me and my shadow
United Kingdom / Production documentation of the première
Telepresence/motion capture portals which were simultaneously active in 4 cities, enabling participants to interact with each other, project their full bodies into a joint virtual world and sculpt 3D shapes.
‘me and my shadow’ is a multi-site installation project combining motion capture and telepresence. It consists of a number of single-user ‘portals’ (which can be anywhere in the world) which use multiple domestic motion capture sensors arranged in a special configuration to capture a full moving 3D model of the user. These 3D ‘shadows’ are projected into a shared virtual space allowing geographically-separated people to meet and interact. This offers a distinctive take on the idea of an avatar – whereas a virtual environment might allow users to construct a representation entirely different to their physical appearance, me and my shadow offers a more corporeal experience where users are physically able to manifest themselves and bodily interact with a virtual space and other (physical/virtual) people. Users can also create lasting sculptures, visual and sonic, with their bodies and movement, encouraging a collaborative digital creativity which blends the cerebral and the physical. The virtual space therefore evolves over time – a landscape which progressively becomes populated with he traces of everyone who has ever entered the space.
‘me and my shadow’ was the 2011/12 commission commissioned by MADE, a co-operation project between lead organiser centre des arts d’Enghien-les-Bains (Paris, France) and partners body>data>space (London, UK), Transcultures (Mons, Belgium) and boDig (Istanbul, Turkey), with the support of the Culture programme of the European Union (2007-2013). UK co-producers are body>data>space and National Theatre in association with Bath Spa University. Supported using public funding by the Arts Council of England.
The project was a response to the commission brief, which was to explore mobility in digital arts projects. The work was developed over a year-long series of residencies hosted by the four partners, and was premièred in June 2012, with portal installations at the National Theatre in London and in Paris, Brussels and Istanbul.
The project onwards can run with anything from two to (potentially) hundreds of portals, which can be placed anywhere from within the same building to on separate continents.
Joseph Hyde with Phill Tew
Joseph Hyde is a composer and media artist. Collaboration is a key element of his work, particularly in contemporary dance, where he works with sound, video, interactive systems and telepresence. His interest in movement and interactive technology led him to an in-depth exploration of the possibilities of the Microsoft Kinect in a performing/interactive context, which he is exploring through creative projects and writing. He is Professor of Creative Sound and Media Technology at Bath Spa University, UK.
Phill Tew. A graduate of the Newport School of Art and Design in fine arts/contemporary media, Phil Tew is a programmer and a new media artist. He applies a wide range of know-how to create works involving generative processes, physical modelling and creativity. His most recent works explore immersive interactive environments, merging dynamic spaces in 3D and soundscape.