Academic journal article Liminalities

Performance Systems: Making vs. Exploiting

Academic journal article Liminalities

Performance Systems: Making vs. Exploiting

Article excerpt

Introductory statement

On the second and final day of the conference Remote Encounters: Connecting Bodies, Collapsing Spaces and Temporal Ubiquity in Networked Performance proceedings closed with a roundtable discussion entitled Performance Systems: Making vs. Exploiting. The purpose of the roundtable was to explore performance systems used by artists and to compare/contrast strategies of making custom technologies vs. exploiting or hacking pre-existing technologies.

The roundtable members were largely gathered from the second half of the conference which placed a thematic emphasis on systems in networked performance art. Members consisted of three speakers; Marc Garrett (MG), Erik Geelhoed (EG) and Ian Biscoe (IB), and two performers; Prof. Dr. Stahl Stenslie (SS) and Paula Crutchlow (PC) who each researched or worked with a number of diverse systems, techniques, media and approaches. The roundtable was chaired by Garrett Lynch (GL). Additional contributions were made by conference speakers or performers in attendance and members of the public. These included; Annie Abrahams (AA), Elena Perez (EP), Elif Ayitar (EA), Kate Genevieve (KG) and Matthew Jarvis (MJ).


GL: Welcome to the second roundtable of the conference titled Performance systems: making vs. exploiting. I'm going to keep this very open, I want it to really be a discussion more than anything else mainly initiated by the members of the roundtable but also the audience feel that you can join in at pretty much anytime you want. I think there is a lot to say about this roundtable topic that we have, especially today, discovered. Apart from that I won't interject too much unless I need to pull discussion back on topic - I will be quite strict about that. Ok so I'll just start things off with an initial question. I'm going to start with you Ian and Erik. When you were giving your presentation Erik there was a question that came to my mind; there was a lot of focus on high speed networks,this came up in questions later and I was thinking about what thoughts you had on the new streaming services that are available online, Ustream, Bambuser and the availability of these to artists? Are you working with artists who are using these systems?

EG: Yes, we are working with professional artists with theatre companies in Cornwall, the big ones which are Kneehigh (Kneehigh 2013) in Truro and a number of smaller ones. Falmouth University as part of extending their brand, because of the nine thousand pounds you have to pay every year as a student,do online courses, they do an MA in writing, so this would be a way of extending online teaching in performance art.

IB: In the Vconnect platform, we are looking at more a controlled system and so we are using point to point tunneling using UDP communications. We are using industry standard protocols but really trying to understand the full end to end, and particularly in environments where you have something happening in one place which affects something in the second place but that loops back round as we talked about yesterday. There are interesting interplays in that but there are also opportunities to have virtually no latency in that and it's quite important to understand the latency from camera acquisition through to frame grabbing, processing, encryption or selective encryption and compression, transmission, decompression, projection and then back the other way. So the round trip from camera to projector and then camera at the other end back to projector. It's quite hard to do that when you start putting third party services in there. As much as possible we are using open industry hardware and software components so we are trying to create something that could be open sourced and somebody else could go and buy the same bits and build.

GL: While you were giving this presentation you were talking about this very high-tech sophisticated technology and about constantly reaching towards almost an elimination of delay. …

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