VideoExcerpt of the Projection Screen of the Live Media Performance “Laban´s Nightmare”

Developed during PARKINPROGRESS August 2012 in Pannonhalma (HU)
Laban´s Nightmare is a live generated Media Dance Performance, which was developed during PARKINPROGRESS August 2012 in Pannonhalma – HU. Basically it is a Pas de Deux between a real dancer and its virtual counterpart, projected onto a screen.
The Question of singularity is an important impulse in our work, what happens if our being is analyzed and reproduced by machines and if our human patterns are being processed in a new way to develop a post-human creature? What happens at that point, can a live generated algorithm pretend creativity due to a cut up and a new synthesis of human movement- and body-samples?
One of the aspects of „Laban´s Nightmare „was the goal to incorporate some of the ideas of famous dance theorist Rudolf Laban, who came up with the Labanotation, a dancenotation which tries to depict and documentate the energetics and dynamics of the movement of a dancer (based on indiviual improvisation), and in our project we tried to transfer this onto a Live-generated Projection. In addition Rudolf Laban was an interesting element for that Project for the following reasons:
1) he is Austro-Hungarian, and we, as Austrians, were invited to Hungary to work on that Piece and
2) he was way ahead of his time and crossed topics (in the 20s/30s) that are quite similar to some of the topics we work on/or try to deliver with our audiovisual Live Shows: he was very interested in Improvisation and emotional experiences, in space and rhythm and tried to find parallels in mathematics and dance (e. g. in form of the Ikosaeder). Furthermore he was interested in the movements of Industrial workers and of mentally ill persons. Many of these elements were highly inspiring for our Dance&Technology-based project.
Furthermore we just wanted to be open and intuitive concerning
a) the location and its surroundings, which was in that case the beautiful Park of the Arch-Abbey of Pannonhalma, Hungary (Otto Habsburg´s Heart is being kept there): somehow and in an intuitive way the spiritual, superior, beautiful but also dark-gloomy athmosphere inspired Audio and Visual of our piece, and
b) for the inputs of our dancer: we considered this collaboration as a back and forth of ideas and fragments in various disciplines, the best of these ideas and fragments were incorporated in the piece,
Basically “Laban´s Nightmare” is about our ongoing questions in Dance and Technology, which refer to topics such as individual and mass, Reality and Virtuality, art and science, human and digital intuition, digital real time image creation based on the movements of a dancer.
Concening the setup on location, our dancer Virág Arany was dancing next to the huge Projection Screen and formed a dyptichon with it. What you see on the video, is a VideoExcerpt of the outcome on the Projection Screen (we filmed)
For our project we have a very intuitive tech-setup, which is based on Roberts self written C++ Software and a Kinect Camera/Interface which provides us 1) an RGB Camera Image and 2) a 3D Representation of the Dancer. So the dancer is confronted with his/her virtual mirror, which can be transformed/distorted in various ways via sound analysis or via midi-keyboards. We are interested in the „patterns” that are being developed between the 2 (human and virtual mirror), such as scepticism, the play with boundaries, adaption, communication, collaboration, intuition and destruction. We and the machine copy these patterns and return them back in a new form, the dancer copies these patterns again. Loop and Reloop. What is the result, if the individual human patterns of a dancer (facial expressions, movements) are being returned like in a distorting mirror? The movements seem to appear similar, but also not, because they are put together and synthesised in a new way.
Furthermore we are constantly interested in questions such as perfection versus failure, analog versus digital, rag doll versus autonomy, subject versus object, individual versus mass. Harmony versus disharmony. To sum it up, we are interested in all these contradictions we are living in nowadays, especially as digital artists.

ParkinProgress Partners: Pépinières européennes pour jeunes artistes, Moving House Foundation, UK Young Artists, Johan Centrum, Transcultures, ARTos Foundation, Agence Luxembourgeoise d’Action Culturelle, Arcus Temporum Art Festival, National Cultural Fund of Hungary, Ministère français de la Culture et de la Communication, Ministère français des Sports, de la Jeunesse, de l’Education Populaire et de la Vie associative, Institut Français de Budapest, Fondation Hippocrène, Wallonie-Bruxelles International, České centrum, Arte creative