Whitespace is a structured dance improvisation performed within a movement-interactive computer-produced multimedia installation environment. The improvisation directions are by Kathleya Afanador and the computer programming is by Allen Fogelsanger.

The installation environment is produced by a conglomeration of Max 5 programs called Canvas+Triggers+Snaps. Canvas projects color "paintings" inscribed by movement. A video camcorder records changes in luminosity from one video frame to the next; as people move within the installation space, their movement generates colorful visual traces on the projected output video. Triggers is an audio component that may respond with several different outputs: "swishes," footsteps, piano and percussion each follow different algorithms for interacting with visitors' movement. Snaps is triggered by stillness; its response is to take a snapshot of whatever Canvas is showing at the time. It projects this new snapshot for a short period before sequencing through a series of older snapshots, each triggered by one of the percussion sounds of Triggers.

The performers in Whitespace work with structured improvisations to create a human-installation environment that varies from highly formalized to rather chaotic. Over the course of five to nine hours, it fluctuates between periods of sculptural stillness and periods of dynamic variation. Within this installation space there is no distinction made between "performance space" and "audience space"--they are intermingled. Viewers walking through the performance-installation unavoidably insert themselves into the work and are invited to play with it, their very presence creating tangible effects in the audio and visual media.

Performed in Brunel University's Antonin Artaud Building
as part of DRHA 2010: Digital Resources for the Humanities and Arts
September 8, 2010
London, UK

Improvisation direction: Kathleya Afanador
Sound, video and computer programming: Allen Fogelsanger
Installation design: Kathleya Afanador and Allen Fogelsanger

Performers: Stephanie McMann, Elsa Petit, Maxine Phillips, Sarah Poekert, Yoshiko Wada

Special Thanks to Graeme Shaw and Brunel University for the extended use of a Mac Mini for experimentation.