[rec.arts.int-fiction] Looking for interactive performers

craig@gpu.utcs.utoronto.ca (Craig Hubley) (05/25/89)

I am investigating the feasibility of an interactive performance venue
for a major academic computing conference in spring 1990, CHI'90 in Seattle,
April 1-5 1990.

If you know of any user interface/user 'teams' that,
taken together, have sufficient stage prescence to be
considered a performance in some sense, I'd like to hear about it.

Note that I am casting this net as widely as possible.  I want to present
pieces that represent the most theatrical achievements in human-computer
interaction, whether they arise in research, practice, or the arts directly.

For example (from least to most weird)

	Interactive accompaniment systems
		taking user personal sound or musical instrument input
		and accompanying it with computer-generated sound
		to produce a 'duet'.  This need not be musical in nature.
		If someone wants to play a smellophone, that's ok too.

	Visual effects systems
		overlaying or processing the user's form or part of form
		to achieve either an aesthetic effect, practical capability,
		or both.  Myron Kreguer's Videoplace is a good example.

	Artificial realities
		Augmenting the user's senses and responding to actions
		so as to create a fullblown 'environment' around the user.
		In performance terms, the user should be seen to be 
		'conducting' his or her environment, acting as an agent
		in it, or something else that the audience can comprehend.
		Applications of dataglove/eyephone combinations would be
		very welcome, but less technically difficult things are
		often just as meaningful - an audio-only environment,
		for instance, similar to interactive accompaniment but
		in this case taking action in one mode (say, motion)
		and converting it to a result in another (say, music)
		- not a duet so much as a transformation.
		Interactive fiction is also an 'artificial reality' but
		one that might be difficult to present in a stage setting.
		There will also be a forum for more involved interactions
		that may take place with individuals, over an extended time.

	Group interactions
		Coordinated systems (theatre or dance come to mind) where
		the computer is augmenting not just one but a group of 
		performers/users, creating a 'space' around them to work with.
		Most of these I know of are strictly audio, in graphics terms
		these are probably the most ambitious.  If anyone has several
		sets of VPL equipment and have been writing virtual environments
		with an eye to integrating them, a 'reality jam' might be in
		order:  If people want to wear datasuits, map their joints to
		those of dinosaurs, and combat each other while an audience
		views the gory action and cheers, I'm interested.  If you have
		a stack of virtual musical instruments on the shelf and nowhere
		for your virtual band to play, talk to me.  This is an academic
		forum, and we're not afraid to set up Silicon Graphics boxes.
		Are we, Dave ?

	Systems in everyday practical use
		Systems originally designed with functionality only
		in mind can often yield quite rewarding performances.
		I once saw a demonstration of pie menus conducted with
		such vigor, enthusiasm, and intensity (including several
		perfect blindfolded selections from pie menus three layers deep!)
		that it qualified as not just performance, but what I
		would call a virtuoso act.  Highly customized and individual
		whose function is obvious but perhaps cannot be learned by
		others at all, shall have their place in the sun.  If you 
		know anyone who regularly attracts others just to watch
		them work, please refer them to me.  Those who 'give good
		demo' are equally welcome.

	(More stuff I haven't thought of)

Please bear in mind that I am looking for real interactivity, not a rigged
sequence that the on-stage/in-sight user has no influence over.  Your
audience will be professionals, and they *can* tell the difference.

I am particularly interested in hearing from artists who have designed
their own systems and are doing something offbeat that the research
community may have missed. 

Oh, and if you want to work on setting this up, let me know that too.
We'll probably need everything from a stage manager to sysadmins.

Contact me,

Craig Hubley
Special Events Chair, CHI 90
ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Seattle, WA, April 1-5 1990.

PS. There will also be more traditional demos and an Exploratorium -
    I see the Exploratorium exhibits as overlapping strongly with the
    systems used in performance, though it might not happen that way.
    Certainly we are doubly interested in systems that can be performed
    by a virtuoso one night, and left available (under supervision) for
    people to experiment with on their own time.

	Craig Hubley			-------------------------------------
	craig@gpu.utcs.toronto.edu	"Lead, follow, or get out of the way"
	mnetor!utgpu!craig@uunet.UU.NET -------------------------------------

jdm@gryphon.COM (John Mesiavech) (05/28/89)

You should crosspost this message to all the computer main groups..
comp.sys.amiga, comp.sys.mac, comp.sys.ibm.pc,comp.sys.atari.st,etc...


0-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-> All disclaimers apply; I didn't write this <-=-=-=-=-=-0
|                   ----------------------|-------------------             |
| "I want a New Duck                      |  John Mesiavech                |
|  One that won't try to bite             |  net.soldier.of.fortune        |
|  One that won't chew a hole in my socks | {backbone}!gryphon!jdm         |
|  One that won't Quack all night"        |    Go Purdue! (by req)         |
|  Weird Al Yankovic, "I Want a New Duck" |                                |