Devising a virtual costume - Alejandro Rolandi's Inter-Arts Residency
17 April 2012
New portable projection technology for performance
Alejandro Rolandi led an innovative program of technical research and creative development during his 2011 Inter-Arts Residency. Working with professor Andrew Johnston from the Creativity and Cognition Studio (CCS) at the University of Technology Sydney, Alejandro has been exploring new possibilities for the intersection of interactive technology and performance.
Alejandro is interested in adapting and developing media systems for theatre and dance; in his words, “not just complimenting the physicality of the performance but creating spaces in which the performer could create new meaning in dialogue with the technology”.
Building on previous work with biosensors and computer generated sounds, he focused on exploring projection, sound and 3D imagery in this residency. The CCS provided a focused work environment with access to software and hardware resources, and the opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas with interactive technology researchers.
Alejandro worked with face-recognition, MAX MSP, Avenue Resolume software, a pico projector, a modified webcam and bicycle helmet to create facial animations that followed his gestures. Encouraged by colleague and mentor David Clarkson, Co-Director at Stalker Theatre Company, Alejandro began research and creation of a wearable structure to extend the projection surface to the whole body. Alejandro names this lightweight aluminum-alloy structure and its audiovisual technology the ‘virtual costume’.
Following this four month residency program of research and prototyping, Alejandro looks forward to further developing the virtual costume’s interactive system and its technical framework around the body. He will also explore the artistic dimensions of the work, such as the sense of intimacy between human performers and the technology that wraps them in light.
Alejandro is now collaborating with David Clarkson and Stalker Theatre Company to integrate the virtual costume with their new Encoded project. Stay tuned for further news of this project currently in development.
Alejandro Rolandi is a visual and performing artist, originally from Buenos Aries, Argentina. He studied electronic engineering and has had training in dance, acting and physical theatre. Alejandro is Director of Strings Attached Physical Theatre Company.
See more details of the Inter-Arts Residency grant program – the next application closing date is 1 May 2012.
Video by Alejandro Rolandi of the 'Virtual Costume' work in progress, developed during his residency at UTS under the mentoring of Professor Andrew Johnston and in collaboration with theatre director David Clarkson and Stalker Theatre Company, supported by the Inter-Arts Residency Program. Video courtesy the artists.
Menu image courtesy the artists and photographer Matthew Syres.