Workshop: Intimacy over Distance

Initimacy over Distance : networked broadcasting tools and scenarios.
by Nancy Mauro-Flude and Audrey Samson

This workshop is facilitated by Nancy Mauro-Flude and Audrey Samson. It explores networked communication and related technologies through the elaboration and enactment of a networked performance using PureData signal processing language (Pd) and the Internet as a performance platform.

Duration: 2 days

(Add another day for including PureData extended config & install of Linux – or come prepared with your choice of Linux distro.

We have tried, use and tested our patches in Ubuntu-
* Maverick 10.10 (i386 32-bit) (direct questions here to Nancy)
* Lucid 10.04 (i386 32-bit) (direct questions here to Audrey)

http://puredata.info/downloads is also a handy link

The workshop takes place over 2 days during which participants first learn to implement and install the performance patches and set-up on a computer. Then we begin to develop, a script, a set (scenography), and consider timing – a dramaturgical system of ‘tasks’ to be performed/executed by remote participants.

Depending on your hardware, the Pd patch (uploading tool) takes input for both video cameras, webcams, RSS, text, and screen capture. The patch itself allows for filtering application to frames, contrast/brightness/grayscale adjustments, and varying upload speed. More experienced participants can also modify the patch to add features.

Working with carefully crafted instructions, it sensitises participants, invites them to experience and reflect on different ways of being together in a machine-mediated world. This workshop asks how we deal with the tensions of collaboration and physical separation as we negotiate relationships through video imagery, computer software and digital networks. We ask the participants to consider the detail in a scene that might otherwise be consumed in a momentary glance; the light, the mood of the space, the position of the objects in the frame and the subject behind the view.

Participants may pick any topic: an online diary, an improvisation on a theme, a re-enactment of an existing tale, a fictional story they create, etc. with fictional and subjective elements such as live video, intimate gesture, and location changes spurred by the narrative reality of the performative event. Workshop is about how our collective memory is distributed across space and time and locale, mediating what it means to be human.

Skills/objectives:
-Working with internet protocols, understanding limitations and possibilities in this medium.
-Introduction to forms of co-authorship, collaborative storytelling, improvised performance, and multimedia installation (expanded cinema).
-Bridging time zones and distance in collaborative productions.
-Building scripts/scenarios/plots for non-linear story telling.
-Familiarisation with Pd and electronic performance tools – interfaces developed by Audrey Samson, Æther9 and Nancy Mauro-Flude.

Material required:

-Video cameras/webcams (preferably modular ones that are not embedded into your computer)
-Internet connection
-Laptops
-Rehearsal and working space