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East by West 2.0

interactive networked environment


concept & artistic production:
Johannes Birringer (USA/Germany)
Sher Doruff (Holland)
Orm Finnendahl (Germany)

production collaboration
Arjen Keersmaat (Holland)
Simon de Bakker (Holland)

Assistance: Tijmen Zonnevijle
Motion tracking design: Frieder Weiß (Germany)
programming and systems:
Software: PD sound design (Finnendahl), GNU/Linux: Miller Puckette (PD), Paul Davis (RME driver), Bill Schottstaedt (sndlib) and Stefan Kersten (adoption of PD to sndlib), Heiko Schlittermann (LUG Dresden); EyeCon (Weiß); Keystroke (Doruff, and Waag Society, Tom Demeyer, Niels Bogaards, Just van den Broecke).




East by West consists of two interactive, distributed environments constructed at opposite ends of a building or at remote sites and connected via live video-audio streaming.

Both explore the emergence and temporal synthesis of musical, visual and kinaesthetic perceptions in two similar yet different "geographic" architectures.

Each of the landscapes can be experienced in two different "states":

The east (Orange County) is warm and brightly lit, and its organic texture invites intuitive interaction with the suspended oranges. A live video stream connects both environments, and a mixed image of both spaces gets projected onto the walls of the environments. Loudspeakers play the streamed sound of the distant room which is affected by the playful behavior of the visitors.

The west (Dead Sea) environment with the black sand is darker, eerier, and more ghostlike; boccia balls are on the sand, inviting a game. A projection of geometric images washes over the sand. The images
represent sounds which can be "played" using a fluorescent ball. The environments are crosslinked in such a way that using the ball doesn'tonly play the "instrument" in the local environment, but also changes
the geometry of the images in the remote environment. The telepresence images on the walls show the mix of the soundings and the players' actual behavior or performance.

The installation invites the visitor to explore the spaces and try out different interactive games between the landscapes. The synthesis underscores the experience of the visitors and their strategic play or intuitive interaction with potential games or performance environments. Both landscapes invite the visitor to explore and play with the objects in the environments. Our objective is to experiment with the transformation of spatial imagination (real space as virtual space) and the experience of time and synchronicity. The experience is generated through sound and actions/behaviors of the visitors in environments of hyperplasticity. The term "hyperplasticity" refers to the emergent relationships between visitors in both sites as they engage with the
spaces and the "transobjects" they find in the spaces. The fluctuating conditions in both environments will depend on the behavior of the visitors. The social and aesthetic dimension of the work therefore depends on a careful examination of interactivity understood here as process through which meanings of locales and milieus are constantly evolving, adaptable and redefinable.


The concept of networked, translocal spaces allows investigation of the nature of real-time sound synthesis and how extended physical space can be shared by people when they play with fictional geographies, strange or familiar objects, and their mediated presences. Telepresence restructures and enlarges the environment with its projection (window) of mediated and combined presences in action. Linking a "local" site with a "remote" site raises particular challenges for our understanding of new artistic paradigms in telepresence, distributed and "navigational" art. The social orientation toward sensual environments and "hyperplasticity" is not directed at euphoric assumptions about virtual reality (VR) but at concrete, synaesthetic processes of
cognition. East by West addresses the visitors' playful fantasy and tactile exploration of the environment; the interface becomes useful. if such play recognizes how parallel reality-systems can converge or affect each other, how we integrate other realities into our social experience




Die erweiterte Version 2.0

Nach der Ausstellung von "East by West" im Festspielhaus Hellerau, Dresden, im Juli 2002, entsteht eine erweiterte Version 2.0., vorbereitet und entwickelt für DEAF2003 ("Data Knitting"). Sie bezieht interaktive Steuerungen mit dem Eyecon System, wechselseitig-dialoge Midiverknüpfungen und Bodenprojektionen der visualisierten Klangtexturen für den Westraum ("Totes Meer") vor. In der für CYNETart2002 vorgeschlagenen Version 1.5 wird die Dialogik von Klangvisualisierung und Telepräsenz im Westraum getestet werden.




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