Ars Electronica 1994
Festival-Program 1994
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Festival 1979-2007


Electro Clips

'Stephen Galloway Stephen Galloway / 'Christian Möller Christian Möller

Description of the environment
"Electro Clips" is an installation for ballet enabling the dancers to interact with light and sound directly.

The visual and acoustic symbols which ballet normally uses as givens are produced and influenced in "Electro Clips" by the dancer Stephen Galloway, his movements and choreography.

A parallel environment of sound, light and movement will be produced. The dancer assumes the role of a director in that he can use the changing functions of the sensors distributed about the stage area like a keyboard in manipulating the sound and light.
Photoresistors set into the stage floor put out a variable resistance value depending on the actual amount of light shining on the respective part of the stage. Measurements are made of the resulting, variable compositions of light and shadow created by the dancer's movements when he enters the cone of light, which are visible to the audience. The respective amount of light remaining is transferred to the computer system in the form of electrical voltage, digitalized and then transmitted to the audio system as MIDI information.
"Electro Clips" utilizes various types of light sources for manipulating the sound. They can be classified in two groups:
  • Passive lighting (fixed and mobile) from spotlights which can be focused. The rays of these spotlights are unfiltered.
    With this lighting, light produces stillness, and darkness produces sound.

  • Active lighting from flames and projected images. The brightness produced by these sources is variable.
    With this lighting, light produces sound, and darkness produces stillness.
When lighting a scene with passive sources of light, the dancer's movements alone produce the environment's audio reactions. If the scene is lit actively, the dancer manipulates an acoustic background, which is already reacting. The acoustic background, which reacts abruptly and violently to the bright flare of a match, becomes calmer as the match burns down, and then silent when it burns out. The projectors' "filters" (images) – exchangeable in the case of the slide projector, though static and mobile with the video projector – modulate differentiated audio compositions by means of their distribution of light and shade on the sensor fields.
The 24-channels of a Quadra 650 (3 Sample Cell IIs) are assigned various sounds and are administered by a MIDI control unit. They are played back in relation to the specific location on the stage and the amount of light measured, and at different volumes.

The composition, adjusted to the voltage during the production, is a constant maximum orchestration. The sound tracks are assigned individual sounds, text clusters, rhythms and melodies.

The sound effects during the performance will be generated by the actions of the dancers and the variable light sources with regard to the system's sensors. This will be a selection made interactively from the running maximum orchestration.

Six independent loudspeaker systems will transmit the selected total sound tracks into the room in three-dimensions.

Music: Peter Kuhlmann (Germany)
Light: Louis Philippe Demers (Canada)
Programming: Louis Philippe Demers (Canada), Daniel Schmitt (Germany), Sven ThÖne (Germany)
Production: Theater Am Turm, Frankfurt/ Ars EIectronica, Linz

With the welcome support of the Forum für Informationstechnik GmbH, Paderborn