The Weirdest Thing on the Internet Tonight: Apparition

In a stunning display of interpretive dance, Apparition answers the burning question: "What choreography emerges when software is your partner?" This interactive media performance was created and directed by Klaus Obermaier with help from the Ars Electronica Futurelab and performed by Rob Tannion.


Per the Apparition homepage:

The creation of a performance work for the stage involves a complex interplay between many factors including the performers' physicality and the dynamics of emergent choreographic forms. To closely reflect this, the real-time system for generating visuals developed for APPARITION is built on top of computational processes that model and simulate real-world physics. The inherent kinetic properties of these simulations inspired our view that the overall interactive system is much more than simply an extension of the performer, but is a potential performing partner. The independent behavior of the physical models for example is not ‘controllable' by the performer, but can be influenced by his or her movement. This interplay between dancer and system and how one begins to understand the properties of the other has been crucial to the conceptual and aesthetic development of the work; helping give shape to the choreography and underpinning its dramaturgy.

The camera based motion tracking system developed for APPARITION uses complex computer vision algorithms to extract the performer's moving outline/ shape from the background to provide constantly updating information for a body projection as well as qualitative calculations of certain motion dynamics, e.g. speed, direction, intensity and volume. The information derived from these calculations is assigned dynamically to the real-time generation of visuals that are projected either directly back onto the body and/ or as large-scale background projection. The precise synchronization of projections on the background and the bodies result in the materialization of an overall immersive kinetic space / a virtual architecture that can be simultaneously fluid and rigid, that can expand and contract, ripple, bend and distort in response to or an influence upon the movement of the performers.

I imagine this is what it would be like to prance about in the midst of a hyperspace jump. While on acid. And barefoot. Oh god, I've become a Space Hippy. And why are my hands melting? Oh right, the acid.



congratulations Klaus Obermaier you've made the human form in space irrelevant.