Technology. Often times, it plays an “out of sight, out of mind” role in our lives – regardless of the fact that it essentially powers/runs everything around us. Sure, consumer electronics like smartphones, remind us on a daily basis of just how powerful technology has become – especially in helping us communicate with one another…and build imaginary farms. Then, every once-in-a-while, we see technology used in such amazing ways (like art), that it instantly re-connects us with the immense wonderment it can bring. Case in point: Unnamed SoundSculpture. This amazing project by Daniel Franke and Cedric Kiefer is truly mind boggling – both for its use of technology (Microsoft Kinect) but also for its revolutionary art form.
Speechless. So let’s look at the tech behind the art. Daniel Franke and Cedric Kiefer used 3 Microsoft Kinects to map out the movement of their dancer but it wasn’t just movement that was being mapped – the cameras were also recording sound:
She was recorded by three depth cameras (Kinect), in which the intersection of the images was later put together to a three-dimensional volume (3d point cloud), so we were able to use the collected data throughout the further process. The three-dimensional image allowed us a completely free handling of the digital camera, without limitations of the perspective. The camera also reacts to the sound and supports the physical imitation of the musical piece by the performer. She moves to a noise field, where a simple modification of the random seed can consistently create new versions of the video, each offering a different composition of the recorded performance. The multi-dimensionality of the sound sculpture is already contained in every movement of the dancer, as the camera footage allows any imaginable perspective….
From the raw data that was recorded, Daniel and Cedric could manipulate the movement+sound information at will – even adding gravity and changing the field of view for the audience. To get more technical, the sound and movement data combined gave the guys a digital body that consisted of 22,ooo points – that allowed them to show as little or as much detail as they wished, thus the ghosting effect throughout the video. Check out the mini documentary about how the project came together – right below.