News From Frieder Weiss: Chunky Move in Edinburgh Festival and More

Tonight we have another show of ‘Mortal Engine’ at the Edinburgh International Festival. Compared with ‘Glow’, my initial collaboration with Australian dance company ‘Chunky Move’ this piece is quite large scale. A heavy set for our six dancers, with pneumatically moving stage sectors makes it quite challenging to set up in only two days. After a few minor disasters like a broken laser audio interface we got it all fixed for the premiere on Sunday which was very well received. (Preview - Review)

Mortal Engine is performed on a large steep stage. It is mainly lit by video projectors, graphics generated from and closely connected to dancers movements. The visual world is quite abstract, not really video on it’s own, more like a very graphical and dynamic stage lighting. The general lighting pattern is to light the stage and mask out the dancers, putting our marvelous dancers in a distant alienating world.

Illuminating a moving object
This reversed lighting approach actually got a funny new meaning just recently. A german company keeps contacting us (i.e. different collaborator, not Chunky Move), holding high their patent for ‘system and method of illuminating an object’. It is about video-tracking (=detection means) based lighting of dancers (=3D moving objects) with a video projector (=radiation source). I hereby admit to be having done similar in the past. It is a more or less trivial method several media art groups were using in the past to do ‘on body projections’, The company is a ‘spin off’ of an arts project and claims to market the whole concept exclusively. In the arts world there is always a race for being the first one to use a new approach, but not sure whether patents suit the dance tech world too much. Anyway, Mortal Engine will be save cause the ‘moving objects’ are masked out of any illumination.

This weekend
‘Mortal Engine’ will go to the Festival in Groningen, Netherlands, performances on Saturday and Sunday (23, 24. of August)

Tanzmesse Düsseldorf
Together with Emily Fernandez we will be presenting a lecture / demonstration about our approaches into digital dance performance at the Tanzmesse at the end of August (27-30). It will take place at the studio of ‘Theater der Klänge’ , Winkelsfelderstrasse 21 as part of the open studio, interleaved with presentations and dance films by Theater der Klänge and Christian Ziegler.

More fun in a Norwegian parking lot
Our Onskebron Installation is reopening for the winter season. This installation sits in a parking lot of Norwegian city ‘Sandnes’, basically a large Walk-On LED screen with movement showing interactive motion graphics generated from visitors movements. The installation was up for four month earlier this year. It was great fun watching couples starting to dance on the installation in the middle of the night, families going there for their Sunday afternoon walk, or the local kindergarten coming for their regular visit on Monday morning. After those months the installation was pretty much drowned and quite a few of the segments had stopped working due to the harsh weather conditions. Now it will be reinstalled, using slices of the floor screen you have seen at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Bejing. (Collaboration with Phase-7)

Additional information is found at
All the best,

Frieder Weiss

Thank you Frieder!

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