Collaborative new-media performance project
CMTV, Spokane WA
Real-time visualization using smartphones and tv & radio receiver, computer vision, Google Streetview, GPS

Directing, Staging, System, Interaction Design by Sangjun Yoo
with Partners Through Art Adaptations company
Choreographer: Karla Parbon
Dancers:Karla Parbon, Brooke Grissom, Melanie S Williams

Music from: Rhys Chatham, James Arthur, Ann Imhof

nevertheless (2017) is a collaborative project that I produced with the intention of realizing sympathy and communication with the audience. This collaborative work combines modern choreography and improvisational performance using real-time digital interfaces, including smartphones and a projection screen, for real- time data visualization. This 40-minutes-long piece has six sequences, three of those directly involving the smartphone as a performative instrument, and the rest to signify the common characteristics of the screen-user: preoccupied with their smartphone, quietly staring, scrolling the surface. Through this collaborative work, I intended to express the common characteristics of a young generation surrounded by digital screens and to recreate the existential crisis of that generation through the smartphones lens.

In this work, dancers interact with their smartphones and broadcast the audiovisual data in real time, in the forms of selfie and voice. These are collected via a face recognition algorithm and processed and visualized on the projection screen. The mundane use of smartphones on stage finds the point of agreement where the audiences sympathize with the dancer’s sensorial experience and response. The dancers also use their smartphones as microphones in turns to transmit their voices, which are modulated and amplified through the digital interface. The dancers’ voices are overlaid and played repeatedly until the end of the act, while the dancers repeatedly perform gesture-based movements, like the ones from the rite of passage, in sync with their looped voices. At the same time, a fourth synthesized voice emerges, which results from the modulation of the three human voices. The combination of all components contributes to the act being perceived in polyvocality. Here, selfies and voices, delivered in real time through the medium of the smartphone, find a new mode of affirmation from the audience as it mimics their mundane activities.

Special thanks to Laboratory Residency in Spokane WA, CMTV for the generous use of their space and Spokane Arts for funding support.

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