Our research centers on connecting body-centered performative practices with techniques for embodied human-computer interaction, drawing on insights gained from collaborative explorations in dance, music and theatre performance.

A primary objective of the Active Space research is investigation of formal issues in mediated performance and installation through transdisciplinary projects where artistic vision and technical innovation share the spotlight. Activities include the development of real-world performative environments that continuously sense, measure and respond to movement, allowing participants to engage and play the space as an instrument. The results of this research are applicable to the performing arts, education, telepresence, rehabilitation medicine, and other areas.

In a performing arts context, the focus of this research is to create environments that encourage exploration and experimentation. Often when technology is used in performance, participants can feel that the technology is happening to them, out of their control. Our approach is to create a setting that allows performers to influence and interact with technical elements in a direct, immediate way. The qualities of this interaction can generate new internal imagery and enhance the performers' motivation, stimulating new forms of interaction between the performers themselves as well as with the technical elements. As dancers, musicians and media artists interact with the Active Space environment, its responses and behaviors become construed as mechanisms for communication. The media system itself becomes a message, or a series of messages, an embodied sequence of codes, exchanged among performers and between performers and audience.

For installations, the Active Space system responds directly to visitors and their motion, creating visuals and sounds that can influence the ways people move in the space. The resulting movement calls up new sequences of sounds and images, potentially inspiring participants to further improvisational movement explorations. This cycle of interaction is exciting to experience, entertaining to watch, and is adaptable to a wide range of performance, exhibition and workshop settings.

See also
System Workshops