2005 Claudia Robles-Angel/VG Bild und Kunst Photo by Florian Grond
© Premiere at KUBUS ZKM Center Karlsruhe. ; 2005 Claudia Robles-Angel/VG Bild und Kunst Photo by Florian Grond

Claudia Robles-Angel

Seed/Tree ,
Co-workers & Funding
Interactive Performace/Installation for EMG interface, video and quadraphonic sound. Produced by Institute for Music and Acoutics, ZKM Center
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SEED /TREE (2005) Installation/Butoh Performance/Live Electronics

This project was created during an “artist in residence” program at the ZKM (Centre for Media Art in Karlsruhe, Germany).

Feelings, associations, mental images and spontaneous impulses are the starting point for the creation of stories and choreography. In Seed/Tree the dancers produce and transform the sound and the audience transform the video projections. The results are instantaneous creations, expressions of the moment, with image, movement and music forming living signs in space.

There are three Butoh dancers in the space performing the process of a seed growing to become a tree. Each performer moves in his/her own way representing the same subject asynchronically. In the performance, the inner impulse of every dancer emerges on the stage; the dancers have each their own movements, which are the product of their own imagination. The installation runs for three hours. The dancers develop the main subject in twenty minutes, then they lie for ten minutes on the floor and afterwards they repeat the process from the beginning. During this time, the performers have the necessary time to experience their own imaginary world combined with the outer space created by the sound and video projection. There is a continuous feedback between the dancers and the media; the translation of emotional physiological parameters to sound and video, however, gives feedback not only to the dancers but also to the spectators.

There are two types of interactivity in this performance. The first one is the interaction between dance and sound: the performers have microphones and EMG electrodes attached to their bodies. The breathing and the heartbeat of two of the performers produce sounds that are continuously modified by the muscular tension of a third dancer. The second type of interactivity is that between the installation space and the visitors. During the performance, visitors can walk freely around the virtual forest. There is a video observing the installation space and human presence influences the video projections; these interactions create subtle differences of the video on the panels. The installation space itself becomes aware of the visitors and reacts according to their movements. In this way the visitor is invited to be part of the environment.

The interface used in this installation has three pairs of electrodes, which are attached to three different muscles. This interface measures the muscle tension, while the program sends the values as a continuous OSC packet that is received through an OSC-route object in the MAX program; then, each value is used to trigger different sound effects in MAX/MSP.

Excerpt from: Robles, C. 2011. Creating Interactive Multimedia Works with Bio-data. NIME 2011 Proceeding Books ISSN: 2220 – 4792 / 2220 – 4806 /2220 -4814.
  • aesthetics
    • acoustic
    • affective
    • immersive
    • interactive
    • real-time
  • genres
    • installations
      • performative installations
    • performance art
      • multimedia performances
    • sound art
      • sound installations
  • subjects
    • Art and Science
      • neuroscience
      • psychology
    • Arts and Visual Culture
      • dance
      • expanded cinema
      • projections
    • Body and Psychology
      • affect
      • bodies (animal components)
      • breathing
      • emotion
      • feelings
      • humans
      • self awareness
  • technology
    • hardware
      • cameras
      • MAC
      • video (analog)
    • interfaces
      • body sensors
        • body tracking
        • breathing sensors
      • camera recordings
    • software
      • software interfaces
      • video (digital)
Technology & Material
EMG (Electromyogram) interface
2 computers
2 mics
1 video projector
EMG software
quadrophonic sound (4.1 audio channels)