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July 12, 2006




Sea Unsea takes place on an interactive stage informed by a camera interface. On an empty floor and beneath a slanted cloud canopy, four performers begin by simply walking. As they cross the floor, their movements affect a sonorous field of sound while tides of virtual sea meadows are projected onto the canopy above. Capturing the fleeting forms of this virtual sea, the performers play and explore, attracting, repulsing and entwining their bodies and voices within the evolving patterns of a swirling hynotic synthetic sea. Testing the physical and emotional thresholds that separate them from the rootless sea meadow the work develops through repetitive tides of action. Across time the sea gradually evolves as a growing ecology embedding the presence of the performers as mnemonic traces within a dense field.

Sea Unsea is an interactive dans-architecture conceived by between architect Mette Ramsgard Thomsen and choreographer Carol Brown and developed in collaboration with Chiron Mottram and Alan Penn from the Virtual Reality Centre for the Built Environment, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.

Sea Unsea builds on Carol Brown and Mette Ramsgard Thomsen's former collaborations, The Changing Room and Spawn.


Research Questions: Sea Unsea explores new intersections between embodied interface design and an intelligent digital environment. By adapting the Virtual Reality Centre's crowd visualisation software, we are investigating the making of a digital ecology of virtual agents acting and reacting on the presence of the performer. The agents can be understood as a swarm of digital beings that interact with each other as well as react to changes in their environment. Defined by low-level rules that lead to the emergence of a high-level patterning, the agents inhabit the two dimensional surface of the camera picture plane. As they seek to navigate the plane, drawn by defined points of attraction, and hindered by shades of darkness, they encounter the performers, negotiating their presence, confronting, traversing, intersecting or evading their image.

Posted by jo at July 12, 2006 07:09 PM