A research project on the virtualisation of the live performer

There it is: the results are in: TITANIC | UNTERGANG

There it is: the results are in:


Titanic / Untergang is an international collaboration between PLETA.eu (a platform of European Theatre Academies) and the professorship on Technology Driven Art. 8 students of seven different countries joined forces to investigate the use of technology in a live performance. As a challenge, Woody Laurens and Peter Missotten - the research coaches for this project - haven chosen the old gasometer of Maastricht as their platform. A huge space, 50 meter in diameter and some 13 meter high, with an echo time of 13 seconds.
How to transform this space into a panoramic setting for the sinking of the Titanic, in reverse? The answer is cables: lots of cables and some 15 video projectors, all of them controlled wirelessly. The participating students created media installations in which they improvised performances around the theme of the sinking of the Titanic. Alongside, they worked with 3D scanning techniques to get full body scans, using the affordable Structure 3D sensors. The quirks of the technique delivered fascinating wireframe models they integrated in the performance. Next stop was Bierbeek (B) where they shot loads of underwater movies in a lifesize watertank. Combine this with a golden, inflatable Titanic of their own making and a shabby, plastic iceberg, and you got yourselves a fascinating performance in a 360° panoramic setting. A bloody hot setting it was (due to the weather), sometimes resulting in a few projectors refusing to start up and a wobbly melting iceberg. That didn’t stop the students to perform in a hightech evocation of the sinking of the Titanic. Backwards.








These are days of silence in this blog. It means we're working like crazy dogs to get this show up and running.
A gasometer of 50m in diameter sounds like great fun, but it sounds actually like an echo of 13 seconds, and a whole lot of cables and splitters and more cables.
But these international students are determined to get this thing going.
With an iceberg and an inflatable, golden Titanic and a 360° panoramic projection. With some 15 projectors.
So no pictures today… Well, just this one:


The Final Weeks

Last week, we have been working in the workshop of de Filmfabriek, in Bierbeek, Belgium.

Everybody concentrated on a different aspect of the performance: creating new movement material, find the right costumes, editing a final text, working with the 3D scans and importing them into Isadora… Most of the time, Maarten has been filming in the big aquarium of de Filmfabriek (at least, one of them), a contraption with nicely heated and conditioned water.
The idea is to confront real floating people with virtual, scanned people.

As the set design is now, we'll need 15 projectors: 12 for a full panorama in the Gasometer, 2 projectors in the iceberg and a big one to project on the ceiling of the gasometer, with the aid of a manipulates mirror.

Well, that's the plan for now, at least…

This week, we get to enter the gasometer and confront our dreams with reality.
I'm sure it will give quite a BANG :-))))





Comment from Genet

New place - new inspirations:
For a few days we built up our working camp in Bierbeek, Belgium.
An Aquarium.
A lot of water.
Filming, Filming, Filming.
Technique,Technique, Technique.
Great food.
And Perro.