soma 1

Soma

may 2008
Dance performance with real-time video processing
Collaboration Between DXARTS and Dance, University of Washington
3 acts; 12 minutes

Performance never exists in a vacuum. Observers bring a lifetime of experience and memory to every event. Acknowledging this fact 'Soma' accesses a tiny sliver of the audience's collective memory: that of the performance itself.

As the they unfold, the dancers' movements are filmed by the artist. In realtime this footage is archived, processed, and--at the discretion of the artist--reintroduced on screen. These clips, along with the dancers' movements, evoke the recent past to the audience. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, 'Soma' draws attention to the observers' own process of recollection.

Context

Soma was a part of a larger cross-departmental collaboration between DXARTS and Dance at the University of Washington. The premise, titled Dancing in the Digital Domain, set to design five new performances engaging with new technologies in the application to performance and dance. Each performance was created by cross disciplinary teams. Soma's creative team consisted of myself, sound artist Michael McCrea, media artist Jared Friend and choreographers Louis Gervais and Jamie Hall. Soma was performed 5 nights during May of 2008 at Meany Hall in Seattle.

Process

In Soma, as the dance progresses images are captured from a camera through a custom-built video processing application. This application processes selected moments into a catalogued 'memory' of the performance, with the ability to recall them at the will of the system's performer. The video is processed using a time-domain blurring, affecting the video in ways that eludes to memory, recall, and emphasized moments.

Media

performance photos

selected process clips