Monday, May 3, 2010


A year and a half ago Armadillo Dance Project started working with what we have tended to call the painting patch because of its effect being similar to creating an abstract expressionist painting. First used publicly at the February 2009 Phoenix Experimental Arts Festival in our piece Red Bites for a Rainy Day, the painting patch is a Max 5 software program that uses a video camera to target either (a) a previously set color or (b) any movement. In each frame of video the target pixels are painted a new color, which changes gradually from frame to frame in a random walk through the video color cube, and the paint accumulates on the screen. A separate parameter controls how quickly the paint fades (to either black or white); if the target color is not present, or if there is no movement, the canvas will gradually go blank. Our best video of the program in action comes from the performance of Red Bites at the Cloud Dance Festival: Restless in April 2009 in London.

We now have a series of events scheduled that will place the painting patch (now simply called Painter) in public spaces as part of interactive installations. It will be set up in the lobby of the Schwartz Center at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, on May 6 and 8 during performances of the semester-ending Dance Theatre Concert (this semester called the Locally Grown Dance Festival). It will similarly be installed in the foyer of Queen Elizabeth Hall at Southbank Centre in London during a performance by the London Sinfonietta on June 3; that concert will be presented with concurrent events organized by The London Sinfonietta Collective and promoted jointly as Shadoworks.

We'll next take Painter to Sweden where we'll be presenting an installation / lecture-demonstration during the Abundance Dance and Choreography Festival in Karlstad, June 15-17. Painter will be part of a multimedia installation of several of our previously used interactive programs combined to create an environment responding to movement. The first two days we'll be set up in the Värmlands Museum, where we'll give the lecture-demonstration on Choreographing with Computer Interactivity at 3 p.m. on June 16. For the last day plans are being formulated to move us to Karlstad University where the World Summit on Media for Children and Youth is taking place and set up somewhere there. We'll update our website when the details are worked out.

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