves dance with opera, projected visualization and interactive sound with dance theater. An “interactive opera” in one act, it unapologetically adds digital …

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A Tangled Sculpture of Lightbulbs, Stage to Elaborate Synchronized AV Performance

In a tree-like cluster of wooden branches, 60 electronically-fired lightbulbs glow in tightly-choreographed pulses along with music. The light sculpture becomes the setting for a kind of AV dance theater, forming an otherworldly environment for narrative movement. “A Man Named Zero” is the work of Nocte and a team in the UK of performers, pairing DJ with lightbulb accompaniment. Nocte realized the project in the creative coding tool Cinder (C++), which provides both the lightbulb control and slick-looking wireframe visual interface. Interestingly, the audio analysis isn’t just a straight FFT. Instead, using the open LibXtract library, the software “extracts” audio …

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Cops on Fire: Crazy Russian Hip-hop-opera Theater, Played Live on Novation Launchpad

Imagine combining sampling, controllerism, opera, hip-hop, rap, cops, live theater, sound effects, school-play cardboard props, and radio plays, and then doing it all in Russian, and you’re getting in the ballpark of what “Cops on Fire” was like. As described in English for the 2010 Moscow trailer (translated by uploader Sasha Pas): The “Cops On Fire” show is a fusion of theater, culture and contemporary urban music. The genre of the show is “hip-hopera” (hip-hop + opera). Hip-hopera = live hip-hop arias + original decorations + stage tricks and choreography by professional artists. Got it? These guys are dedicated to …

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Rendered Toy Theater: ‘Brave New World’ Short, Set in Rotating Box

Brave New Old from Adam Wells on Vimeo. In electronic animation, there really are no limits to space or object. The challenge can become, then, grounding motion in the physical. Adam Wells sends CDM his short “Brave New World,” which has been making the festival circuit. It takes a novel approach, setting the action in minimalist, toy-like objects, and setting the entire stage for the work as a rotating box. For the artist, the work has been an experiment in storytelling, he says. It recalls for me physical toy theater, the puppet-based tradition of setting theatrical storytelling in miniature, self-contained …

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Rendered Toy Theater: 'Brave New World' Short, Set in Rotating Box

Brave New Old from Adam Wells on Vimeo. In electronic animation, there really are no limits to space or object. The challenge can become, then, grounding motion in the physical. Adam Wells sends CDM his short “Brave New World,” which has been making the festival circuit. It takes a novel approach, setting the action in minimalist, toy-like objects, and setting the entire stage for the work as a rotating box. For the artist, the work has been an experiment in storytelling, he says. It recalls for me physical toy theater, the puppet-based tradition of setting theatrical storytelling in miniature, self-contained …

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Stories Come to Life, as the Human Element Meets Projection Mapping

Projection mapping live performance art – The Alchemy of Light by a dandypunk from a dandypunk on Vimeo. “The Alchemy of Light” makes projection mapping more than a sculptural, light-painting illusion. It allows the digital motion image to interact with the performer. And the human performer is a big part of what makes this work. The project comes from performance artist by the name of “a dandypunk” (Joel Sebastian), and the Cirque du Soleil-veteran performer makes his movement as dazzling as the projected imagery. The work is in turns fanciful and poignant, and the dance of imagery and the dance …

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A Ballet of Quadrotors: Helicopter Spectacular from Saatchi & Saatchi [Vicon, OpenFrameworks]

So, we can point lights at different stuff and map projections to surfaces and do all that good stuff. You know what’s even more fun? Flying the lights around on helicopters. In a dazzling visual display of abstract spectacle, Quadrotors – in this case, small, mobile four-rotor helicopters – buzz about like a precision ballet team of UFOs. Apparently none other than friend-of-the-site Memo Akten was involved, among others (full credit to the whole team after the jump). And there’s quite a bit of technology required to make these helicopters semi-autonomous, including some creative coding in OpenFrameworks and a high-accuracy …

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A Ballet of Quadrotors: Helicopter Spectacular from Saatchi & Saatchi [Vicon, OpenFrameworks]

So, we can point lights at different stuff and map projections to surfaces and do all that good stuff. You know what’s even more fun? Flying the lights around on helicopters. In a dazzling visual display of abstract spectacle, Quadrotors – in this case, small, mobile four-rotor helicopters – buzz about like a precision ballet team of UFOs. Apparently none other than friend-of-the-site Memo Akten was involved, among others (full credit to the whole team after the jump). And there’s quite a bit of technology required to make these helicopters semi-autonomous, including some creative coding in OpenFrameworks and a high-accuracy …

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Immersion, Illusion, Fantasy: Spectacular Projections for Dragon Training, Live

How to Train Your Dragon – Live Projections from Matt Lock on Vimeo. The thread is not-so-subtly woven into what we cover on this site: 3D projection has ushered in a new age of illusion and spectacle. With brighter, higher-definition imagery and perfectly-aligned three-dimensional forced-perspective, the results can be immersive fantasy. After years of low-fidelity mash-ups and cold abstraction, it may be that some artists gravitate to this new zeitgeist for a welcome change of pace. But whether their work is expressive in abstraction or in representation, there’s something to what’s happening in projection. And it can fill lovers of …

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If Movies Didn’t Play Forward: Toni Dove, R. Luke Dubois Make Gestural Live Cinema

What if film, rather than being projected from start to finish and proceeding in a straight line, could be reconstructed and performed? Every live visual performance involving video has more or less asked that question. But not every performance tries to convey a narrative in the process. Toni Dove’s Spectropia, coming this weekend to the storied Mixology Festival at New York City’s Roulette, does just that, interweaving a sci-fi storyline across imagined future and past through gesture-controlled, computer-vision activated remix. Just one friendly piece of advice: if you start thinking and feeling the way these main characters do, maybe it …

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