Body Projection Mapping + Interactivity is a literal illumination of performers movement via dance stage lighting design. Performer(s) on stage with no background necessarily. I focus on illuminating performers foremost plus patterns and textures utilizing one show-control system. For interactivity an additional system is incorporated. So for me, I need to use 2 separate computer systems.

As seasoned professional graphic designer, illustrator, videographer and visual programmer, I can accurately visualize intended goals. Designing for subtle detail or abstract silhouettes is not an issue. Producing abstract silhouettes is common with interactive tech and very easy. My very first abstraction dates back to 1978 with a series of Jo Ellen Arntz to document work being staged in SF, CA.

Projection Mapping Demo

This image illustrates traditional dance lighting design and body projection mapping. The choreographer made the final lighting balance decision preferring to have stage lighting over power my body projection mapping. The color and stripes are from body projection mapping. It illustrates dynamics of multiple mindsets. Click image below to view Demo

Dancers: Sadie Black and Jeremiah Tatum – Photo: Paul Antico – Body Projection: Paul Ackerman

CODAME: ART+MOVEMENT+TECHNOLOGY: Image below illustrates how I staged a piece with a “FLOW” performer on hoop. Her ballet training speaks for itself. Music is by Wisam I-am.

To view the video click image.


Another piece I staged at CODAME was with ballet dancer Alexsandra Meijer. Music is by Wisam I-am.

To view the video click image below.










This image illustrates body projection mapping with dancers Delphine Perroud and Alex Stabler. No stage lighting was used nor necessary. Media used are slide projectors and the art included hand-manipulated graphic arts film. This is how I have prototype Body Projection Mapping over many years. To view a promo video I produced for Luminario Ballet click the image.





Interactive Body Projection Mapping:

Dancer: Terrin Kelly – Interactive + Body Projection Mapping + Photo: Paul Ackerman

As the acknowledge founder of interactive mapping, German coder Fredia Weiss stated, “I’m tired of just producing flat 2D dimensional art.” Performers always looked like pedestrians with just white light so a IR sensor could see them. Another approach combines a second IR sensor to produce an additional abstract silhouetted performer in front of the abstracted background.

Coupled with “Body Projection Mapping,” interactive staging design creates many more dynamic options and reveals several key issues in working with choreographers.

For one, dance choreographers demand dancer(s) be visible. Two, the speed at which graphics compete with dancers movement drives a traditional choreographer nuts. It takes a lot of patience and trust to work with them.

The current tech driven mindset of only allowing a dancer to seem like a pedestrian dominates every piece much like Fredia Weiss’s or Klaus Obermaier’s approach. When integrated with dynamic staging like what Fredia Weiss planned for Chunky Monkey’s show the conversation changed. Most all tech’s have embraced this pedestrian mindset not having any stage/dancer experience.

Most all choreographers demand the dancers have normal lighting design for the performers and let the static background be as it may. If you look at San Francisco choreographer Amy Steward’s work this is very obvious. Two separate active lighting approaches plus the ballet dancers movement. The interactive screen displays interactivity yet stage lighting illuminates brightly.

Multiple Mindset approach is to track an illuminated Body Projection Mapped dancer/performer with several sensors plus a video camera. A 3D filtered image is then projected back to a screen of the 3D image. So we have both projections on the performer with a 3D image floating on a screen also.

TVPixel.Back00cwAbstract silhouette

Another approach is to just process the captured image with visual programming patches as per my sample image here.  I created this with Isadora, a visual programming cost effect solution. I also have found it very reliable for performance video routing. Learning Touch Designer for kinect interactivity now with some very positive results.


Mist vs Infinity Screens

I have worked with various mist/water screens in the past. One was a show at Seattle’s large International Fountain for Arts Edge. It rained both days very hard, there was both a large water fountain and heavy rain.  I researched for a year how to make an image float using several hazers and special fabric. Mist technique is also used to create holograms. This dynamic solution goes beyond the “infinity screen” seem in many interactive works.

Aerialist: Terril Teran - Design + Body Projection + Photo: Paul E. Ackerman
Aerialist: Terril Terran – Design + Body Projection + Photo: Paul E. Ackerman
Dancer: Terrin Kelly – Interactive + Body Projection + Photo: Paul Ackerman









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