The Little Mermaid - Final Performances
On May 26th and 27th 2018, we had the last two performances of The Little Mermaid a fairy tale ballet performance. For this performance piece, we have created three interactive costumes - the Jellyfish, the Seahorse, and the Sea Witch. This latter has been created by Michaela in cooperation with the the theatre staff. The two other costumes have been designed and developed by a group of interdisciplinary students in winter term 2016/17 under the supervision of Eva and Michaela.
Finally, all three costumes have been on-stage five to six times over a period of more than one year. It is one of the rare opportunities to stage interactive clothing within a real-life and traditional theatre setting. Reactions from the performers, the theatre staff, and the audience where overall very positive. We have conducted multiple interviews with the performers over the whole time and observed the usage while accompanying all final rehearsals and the performances. Now it's time for a detailed analysis of the collected data - you can be curious to read about the gathered insights soon!
Mermaids Costumes successfully staged
In winter term 2016/17 we offered an interdisciplinary student project where students of HCI, Computer Science & Media, Media Art & Desing, and Product Design created two interactive costumes in collaboration with the Children & Youth Ballet Gera/Altenburg and with the help of one Media Management student (Eva Kratz). They created the Jellyfish (by Maike Alisha Effenberg, Jing Zhao, and Milad Alshomary) and the Seahorse (by Christian Wiegert, Fernando Cardenas, and Tahira Sohaib) who both have integrated lights that react on the dancers' movements.
In addition, Michaela created the costume for the Seawitch in collaboration with the theatre's costume designer and sewing workshop between February and May this year. Based on the character of a witch, this costume supports the dancer in expressing to perform magic by lighting up whenever she is doing a specific hand gesture.
All costumes where presented for the premiere of the fairy tale ballet "The little Mermaid" on June 4th 2017 and for it's second performance on June 8th 2017 at the theatre in Altenburg. A follow-up student project with two HCI students (Annika Theresa Meinecke and Clara Pauline Bimberg) during the running summer term 2017 is dedicated to evaluate the costumes and their staging process. We conducted interviews with the dancers and choreographers, made video-supported observations during the rehearsals, and handed out questionnaires to the audience during the two performances.
For more information around the performance of the fairy tale ballet "The little Mermaid" please visit the theatre's homepage.
Student project "Costumes & Sensors" exhibited @ WISP Festival
On November 18th - 20th 2016, we exhibited the three dance costumes resulting of the student project "Costumes and Sensors - Exploring/Self-made textile Sensors" we ran in summer 2016. It was during the WISP festival, a festival for Digital Arts where international artists exhibited, demo-ed and/or performed a piece consisting of or playing with contemporary technologies brought into aesthetic concepts. We are happy to had the chance showing our three costumes and their creation process to the public.
Die Ermittler / The Investigators (at Kunstfest 2016)
'Die Ermittler' (The Investigators) was a collaboration with the faculty of Arts and Design and Kunstfest Weimar, and funded by BUW Kreativfonds and Kunstfest Weimar (and various sponsors for technology), which culminated in a public (free entry) participartory intervention on Theaterplatz Weimar during the Kunstfest 2016, on 26-28 August. The renowned pioneer of live public media art, Krzysztof Wodiczko, was artistic director of the project. Further collaborators/supporters/project supervisors were Anke von der Heide (as producer; Berlin) and Timm Burkhardt (Weimar). The performance/installation was developed and run by an interdisciplinary student project comprising students of media informatics, media architecture, and visual communication supervised by Patrick Tobias Fischer.
Inspired by the author's Peter Weiss' reflections on emigration, being a foreigner and refugee from war, the project aimed to create a dialogue between Weimar citizens and refugees living here. Pre-recorded and live video animated the Goethe-Schiller monument, mapping speakers faces and limbs onto the statue. The audience could ask questions or talk to the speakers mediated by the Goethe-Schiller monument by climbing a staircase facing the statue. The night became a successful exchange of stories between new comers and locals. Unfortunately, the last planned day for performance had to be canceled because of a massive thunderstorm.
City Visions Jena - Un/sichtbare Städte
The Media-Architecture project "Urban Interfaces" exhibited their interactive architectural installation in Jena. "Sonnengarten" and "Light Walk" were selected by Zeiss eG for their exhibition in the Sonnenhof, Jena, during the City Vision Jena festival from 7-11.10.2015. The festival reflected on the topics of 'in/visible cities' and the international year of light.
Sonnengarten was developed by Medieninformatik student Till Fastnacht as part of his bachelor theses in collaboration with Media Architects Johannes Marschall and Abraham Ornelas Aispuro. Light Walk was developed by two Media Architecture students and received assistance from our HCI Master student Hasibullah Sahibzada.
Interactive Theatre Project „Dusk“ performed 10+11 March 2015
'Dusk' was successfully staged on March, 10th & 11th, 2015, with more than 100 visitors in total. The 3-actor play is based on the short story "Dusk" by Saki. Our student project developed the script, designed and implemented different interactive features belonging from interactive stage projections over interactive props to wearables, and rehearsed for one week intensively with three actors.
This practice-based research enabled us to do observations and interviews of how actors adopt interactive technologies, and investigate audience/spectator reactions and opinions. For more information, please visit our project blog! or see the full piece: Dusk on vimeo. Or read our CHI 2017 case study paper on Dusk.
Meiningen Mysterious Theatre Machine presented at the Media Architecture Biennale Marketplace in Aarhus, Denmark
Anke von der Heide, who collaborated with us on supervising the Meiningen Interactive Facade Mapping project, exhibited this project at MAB, the Media Architecture Biennale in Aarhus, Denmark (19-22 Nov 2014) at the Marketplace event.
Public Art Lab Berlin invited us to present the Interactive Facade Mapping project from Meiningen at the Lichtparcour Festival during the Kulturfestival Wedding-Moabit.
Eva and Anke von der Heide (a Berlin media architect who co-supervised the project groups on a teaching contract) presented the project, and Eva gave a talk about the lab's work on public space interfaces.
Interactive Costume Project @ Wear IT Festival, Berlin 11-12 Oct. 2014
The „Interactive Costumes“ interdisciplinary student project was invited to exhibit at the wearIT festival for wearable electronics and arts in Berlin, 11-12 October 2014 at Betahaus Berlin. We presented the costumes, which are based on Jules Verne's story „20.000 leagues under the sea“ (Captain Nemo), for Captain Nemo, the Diving Suit of the Nautilus Crew, and an Octopus Sea Creature.
"Georg II - The mysteriouse theatre machine" Interactive Facade Mapping, Meiningen August 2014
The interactive facade mapping "Georg II - The mysteriouse theatre machine" was shown on the 22. and 23. August 2014 in Meiningen. The overall experience included reactive, autoactive, performative and interactive elements in one composition. Visitors were received with a reactive ceiling projection triggering a wave in a cosmos of particles that filled slowly the facade while people were waiting for the start. Then, an abstract interpretation of the twelve Meiningen theatre principles was shown on the castle's unique semicircle facade, revealing that the castle is a giant machine driving the theatre.
Physical principles were brought into the courtyard where the theatre machine was st up, and placed into sockets to activate the machine. People then were able to arrange the stage design based on the sketches of Georg II.