One of the early gigs I had with Alpha Glyph was a fascinating copyright search project. (I know, it’s a little geeky to find copyright searching fascinating, but that’s why I do what I do!) I was helping Aleksandra Dulic get clearances for images she was using for her doctoral thesis, Fields of Interaction: From Shadow Play Theatre to Media Performance, described at the end of this posting. She had selected over 200 very diverse images to accompany her thesis, from books, websites and artists’ work – both contemporary and ancient, as well as worldwide. Copyright had to be cleared for them all.
It was great fun contacting publishers and artists from China, Australia, Europe, the UK and the US, and hunting down the sources of materials that had been included in books, or from known galleries and collections. What I found was a very civil environment where people genuinely wished to help one another find the materials and trace their copyrights, and that there was great good will for this, particularly as the work was academic. The artists, of course, were the easiest, and the most willing. Invariably they would simply say “yes” or “of course” immediately. The difficulty with them was the act of tracking them down, finding a current contact email for them. The most difficult were a few university galleries with collections, but even they were willing to help however possible, but they had more red tape, more forms to fill in, more precise wording requirements.
See Aleksandra’s work with the Computational Poetics Group here.
About the thesis:
Fields of Interaction: From Shadow Play Theatre to Media Performance examines the emerging contemporary practice of computational media performance and its genealogy through intersections across shadow play, cinema and computational media. One of the ways in which media performance can be contextualized is by looking at contemporary performance forms that emerge from different traditions and cultures. Computational media performance invites us to look at shadow play and reinterpret it, with performative action and locality of place and community in mind. This research connects interactive media art with Balinese community-based performance practices.
This research connects interactive media art with Balinese community-based performance practices. The interactive media art, in this study, is examined with a particular focus on issues that arise from using computational technologies in the context of performance.
This research is concerned with the relationship between computation and performance as a two elementary axes, using hybrid research methodology that integrates artistic process and outcomes, performance theory and cross-cultural study of shadow theatre. My intellectual concerns centre on the significance of collective performance structured around the work of computational media art. I focus on two particular contexts of interactive media art practice: (1) interactive audiovisual installations and (2) media performances. These foci, through the collaborative research of the Computational Poetics Research group, have provided a variety of artistic outcomes.
The composition and presentation of electronic media, using capabilities offered by computation, extend cinema with its ability to braid encoded process with various media, narrative elements and participants’ interaction in the real time of the performance. The “interaction” of performers, partakers and the elements of the work form situated media performance as inspired by the study of Balinese shadow play. The concept of braided processes, drawn from Balinese shadow play, is further investigated through a series of artistic studies and productions that employ improvisation and real-time animation of media driven by the interaction among performers, participants and materials of the work.