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Art.CHI 2017

Interactive Media Works

A CHI2017 Exhibition

Bodyscapes

Gestural Performance

Mary Mainsbridge

Bodyscapes highlights the idiosyncrasies of our movement patterns, humanness and intuition, aiming to stimulate awareness of ingrained bodily habits. It encourages movement awareness through exploration and improvisation, and embraces the design of flexible and open gestural systems that offer access to alternative forms of musicianship.

The semi-improvised performance work was performed at a 2014 Sydney Fringe Festival season by a duo combining live and programmed electronic percussion with a movement-controlled instrument called the Telechord. The Telechord is a polyphonic version of the Theremin. The virtual instrument links the body's proportions and the ratios between the limbs, torso and surrounding space to generate virtual string sounds and intervals. Projected visuals amplify the performer's movements and depict the vibrations of each resonating string. Both the string metaphor and visual feedback are intended to nurture new forms of musicianship that encourage movement awareness. By highlighting the performer's relationship with their body, the performance addresses the sometimes fraught relationship many formally trained musicians have with their bodies. The movement explorations encouraged by the design reflect a desire for balance and a sense of self control and body mastery.

Images

Bodyscapes performed at the 2014 Sydney Fringe Festival. Visual feedback represents receding traces of the body's trajectories in Bodyscapes.

Bodyscapes.

Bodyscapes.

Bodyscapes performed at the 2014 Sydney Fringe Festival. Visual feedback represents receding traces of the body's trajectories in Bodyscapes.

Authors

Mary Mainsbridge
PhD candidate, University of Technology, Sydney
Mary is interested in exploring the influence of gestural systems and sensing technologies on her own performance practice. Her performance background as a vocalist and pianist prompted her to pursue more dynamic and expressive performances with digital technology through gestural interaction.