Magnetic Dance performance is based on an ongoing research that explores the potential of networked interaction through dance. The objective is to extend the interaction paradigm of live coding by involving a more intimate coupling to human body movement through wearable devices.
It is a performance involving dancers in separate locations, whose movements are tracked with magnetic and acceleration-based sensors on wireless wearable devices. In this way, the dancers performing concurrently in distant locations can jointly create a performance on these locations by sharing their movement data measured by the sensor devices. The use of wearable magnetic sensors and accelerometers creates a high degree of independence for the dancers at the cost of data concreteness. We use these data to modulate the metric patterns in the performance. This is inspired by traditional African music practices, where several musicians play on one instrument and create interlocking rhythmic patterns by playing alternately in the beats left unplayed by the other performers in the group.
The principle used for creating the metric patterns is inspired by research on rhythmical interweaving (epiplokē) in ancient greek metrical theory (cf. Giorgio Grafani), and the goal is to emulate the type of weaving patterns created through live coding in TidalCycles as demonstrated by McLean (2014). Furthermore, the metric patterns created are used to feed the simulation of a reaction-diffusion equation to generate graphics for the performance.
Iannis Zannos has a background in music composition, ethnomusicology and interactive performance. He has worked as Director of the Music Technology and Documentation section at the State Institute for Music Research (S.I.M.) in Berlin, Germany, and Research Director at the Center for Research for Electronic Art Technology (CREATE) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has taken part at numerous international collaborative Media Arts projects and has realized multimedia performances both alone and in cooperation with other artists. He is teaching audio and interactive media arts at the Department of Audiovisual Arts and at the postgraduate course in Arts and Technologies of Sound of the Music Department at the Ionian University, Corfu. Besides performing regularly with Live Coding on SuperCollider, he also participates in artistic collaborations in a Media Arts setting. Currently Iannis Zannos is focusing on how environmental issues as well as problems of multiculturality are reflected in media-art terms.