Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Dr Garth Paine
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
Thesis Supervisor
David Atkinson
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Interactive Media
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
Interactive, Music, Electronic Music, Immersive Environment, Virtual Reality
Abstract: 200-500 words
This thesis outlines six interactive installation works that form a body of research concerned with the development of interactive, responsive installation works that use the gestures of the unencumbered human body as their central activation and control mechanism. They are therefore an exploration of interactivity, interface technologies and approaches to mapping the sensed data derived from movement in the installation space, onto sound and vision generation schemes. I have conditioned this exploration with a desire to produce art installations; three-dimensional environments that occupy an entire gallery space. The installations were intended to be immersive, and to engage the ‘inhabitant’ in a direct, visceral and dynamic way. It was intended that the visitor to the installation would require no prior knowledge of the system and, additionally, would require no knowledge of musical practice or the visual arts. Whilst the installations generate sound and sometimes vision, it was intended that these outputs be engaged with, on an intuitive basis. A great deal of care has therefore been taken in developing interfaces that gather appropriately detailed data about the nature of momentary behaviours. Furthermore, the projects illustrate developments in the mapping of this data on to algorithms that generate audible and visual outcomes that reflect the quality of interaction. The evolution of approaches, evident between each of the installation works documented here, shows a deliberate movement away from ‘triggered’ systems to realtime ‘streamed’ outputs. This evolution also illustrates an intention to gather and refine qualitative data, that is, data that is descriptive of behaviour and movement patterns associated with interactive engagement, rather than the sensing of ‘hot spot’ or ‘collision detection’ moments. In the development of more refined realtime systems, it has also been my intention to remove pre-made or pre-defined content from the installation works, and in so doing, provide as much scope as possible for a unique interactive experience that reflects the fine weights of nuance in ongoing interactions. The installation works are concerned with gesture. The term gesture is used here both to represent a physical movement, whether choreographed and intentional, or intuitive and exploratory, and the sense of musical or sound based constructions. The gesture of a sound relates to its form, its amplitude envelope, its timbre and the dynamic change in all of these characteristics over time. I will present much of this document in the first person. Whilst the research is contextualised within the existing body of knowledge and references are made throughout this document to existing literature and previous experiments, these installations are artworks, derived from a personal intention to reflect upon the human condition. The developments illustrated through this series of installations have come about through my desire to: • increase the intimacy of the interactive experience, and • remove myself from the role of content creator and dictator of interactive outcomes. Each installation work takes into consideration the comments made by those who visited the previous installation work, but the way in which these developments are executed and the overall aesthetic and context of the work is driven by personal artistic interests. To contextualise this work, I will outline three principal areas of interactive practice that have relevance to the objectives of my research: 1. gesture based interactive instruments 2. virtual reality 3. responsive environments In so doing I will discuss ways in which the work carried out during this project extends or varies the practices of other artists, whose work falls into the above categories