Origins

This project was for our midterm for our Live Image Processing & Performance Class using Max MSP/Jitter.


Role: Narration/Story Concept, Coding, Audio Manipulation


Team: Anna Gudnason, Marcela Mancino, and Jaekook Han


Concept:

The process emerged from explorations considering similarities in stories from different cultures. For this performance, we selected three related stories, each from one of the members’ home countries. We then outlined the connection points between them, discovering different possibilities of how to merge them together. This action showed us what seems to be the main action of this project: breaking apart and rebuilding a new unified structure.


Just as the selected myths are about the birth of Sun, Moon, day, night and Earth, our procedure relates to the cyclical process of birth, death, rebirth in which something new and different is created every time. These ideas of cycles of destruction and creation are present in many cultures, just as the similarities in story structure, leading us to believe that these are images that come to us as humanity as a whole.


Process


Storyboard

Our story was broken down into three sections: creation, destruction and recreation. The idea was to involve the audience in the creation of the story they were being told. We took three different mythologies from three different countries and cultures. We broke each of them down into individual beats, which we then used to mix up together, creating one new whole story that combined all of the elements from the three stories. The aim of this was to show the underlying themes and symbols between these three stories and how ultimately they could be used to create something entirely new.



Space & Performance

We wanted to create an intimate space the reflected the way mythologies were told verbally over a fire with people sitting around in a circle. The projector on the ceiling would be positioned to project images on the floor in the middle of where people gathered around in the circle.


Code

We used Max to play the the projections and created masks with Adobe After Effects. The audio was pre edited with Premier to allow us time to perform and concentrate on the visuals. We used presets in order to create a seamless visual narrative along with the audio.



Performance


Set Up

We stripped our designated room of all tables and chairs and hung sheets on the walls to create an intimate and comfortable space. We had three projectors: one on the ceiling and two on opposite sides of the room. We wanted people to gather around and sit together with us on the floor around the floor projection, mimicking the style of oral story telling around the fire.

We created masks to represent the different characters in the story we were telling. Starting from the left: the woman and the mother, the twins (represented by duality) and the tiger and vulture king.



Performance


Takeaways

During our performance we experienced a few technical difficulties. One being that our computer froze in the middle of the performance and our visuals got stuck. Luckily, we decided prior to the performance that our audio should be separate from the visuals. This helped move the performance along even though our visuals were stuck and the audience members were unable to notice this technical difficulty.


We had an ambitious goal with the little amount of time we had to complete it. Overall, I think we were able to successfully convey our message and theme across to our audience.