Boxing Rants

May 26, 2011 · Posted in Documentation, Media Art, Pure Data · Comment 

I’ve been working since November o a new piece called Boxing Rants. It uses a Kinect Camera as a controller. I’ve written a patch in Pure Data that allows for me to trigger video files in a grid by shadow boxing. The camera reads the X,Y,Z position of the hand joints and when it hits the exact point it triggers video that is texture mapped on one of the cubes (pictured above). The Kinect driver was hacked almost as soon as the camera was released. There are several different ways to use the camera. One is a TUIO interface. Hans Christophe Steiner has also written a PD hack that I’m using with this piece. It maps the points onto a wire frame puppet. Here’s what that looks like.–
The videos are an extension of my rant pieces. I try to advance the idea of performance every time I do these. I decided for this latest round to focus on the idea of me aging and doing exercises. In particular I wanted to use the boxing training metaphor. I’ve taken boxing training at the gym and part of what you do is learn to be precise when you throw a punch. This works well with the idea of configuring a virtual space triggered by a punch at a specific location. This brings in the idea of the limits of the body and it’s extension into virtual space. The puppet visualizes that virtual space. I’m still building the piece and it will be shown at Postmasters Gallery June 26th as part of an Artists Meeting event evening called Being and Event. Part of what the performance is about is a feedback loop caused by me triggering files of me ranting while training. There is the potential for a randomized/controlled performance by using my body as a sort of controller. The initial configuration is fairly crude. I’m not a whiz-bang programmer. I’ve been seriously programming the piece for about a month. The real issue is that I am tuning the performance, the virtual space and the video/audio as I am building the piece. There’s no way to know the limits of this process without going through it.