REMOTE – Aug 3-5, 10-12 (SF)


My friend Ed from ITP and his wife are putting on a multimedia performance called REMOTE. Ed’s a genius and no doubt the performance is awesome. I hope to go on Aug 5 but I’m cramming on getting a piece ready for the cAtClySMic MegASHear rANCH Open Studios on Sunday and Thursday. REMOTE is also playing in NYC on Aug 18 and 19, at the Three Legged Dog art space that I have yet to check out.

“The further you are, the closer I feel to you… please, stay away” – Remote

In a time where traditional intelligence networks seem to have failed, and where “faith-based” decisions challenge scientific “objectivity”, this new multimedia theatre project by award winners Kraft + Purver examines the hilarious, poignant and disturbing ways we try to connect while maintaining a safe distance.

Remote investigates this theme through several narrative threads: the history of bizarre experiments in psychic spying performed by the CIA and U.S. military, the impact of technology on the nature of intimacy, and the dilemma of isolation vs entanglement in the American psyche. The performers navigate an immersive environment of live, interactive video manipulation, 3D landscapes and digital technology, blurring the lines between reality and perception and illuminating how distance allows us the grace of perspective and the capacity for violence.

From the creators of “Woods for the Trees”…
Kraft + Purver and CounterPULSE present
AUG 3, 4, 5 & 10, 11, 12th @ 8:00 pm
@ CounterPULSE 1310 Mission St (@ 9th St), SF
Tix $12-15 first weekend, $15-20 second weekend
Reservations: (415) 435-7552

There is limited seating so make reservations now!

Also, the HERE American Living Room Festival presents the east coast premiere
Aug 18 & 19 @ 8:30pm
@ Three Legged Dog Arts & Technology Center, 80 Greenwich St, NYC
Buy tix:

Conceived and created by Kraft + Purver with the performers
performed by Sara Kraft, Ed Purver, Ernie Lafky, Rowena Richie
Directed by Sara Kraft
Visual Design by Kraft + Purver
Video by Ed Purver
Sound & Music by Sheldon Smith
Songs by Sara Kraft
Lighting by Frieda Kipar
Costumes by Jenny McAllister
Stage Managed by Joy Newhart
Production Interns: Blake McConnell & Jackie Bendzinski

“Transporting, shrewdly evocative, and often very funny, their creative process suggests two precocious, deeply mischievous children with advanced degrees and the keys to the laboratory” – San Francisco Bay Guardian

New Job!

Cause and Effect by Scott Snibbe

Well, not so new anymore actually (been here for three weeks). This summer I’m working at Sona Research, the studio of interactive media artist Scott Snibbe. Not sure how much I can reveal at this point but I’m working on at least one installation that will have a very public launch.

The company has a fantastic philosophy and working atmosphere. I really love Scott’s work, and now I’m a part of it! The studio is in a converted warehouse building in Bayview, San Francisco and is chock full of artists and creative types. Camille Utterback is just down the way and it’s pretty common for people to come by the studio and say hi.

The pic above is Cause and Effect by Scott Snibbe.

Scott Draves – Dreams in HiFi

Dreams in High FidelityDreams in High FidelityDreams in High Fidelity

My friend Spot was in NYC last week promoting his new projects Dreams in High Fidelity and Moments in Genetic Time. He gave a talk at ITP that was very well received (and Dreams on a high-def projector is gorgeous). These new projects are marker points of his work with generative systems that has been going on for more than 10 years.

For Dreams and Moments Scott has curated the “best” of the Electric Sheep and rendered them at a much higher resolution. Each “sheep” is the seed for a fractal frame algorithm, and the sheep are evolved using a combination of genetic algorithms, direct human creation, and human voting. The sheep in these new projects represent the culmination of years of human labour and collaboration, and at hundreds of millions of hours of computation.

ITP-Dance NYU Kimmel Center Performance


(Sorry for not writing about this before it happened… too busy making it happen!)

The ITP-Dance performance at the NYU Tisch Graduate Student Organization Spring Festival was a success! Last few days have been even more hectic than usual, so only writing about it now.

Our theme is the city and this piece explores the idea of crowds, compression/decompression and repetition. The inspiration comes from the New York subway experience. The setting (Kimmel Center) was great, with a massive projection screen behind the dancers.

Here is our rough cut video (9MB .mov).

One issue I’ve been struggling with when combining dance and video is where the audience should direct their attention. There is definitely the tendency to switch back and forth between the dancers and video. I find the ending the most satisfying, in part because of the contrast between the stillness on the stage and the frenetic video.

We’re not sure what our next step will be yet. We’re taking a short break then setting our next target!

Live Image Proposal – Push The Button


Push The Button – Simnuke and 60 Years of the Atomic Bomb

On July 16, 1945 the beginning of the Atomic Age was marked by the successful detonation of the first nuclear device at the Trinity test in New Mexico. On July 16, 2005 a group of artists and engineers recreated the look and feel of the Trinity test in an attempt to portray and experience the Trinity test and reclaim the destructive power of nuclear weapons.

The Simnuke Project has three parts: the simulated nuclear event in the Nevada desert, a gallery show exploring 60 years of the Atomic Age, and a tree planting (to be held in New Mexico on July 16, 2006) commemorating the Trinity test.

One of the goals of Simnuke was to give people a simulated personal experience of a nuclear weapon. As part of the documentation team I collected camera footage of the mushroom cloud from multiple angles. Push The Button will recombine this footage in a video installation which will give participants the opportunity to “push the button” and experience the Simnuke Trinity event.

The installation will consist of a podium with a controller (similar to the Simnuke event controller) that serves as the interface into the projected video.


Troika Ranch – 16 [R]evolutions

Just saw Troika Ranch‘s performance of 16 [R]evolutions. Good stuff indeed. I’m kind of a dance newbie, but I definitely appreciated the interplay of dancers, video and music. The story generally traces the arc of the discovery of technology, descent into intellectualism and recovery of some of our primal nature.

There were some moments of fantastic synergy between the dancers and the video, particularly when the projector was used as a light source to illuminate the dancers.

The video tracking is done using Eyes Web processing the input of a DV cam with IR filter. Eyes Web talks to Isadora using Open Sound Control. The tracking was really spot on. At times a line was drawn up the middle of each of the dancers’ backs, and it was perfectly centered. Also there was a ribbon effect where a single dancer’s gestures in terms of hands and legs were mapped to a ribbon created in 3D space. The effects for the most part directly supported the story (apparently there were some other candy-rific effects that weren’t used because they didn’t integrate as well).

Definitely some food for thought as I collaborate with the students from the Tisch Dance department.