Interactive Software Workshop with Jamie Griffiths

First week of September (1st – 5th) Steim welcomed Jamie Griffiths to pass over her experience & knowledge in Interactive software/ performance design to her willing “students” within a 4-days intensive Isadora workshop.

We had a wide array of participants, not only from different countries but also from different backgrounds. The mixture was very inspiring, stimulating and collaborations emerged in no time quite naturally. Jamie did not only covered the Isadora software but also helped the participants explore combining other software and hardware tools to realize their concepts when needed.

JunXion, Osculator, Max/MSP, PD, Supercollider, Kinect, Wii, Arduino and some other custom electronics were at participants’ disposal and were throughly covered.

We think it’s best to hear this 4-day experience from the artists/designers themselves:

Julia Mihály -  voice | performance | electronic composition | specialized in contemporary music. performances with voice and live-electronics. greatly inspired by 8-bit-trashcore, synthi A, electricity, zebras and zombie-jazz. for more informations click on  http://about.me/juliamihaly

I like to use Isadora as an interactive visual supplement for my performances as a singer and also in connection to performances of my own electronic pieces as an additional element of composing. I came to the workshop as a complete beginner in Isadora. After some experiences with GEM in connection to Pd, Isadora now appears to me as a more practical alternative for real time video processing. So first of all it was useful to discover some of the possibilities of the software, creating basic patches that can be extended and integrated in further projects. Some important topics were how to control video output via gamepads, wii and so on, and how to use video as a real time interacting partner on stage reacting on live input especially of my voice. Jamie did a very good job as a teacher, explaining everything in a very pleasant, very well understandable and good structured way ! – Thanx : ) We had a nice atmosphere in the group, lots of interesting people with different artistic backgrounds and good collaboration among the participants. All in all it was a really recommendable workshop!

 

Eva Auster – Video & Projection Designer

Eva Auster is a freelance video and projection designer with experience working with UK theatre companies and directors, creating visual content for live performances and online/ promotional videos. For further information visit: http://flavors.me/auster

Creatively, this is one of the best experiences I have had as an artist.  This workshop has given me a very clear and immersive experience into interactive technology and broken down any barriers of fear that I might have had before beginning the workshop.  The immersive nature of the workshop has also provided me with a spring board in which to take my work into a new direction, whilst also demystifying the technology involved when creating this type of work. I came on this workshop because of my passion for performance and visual theatre, and my keen interest in taking the leap into interactive design.  I feel that I have definitely gained invaluable experience, and more importantly the confidence I needed to take my work further and progress as an interactive artist. Jamie is an incredible artist and very patient teacher which made the whole experience even more enjoyable.

 

Sneja_D - visual artist & new media designer. more info: www.sneja.lu

I have always been fascinated by interactive installations but as I am neither programmer nor have I experienced electronics much, I did not know where to start. Isadora seemed to be a solution when I saw Mark’s video tutorials on YouTube.  This was sufficient to build simple live VJ patches but for more complex self running video installations I needed more. To the 4 days Isadora  workshop in Amsterdam, I came with a precise goal: find out how to use motion tracking in Isadora, trigger scenes through movements of gallery visitors, get information about which camera and connections to use …but I learned much much more … Jamie’s 4 day workshop was definitively one of the best workshops I have ever attended and this for various reasons. It was rich and intense. It was concrete as we started from project examples and the goals of the course attendees which  was really a good strategy. At the end,  every workshop attendee was able to realize at least one part of his/her initial idea. The number of workshop attendees was perfect : 13. Not too big so that everybody could express his own interests and goals…. as well as ask questions and get answers. Not to small so that there was a good mix of  facets to discover and get in touch with people from completely different horizons. I met a lot of very nice and interesting individuals. Jamie is a fantastic teacher: skilled and experienced, ready to share her knowledge, open to listen, ready to help, flexible with the course hours, social, funny and very sensible. I feel so lucky to have been part of this workshop..

 

Sjoerd Leijten- composer / musician / sound artist. Open forms, improvisation, indeterminacy and real-time processing often pop up in his work. Next to his activities as a vocalist and guitarist he also designs interactive and generative applications within programming environments such as Supercollider and Pure Data. more info: www.sjoerdleijten.nl

For me as a musician because of the Isadora workshop all of the sudden the live use of video actually became accessible. I was already using Supercollider & Pure Data and was exploring the video possibilities within Pure Data and Processing, but the learning curves were a bit to steep. The Isadora workshop by Jamie let me start experimenting with video in conjunction with audio straight away. Very inspiring.

Jennifer Kanary – conceptual artist/ artistic researcher. More info: www.labyrinthpsychotica.org

As a conceptual installation artist, who is normally used to working ‘lowtech’, I was interested in exploring how I could integrate more technology into my work. Over the past years I have followed several workshops related to hacking electronic devices and basic arduino builds, but I was missing an overview of how everything could come together in physical and visual actions. The Isadora workshop gave me that overview.  During the workshop I very much enjoyed learning how Isadora allows for several video and sound manipulations that can be triggered using data that comes from an arduino and or a Wii motion device. I learned how to track video, work with particle and 3D projectors and use a variety of software that allows for the inter communication between device, data and action. The Isadora workshop also helped me to understand programming logic in a much easier way, without needing to be a programmer, as it uses logical visual actors that are supportive to how an artist thinks. Although I still highly depend on people to build the hard and software for me, I feel that by doing this workshop, not only am I slowly empowering myself for the future, my deeper understanding also allows for better communication with developers, allowing me to build a great network and develop more advanced concepts. As an artistic researcher, I particularly enjoyed Jamie’s ability to provide theoretical support as well.”

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