Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rotating Brains / Beating Heart - Collaboration with Stelarc

AOM rehearsing Rotating Brains / Beating Heart.
Photo by Yael Gilks / Fau Ferdinand

Premiere at the opening night of the
Sensual Technologies:
Collaborative Practices of Interdisciplinarity

5th of September 2010 @ 8.30pm UK

A networked collaboration between performance artist Stelarc, the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse and composer Pauline Oliveros in Second Life, with composer/sound artist Martin Parker and saxophonist Franziska Schroeder live at Brunel.

The ROTATING BRAINS / BEATING HEART performance takes place simultaneously at RMIT Creative Media in Second Life and in the Real Life space at Brunel University, London. Second Life visual and audio environment will be streamed to a large projection screen and multichannel sound system at Brunel, and also to the Internet. Second Life performers will be located in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Australia, Canada and the United States.

Stelarc will appear in Second Life where he will interact with the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse and Pauline Oliveros (as avatar Free Noyes) while Martin Parker (live-electronics) and Franziska Schroeder (saxophone) will be performing in the Real Life space at Brunel. Franziska will interact with the musical materials that are emitted from the Avatar Orchestra in Second Life, focusing on the production of air and vocal sounds modulated by her instrument and the live-electronics as performed by Martin Parker.

The Second Life graphic environment consists of an installation of giant body organs - a ring of rotating semi-transparent brains and a beating heart, floating in the virtual space. The transparency of the organs allows avatars to travel ‘inside’ them, triggering the emission of sounds and particles of light. Stelarc’ s avatar, accompanied by automaton Stelarc clones, will perform a choreography of prompted and scripted avatar movements within the ‘organ installation’, mimicking limb movements of Real Life Stelarc muscle stimulations. Stelarc's clones and visual text scripts will be performed by Second Life artist Pyewacket Kazyanenko.

Pauline Oliveros, as her avatar Free Noyes in Second Life, will sound a set of nine drones, built into a virtual mixer. The drones contain sounds of Stelarc's brain waves and muscle stimulation, Franziska's sax playing, a drone from her virtual reality composition Heart of Tones, and sounds of the voices of Viv Corringham (Zonzo Spyker) and Tina Pearson (Humming Pera).

The Avatar Orchestra will perform with a set of two audio visual instruments. One contains increasing frequency heartbeats, sounds of circulation and mechanical sounds, and the emission of textured particles released simultaneously as the sound samples. The other instrument consists of sine tones built on harmonic series frequencies from AC currents. While playing their audio visual instruments, AOM will be using a set of ten looped avatar movement sequences as they come together and fall apart in gracefully entwined avatar shapes. The avatars are encased in amoeba-like forms that glow and emit particles that light up the surrounding space and target the giant organs when sound is emitted.

A project such as this one, which resides the elusive nature of virtual interactivity, attracts the support and partnership of many. Alongside the creative partnership with Stelarc, Franziska, Martin and Pauline, intrinsic creative and technical input was and is contributed by

Pyewacket Kazyanenkoan independent artist working within the realms of Second Life, building and performing with Stelarc since 2008. Pyewacket will be performing the Stelarc automatons and visual text scripts. Pyewacked also created with Stelarc the Rotating Brains / Beating Heart installation, and has consulted about the project with AOM and the creative team since its inception.
Yael Bachar (Fau Ferdinand in SL), who has been a dedicated visual and technical consultant to the team. Fau chose the SL Environment setting for the performance, coloured the giant brain particle textures, assisted with scripting, and consulted on camera operations.
Dennis Moser (Maxwell Biddle in SL), functioning as the Second Life microphone transmitting to the performance venue, has been dedicated to the documentation process of Second Life performance. His assistance with technical and coordination aspects of the project has been invaluable.
Steve Millar (Arahan Claveau) is the camera operator filming the Second Life performance for projection at Brunel. Steve's eye and experience have given shape to the smooth visual representation of the complex performances within the Heart and Brains installation.
Biagio Franca (Blaise de la France Voom), AOM member, is acting as the bringer of Real Life sound (that of Franziska and Martin) to the Second Life performers.

a special thank you to Lilith, whose in-womb heartbeats form the core of one of the AOM audio visual instruments.

The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse creative team for Rotating Brains / Beating Heart:

Andreas Mueller (Bingo Onomatopoeia in SL),
---Design and construction of the two AOM performer virtual audio-visual instruments
---Sound samples and Virtual Sound Design (Mechanical sounds, Heartbeat sounds), Particle textures
---Particle textures for both instruments
Norman Lowrey (North Zipper in SL),
---Design and construction of the virtual 9-channel mixer and animations used by Pauline Oliveros (Free Noyes in SL)
---Sound and particle design for the 5 Giant Brain installation,
---Design and construction of virtual 5-channel Giant Brain mixer
---Brain wave, Circulation and other sound samples
Tim Risher (Flivelwitz Alsop in SL)
---design and construction of avatar animation set used by AOM in performance
---Circulation sound samples
Tina Pearson (Humming Pera in SL)
---Conception of AOM performer audio-visual instruments
---Sound samples (sine tones)
---Composition structures - AOM

Avatar Orchestra PERFORMERS
Bingo Onomatopoeia, aka Andreas Müller (Regensburg, Germany)
BlaiseDeLaFrance Voom, aka Biagio Francia (Agropoli, Italy)
Carolhyn Wijaya, aka Carolyn Oakley (Boulder, Colorado, USA)
Flivelwitz Alsop, aka Tim Risher, (Durham, North Carolina, USA)
Free Noyes, aka Pauline Oliveros (Kingston, NY, USA)
Goodwind Seiling aka Sachiko Hayashi, Stockholm, Sweden
Gumnosophistai Nurmi, aka Leif Inge (Oslo, Norway)
Humming Pera, aka Tina M. Pearson (Victoria, BC, Canada)
Maxxo Klaar, aka Max D. Well (Regensburg, Germany)
North Zipper, aka Norman Lowrey (New Jersey, USA)
Paco Mariani, aka Chris Wittkowsky (Regensburg, Germany)
Saara Edring, aka Seidi Palonen, Helsinki, Finland
Zonzo Spyker, aka Viv Corringham (Minneapolis, MN, USA / London, UK

The concept and structure for ROTATING BRAINS / BEATING HEART was collectively created by Stelarc, Pyewacket Kazyanenko, Franziska Schroeder, Pauline Oliveros, Tina Pearson and members of the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse.

AOM HUD (Heads-Up-Display) controls, seen on screens of performers. L-R: portion of WOMB sine tone HUD; Thump HUD (3 columns); 9-channel drone mixer used by Free Noyes; 5-Brain Mixer used by North Zipper.