iFloat, iFall, iFly, 2013

An Aquabatics workshop for Ballet Lab & Exertion Games Lab members.

On intersections and interactions between the body, technology and performance.

Phillip Adams' BalletLab corp have an advanced level of bodily awareness, base fitness, and interpretive and choreography skill which can provide a new calibre of interactive data for our research at the Exertion Games Lab. Professional dancers tend to have much higher levels of coordination and neuromuscular control than the general public. Dancers are attracted to multi-disciplinary collaborations with artists because of a combination of the desire for a new kind of physical exertion or technical interaction, and an attraction to the art of dance and new stimuli or context for this. The easiest way to provide a safe and enjoyable collaborative space is to make the interactive systems scalable - have a simple version that can be developed. Designers provide the tools and inspiration, and the dancers explore their own athletic and artistic abilities through ritual, play, improvisation and modes of dance to explore bodily play and exertion games. Let's call this as "play date". - Sarah Jane Pell

Phillip Adams' BalletLab dancers Luke George, Rennie McDougall and Matthew Day wear the XSens motion Capture Suits at the Exertion Games Lab system in the RMIT Design Hub, and compare their performance underwater at the Melbourne City Baths in an Aquabatics workshop led by Dr. Sarah Jane Pell in 2013.

Experiments at the Melbourne City Baths AU

Body Resistence (Immersion and bouyancy)

Sarah Jane Pell experimented with the limited range of Xsens Full Body Motion Capture (Wireless) Suits at the Exertion Games Lab to assess the choreographic potentials explored at the junction between aquabatics, play and altered-gravity discovery. The system was unable however to track the bodies of dancers falling, floating and feeling their bodies in spaces. The performances by Phillip Adams and BalletLab dancers Luke George, Rennie McDougall and Matthew Day provided valuable insight and data for our research on intersections between the body, technology and performance across a range of system configurations. This included bodily play with the fleet of interactive robotic fish from the gravity well project, and translations of choreography from the dance floor to the hydrotherapy pool floor.

1 BalletLab Aquabatics Workshop 2013 Photo Sarah Jane Pell 2 BalletLab Aquabatics Workshop 2013 Photo Sarah Jane Pell 3 BalletLab Aquabatics Workshop 2013 Photo Sarah Jane Pell

RMIT Design Hub AU

Experiment III Body Distortion (Inflatable costuming)

Tom Penney is an artist/performer currently exploring caricature in the form of real-time body distortion. Tom has been playing with the X-Sens motion capture body suit, inflatable costumes and the Unity 3D game engine. Using photo-scanning software, Tom proposes to take photos of of the dancers in an inflatable costume that will be transformed into a 3D character mesh. Then, with a dancer in the motion capture suit, animation will be recorded that can then be used to animate the 3D character. Tom would like the dancers to consider movement that expresses ‘a caricature of themselves’ by exaggerating their regular walk, or idiosyncratic movements and behaviours. The 3D characters and animations can be morphed, distorted and exaggerated further behind the scenes, potentially based on personal data or other inputs. www.tompenney.com

Experiment 1 Tom Penney, Exertion Games Lab 2013 Body Distortion (Inflatable costuming).

Experiment II Body Representation (3D Printing dancer heart-rates)

Rohit Ashok Khot is exploring the data generated by physical exertion activities as the basis for 3D printing forms. His recent work 'Sweat Atoms' used a jogger's heart-rate and fitness-tracking software to create the shape of their run, their exertion levels and fitness outputs in ornamental forms - from wearable jewellery forms, literal heart-rate shapes, and other souvenirs. He is interested in the dancers wearing heart-monitors as they perform together to explore heart-rate synchrony, and mapping the interweaving of choreographed exertion through dance. He is also curious to see if music could assist/direct/effect the dancers heart rate. http://bit.ly/15qeoEd

Experiment 2 Rohit Ashok Khot, Exertion Games Lab 2013 Body Representation (3D Printing dancer heart-rates)

Experiment I Body Monitoring (Fit Bit dance tracking)

Robert Cercós is a Chilean industrial engineer with some dance experience. Previously he created music for TV series and produced, arranged and played electric guitar for Chilean pop/rock/romantic music artists. He is currently focused on increasing the physical activity of a group of people by using digital games and wearable computing devices like pedometers. He is keen to exploit the FitBit parameters and simply wishes for a chance to explore all kinds of walking.

Experiment 3 Robert Cercós, Exertion Games Lab 2013 Body Monitoring (Fit Bit dance tracking).

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Phillip Adams and BalletLab dancers Luke George, Rennie McDougall and Matthew Day. Exertion Games Lab members Tom Penney, Rohit Ashok Khot and Robert Cercós. Melbourne Media Lab Pierre Proske and Nadine Amaha. RMIT Media & Communications Team: Windsor Fick, Pablo Vasconcelos Becerra and David Beesley.

Filmed on locations at the RMIT Design Hub and Melbourne City Baths 2013.

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