William Bilwa Costa > practical application

I’ve waited a while to write because I am currently traveling and collaborating with different artists around Europe. I have recognized recent changes in my practice that I attribute to my time at Steim.I will try to describe these changes and their relationship to Steim.

I went to Steim for orientation with the intention of  assessing  the facilities and resources and how they may apply to my practice.I was primarily thinking about a project called “Breathscape”, which uses audio and video elements to accentuate and elaborate on the breathing of movement artists.

What I found at Steim was a small group of very technically sound people, that not only design and apply software and hardware but also have a certain instinct for finding out what you are trying to do and proposing practical applications.I found the Lisa and JunXion workshops very informative, but I found the conversations invaluable.

Through conversations with Robert, Taku and Daniel I began questioning my preconceptions about how I should apply technology to this project and the reason for using amplification and processing at all. I often question the use of technologies with the hope that I don’t use them as a default.We discussed motion tracking, microphones, sensors, acoustics, analogue, interfaces,software,hardware and space relations.We questioned the necessity of and dependency on computers.So, through these conversations about a particular project I began questioning my instrument and how it relates my improvisation practice.Does it suit my needs completely?How can I improve it?

Also, in the evenings I was able to utilize studio 1 with improvisations and experiments both alone and with Ulla Rauter, who was also at Steim for orientation.This was a great way to prevent myself from becoming overwhelmed by the amount of information acquired daily.

I’ve since incorporated another controller with faders and knobs and started using ableton live for sound.I come from a dub / dj backround and this suits me fine at the moment, although I think that  will eventually also need a cdj type jog dial as well for an intuitive feel.

For video I am now working with a camera feeding directly into a projector that has some basic remote control features including freeze and zoom,very basic.I am using the real time feed with minimal effect options to “frame” the space.The movement artists’ have a direct impact on the projection and I have a lot of  flexibilty as to what details will projected and where.I first tried this at PAF in France with dancer Amelia McQueen and we were very happy with the results.

I ‘ve also experimented with speaker placement and how it effects the camera/projection through vibration.Again,very simple but very effective way of making cohesive use of the elements.

So, in conclusion, I went to Steim with the intention of proposing a particular project and left with a complete reevaluation of my practice.I would like to return to Steim with some collaborators and demonstrate and discuss  these techniques.

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