SCHLAMP BY FRIEDER WEISS & EMILY FERNANDEZ

9 04 2009

“Temptation, violation, abandonment.”

SCHLAMP is an interactive video installation. Lying on the ground is a young woman in a red dress, unknowing what awaits her. Reassured by her seductive calls we come closer, maybe unexpectedly touching her or even stepping on her. She reacts immediately, complains loudly. “Please, don’t step on me!“ Although only a projected video image she seems to feel pain. “Ouch, i’m sensitive” she shouts. But as we are above her and she can’t really fight back we are provoked to continue. Somehow it’s even enjoyable to inflict pain on her. She moves away from her place, always coming back after a little while with short choreographed sections. Smoothly moving back to her position on the floor. At a certain point the situation completely switching. She doesn’t allow us to invade her personal space anymore, fleeing and hiding from us.

Interaction: We understand interaction to be a communication process. Therefore interactive installations should have a comprehensible response. Like in human communication, we want to establish an understandable language of interaction. But like in a good conversation, there have to be surprising new aspects we get to know. The “Schlamp” installation fulfils those two rules in very direct ways. Encounter with the virtual figure causes known human reactions. Something is still strange though, we just see a projected video image. The floor projection perspective is an essential aspect of the installation. The attractive, but also slightly ‘cheap’ looking woman is unprotected against the viewers. She can’t stand up. That makes it easy to provoke her. The installation actually has three parts. In the beginning the woman tries to tempt us towards her, she is looking for encounter. This part works with animated still images, not video and therefore is a little more abstract. In the second part the woman is lying on her back, responding very sensitive when we touch her or step on her. The last part is about her attempt to flee. It’s abstract by the way she moves, she is actually dancing away from us. The audience response is fascinating. Sometimes the encounter is very friendly and human. One the other hand the virtuality of the situation allows radical and almost violent behaviour.

Technical realisation: The interactive Installation works with the EyeCon camera motion sensing system. Video projector and infrared camera are mounted above the installation space. The interactive system detects the collisions of a person with the projected image. In case of a collision the video branches to a new scene. Sounds are triggered. The choice of the new video scene is determined algorithmically by motion sensing parameters.

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Emily Fernandez and Frieder Weiss are ‚Hypecycle’, the Agency for Intermedia Dance.

Frieder Weiss is Expert for realtime computing and interactive systems in performance. He develops software for video interactive dance and performance works. Art and performance projects with several production partners like Phase-7 in Berlin, Leine und Roebana in Amsterdam. Cesc Gelabert in Munich, Chunky Move in Melbourne. http://www.frieder-weiss.de

Emily Fernandez is born in Melbourne, Australia, where she also studied dance. Solo dancer at the ‘Mecklenburgischem Staatstheater’ in Schwerin. Now developing own choreographic works and media installations which were exhibited at Cynetart, Dresden, Blaue Nacht in Nürnberg and the Monaco Dance Festival.