Beyond Dance Dance Revolution
Throughout the last decade, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) swept the globe, heralding a new craze for dance & gaming experiences. But as with many dance games, the harder it gets (as players advance through levels), the less movement is used (as players conserve stamina to score points). Can we bring the dance back into dance games? Can we hijack this genre to deliver game experiences that encourage users to ‘freestyle’? Can we use new robotic technologies, sound engineering, rigorous quantum mechanics & motion capture to do it?
This panel will focus on two new projects: quantum mechanics based ‘Danceroom Spectroscopy’ & the motion sensor based ‘Guerilla Dance Project’. Using art, science & game mechanics, these projects encourage collective action & harness our fascination with social play. And unlike DDR, the more artistically users interact, the more rewarding the results, regardless of age or fitness levels. Watch older people outplay teenagers. It’s a totally different experience of dance & game play. The panel will discuss the development process, the hurdles (including how to make artists understand quantum mechanics), the vision of these projects, & what they reveal in terms of gestural experience & game design.
Chaired by Choreographer Laura Kriefman the panel will explore the practices of David Glowacki, chemical physicist; Joseph Hyde, composer; Matthew Bickerton, Digital technologist; & Victoria Tillotson, Producer at Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol.
David Glowacki, originally from Milwaukee, is a 30-year old theoretical scientist based in the UK. His research straddles the boundary where theoretical physics meets chemistry – where the delocalized quantum world meets the multidimensional classical world. Research on this quantum-classical frontier sheds light on a range of microscopic physical phenomena relevant to the atmosphere, nanomaterials, biophysics, synthetic chemistry, and astrophysics.
Glowacki has published a number of peer-review papers that span a range of subjects, including scientific instrument development, optics, spectroscopy, computer programming, environmental science, classical and quantum dynamics, biochemistry, religion, power politics, and cultural theory. Over the last 3 years, he has given over 20 contributed and invited talks in both academic and non-academic settings.
In addition to his scientific credentials, Glowacki is an author, philosopher, and inventor with a number of cross-disciplinary and creative pursuits. He received an MA in cultural theory as a Fulbright finalist in the UK. His recently finished novel, "The Fist of a Bum Called god," has been described as “Vonnegut meets Borges meets Bukowski meets Foucault”. He is also a part-time resident at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol. Motivated by his desire to convey to others the beauty and subtlety of the microscopic world, he has developed a fusion of quantum mechanics with 3d imaging and modern dance as part of an EPSRC funded grant for the ‘Danceroom Spectroscopy” project (aka dS).
In collaboration with modern dancers, a musicians, and artists, dS made a fantastically successful debut at the Bristol Arnolfini, which is the UK’s largest modern art museum outside of London.
Joseph Hyde’s background is as a musician and composer, working in various areas but in the late 90s - and a period working with BEAST in Birmingham (UK) - settling on electronic music, with or without live instruments.
Since then, his work has diversified: while music and sound remain at the core of his practice, collaboration has become a key concern, particularly in the field of dance. Here he works both as a composer and in a broader capacity working with video, interactive systems and telepresence. His solo work has also broadened in scope to incorporate these elements: He has made a series of audiovisual ‘visual music’ works, and is currently engaged in a long term study of (early abstract cinema artist) Oscar Fischinger’s creative process, supported by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council. His interest in movement and interactive systems has led him to an intensive exploration of the revolutionary Microsoft Kinect sensor, through several collaborative arts projects and theoretical writings.
Hyde also works as a lecturer/academic, as Professor or Music at Bath Spa University in the UK – as well as teaching on the BA Creative Music Technology, he runs the MMus in Creative Sound and Media Technology and supervises a number of PhD students. Since 2009 he has run a symposium on Visual Music at the university, Seeing Sound.
Laura Kriefman is 2011-2012 Fellow of the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme. She is the Choreographer of the Guerilla Dance Project, a resident company at the Pervasive Media Studio and a guest lecturer at Birkbeck University in Creative Producing.
Kriefman trained at GSA Conservatoire, winning the Tim Combe Bursary. Her company The Guerilla Dance Project have performed at the V&A, National Theatre and Latitude Festival and the NuWrite Festival in Zagreb “seamless connection between the live performance and the external city” Graham Watts, Ballet.co.uk “Kriefman is most inventive in her dances for confined spaces, scrums and crowds.” Zoe Anderson, The Independent.
She has choreographed the world premiere of The Good Soldier (Theatre Royal Bath, 4 stars Mail on Sunday & the Guardian) “Kriefman economically evokes the minuet of hypocrisy and repression, into which the two couples are locked.” Sam Marlowe, The Times.
Other choreographic credits include Oh What a Lovely War (Royal Academy of Music), The Voice of Tomorrow (Bloomsbury Theatre), The Cherry Orchard (4 stars The Times, Time Out Critics Choice).
Directing credits include The End of What? Starring Lindsey Duncan, the national tour of Slavery by Jonathan Payne: (UK premiere, Tara Arts) site-specific shows for the National Trust, and Ghetto by Joshua Sobol.
Previous roles include the Creative Producer at the Tristan Bates Theatre. Her work there included the critically acclaimed transferred of Krapp, 39 from New York, concept and delivery of the Midnight Matinees, and producing and curating the highly successful UK transfer of the Museum of Broken Relationships (Time Out Critic’s Choice, 4 stars The Evening Standard, No1 Thing to do in London, (3 weeks running) The Telegraph. Full page spreads in Grazia, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Times).
Matthew has an extensive background in electronic engineering, computer science, cognitive psychology, social science, web design, open source software, psychotherapy and business. This background enables him to see the potential of deep collaboration between composers, musicians, dancers, software developers and the audience. The mixing of the boundaries between these traditions provide the ingredients for truly new forms of creativity. To be successful this requires a sensitivity to the skills and methods of the collaborators. thoughtfully constructed technology will only be useful if it is usable and helps create common language.
Matthew Bickerton received his B.Sc. In Engineering from Warwick University and started his career in Automotive research with Lucas Engineering. His interest in human computer interface prompted him to obtain an M.Sc in the subject again from Warwick. Despite his dyslexia, he published many papers and a book whilst being a lecturer and researcher in Computing at Oxford University. Much preferring industry, he returned to manage a large software development team of a large software house. Then in 1995, he set up a digital marketing company with his wife. They wrote two leading authoritative books on Internet marketing and e-commerce strategy (Cybermarketing 1993-2000, Cyberstrategy 1998 Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford.). They sold the company in 2000, having successfully executed a 5 year business plan. The sale allowed Matthew to comfortably retire at 37 years old.
He now dedicates his time to Open Source communities and voluntary consultancy for non-profit organisations. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the CASS Business School, City University, London.
Victoria Tillotson is a Producer at iShed, a part of Watershed in Bristol (UK), where she delivers programmes such as Media Sandbox and artist residency opportunities. She has a background in visual art and a passion for games, technology and culture. Victoria is based at Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed’s city-centre research space that brings together artists, technologists and academics to explore the future of mobile and wireless media.