Costume Choreography I, Copenhagen 2007
Can you wear a computer? Costume choreography is a research of the relation between one of our oldest technologies; textiles, and of the newest; sensor technology.
To wear a computer might sound like something from a science fiction movie, but is an actual possibility. Computer Technology can be integrated so seamlessly into for instance textile that it is possible to make the textiles interactive to an extend that they can chance character according to changes in the surrounding environment.
By the use of electric leading material, light, heath and sensor based circuits of information it is possible to make costumes or scenography that become central actors in the scenic space.
Oscar Schlemmer, who was the leader of the Bauhaus scene in the Weimar-republic, Germany from 1924 till 1929 focused in his performances on the costume design and made with his ”Das Triadishe Ballett” from 1923 almost a ballet for costumes. With playful elegance Schlemmer explored aspects of the art of theatre that until then only had a supporting role.
It is this tradition we would like to build upon striving to investigate and understand what consequences, possibilities and limitations new technology have for the scenic expression. With the help of ultra thin optical fibres and luminescent wires, thin luminescent surfaces, textile print with the ability to change colour according to temperature connected to digitally controlled input-circuits, we wish to work with costumes and scenography which is able to change using digital and wireless communication.
In conclusion the aim with CC is to merge the embodiment, volatility, choreography and instruction of the theatre with sensor based technology and concrete fabric.
CC is based on the use of Electroluminescent wires and films cut into variable shapes. Those EL materials are either embedded into fabric like organza and felt or merged into a translucid membrane. Each costume has 3 different circuits. Each circuit is made of interconnected films and wires defining 3 patterns: His own ground pattern and those of the two other dancers.
A camera located over of the dancers sends video feeds to a computer running max/msp in which distance between dancers is evaluated trough the use of form detection algorithms. Each dancer gets assigned a value which is the sum of the distance between himself and the two other dancers.
This value is mapped and used as output in two different ways:
1. The value is mapped and send to a mixing board to generate a soundscape which is the result of the 3 dancers motions and interrelation on scene (Three identifiable sound type are connected to each dancer and get mixed together).
2. The value is mapped into patterns made out of EL-light. To control the light intensity in the 9 circuits, we use Bluetooth connecting to receivers embedded into each costume and small batteries.
Design and concept: Hanne-Louise Johannesen and Michel Guglielmi (Diffus Design)
Design Assistent, Fashion Design: Birgit Sørensen
Programming and engineering: Flemming Steffensen
Sound Design: Lars Pellarin
Interaction Design: Steven Gelineck
Choreography: Helle Bach
Project partner: Kanonhallen
Photography: Annie Norddahl - #anninorddahl - www.anninorddahl.dk