I am an Australian dancer/choreographer based in Berlin currently in residence at Lake Studios and TroikaTronix for the Tech Residency for a project in collaboration with creative coder and video maker Bogdan Licar. Together we embark on a project of a 360 degree view of performances embedded into website gallery to host the performance, to be viewed remotely from any browser.
Mirrors in Space
coming soon to be outlived
by the stairs free falling into the running water
the stars rolling away from each other
outshone by silhouettes on fortuitous placards
& out of sight; forgetful of its smeared desires
A collaboration between Emily Ranford and Bogdan Licar
Mirrors In Space (MIS) is an ever-evolving immersive website that consists of a 3D virtual space where visitors are able to attend a series of performative events in an interactive online browser. Algorithmic video-art via script and visual programming languages formulate a journey for viewers to navigate through 360° dance performances. As the space continues to grow with the release of new content and zones, the viewer has autonomy of duration, framing, mood and navigation throughout the experience using their keyboard and mouse.
The movement language is developed around the theme of resilience – to discover adaptability within oneself in order to respond to the onslaught of input from our surrounding environment, and the human need to create dynamic boundaries, both physical and psychological, that not only protect ourselves from the external world, but that also intend to bridge the emotional and cultural gaps that are continuously established.
The project promotes accessibility to art and dance work from remote locations, exploring the potential of web platforms for movement-based performances and embedding the physical body and site-specific video locations into the digital realm via spherical video and technologies 3D mapping bodies and objects in an abstract space. Furthermore MIS makes itself available to invite other dancers, performers and contributors to participate through shared movement practice, building an ongoing bank of choreographies.
The recorded 360° performances are edited into a collage of looping videos intertwined with algorithmic visual output based on real-time data and user interaction, forming whirlwind flows of vision quests and sensorial meditations attempting to evoke personalised realities each unique to the viewer and their input. Each experience is placed inside an explorative symbolic 3D maze allowing the viewer to move through performances freely with the help of sound and video cues, deciding what to see and hear.
In a world that sees every individual, physical and digital, hyperlinked to everything around, we are both enabled and limited to know ourselves by an incessant series of reflections of images, sounds and words that are copies of copies. MIS is a representation of the network of interdependencies that forms our daily existence – the suggestion that there’s no way out, only through, through awareness, understanding and ultimately transforming cultural reflections and refractions, finally coming to the realisation that we are always required to assign individual meanings to the ever-changing surroundings, rather than relying on one-size-fits-all fixed views, and attempt a fresh relationship with the environment.
Concept: Emily Ranford & Bogdan Licar
Choreography: Emily Ranford,
Creative coding & Sound Design: Bogdan Licar
Performance: Emily Ranford, Anna Jarrige, Nitsan Margaliot, Nikoleta Koutitsa, Bogdan Licar
Supported by Lake Studios Berlin and TroikaTronix
thinking about productivity and societies based around success
of schedules and output versus flowing through time in own rhythms
feeling the need to say yes to everything work related with the imminent threat of not being allowed
overload versus under load versus under-load
that there is the most sense in moving together, even when moving alone, together
Waves of production
Creating in the time of Covid-19
priorities distinguished and confused and re configured
Realising time is better spent in conversation, in direct contact of collaboration
Ideas and research became separated, time spent together demanding more time to peeled back the layers
Rediscovering the essence, the why, the first feeling, the context in which it worked so well in isolation
Less is more
More time to invest deeply,
Less following unwritten rules of presence
Learning in process
Learning about how two individuals work together best
Difficulties shared through differences
Learning; learning that learning things takes a long time
Ambitions running at the speed of light
Reality, slow as the pace of learning new codes
Surrounded by corona virus
Surrounded by an underlying stress in self and others
Do the stakes get higher, or is it simply time to re-evaluate
Again, moving is best
When moving alone,
Discovering the night sky
Holding it all together
But what are we actually holding?
Sculptures in the falls
Holding the space
For the people and the wind and the woes
A project born together in isolation
We find ourselves here again upturned
But are we less concerned?
Can we turn around, rebound
Re design re place re new.
Essentially we are making use of the 3D support of modern browsers, combining site-specific choreographies shot with a 360 degrees camera and randomised visual journeys that make for a different experience every time you visit the website.
The Kinect proved to be a really interesting and practical movement capture tool for MIS. Using it we were able to insert the human body into the digital realm, where the choreography could interact with the dance of the randomised code in the tunnels between 360° worlds.
The main idea behind MIS is to explore different ways than the physical realm to experience dance, both for the performer, by repurposing and re-appropriating spaces where dance doesn’t normally happen, and for the viewer by allowing them to see and interact with dance and video art.
We are but mirrors in space. A project born out of lockdown, re-entered lockdown and thus far has found it’s way here:
WARNING: this website contains stroboscopic effects
It is only available on a computer browser.
Any thoughts, questions, reflections or feedback from you is very welcome. You can get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A huge thanks to Lake Studios Berlin, TroikaTronix and the Berlin Senat.