A friend once told me

that a true conversation

must by necessity

travel long distances.

opening-doctored

Photo: Maria Baranova

Mock-up of concept.

Doppelgänger

PHASE: PREMIERED ON NOV 5, 2021 AT THE NEUROVERSE FESTIVAL AT NEW YORK LIVE ARTS

This is me, talking to my future. A double, made of echoes and reverberations.

I relive a life of leaving and returning through conversation with a past self — a double manufactured out of live projection and the algorithmic manipulation of time.

Is conversation merely an illusion of causation? The result of correlation, multiplied by an intense desire to connect.

I speak, then you speak. We both begin to speak at the same moment. You give way and allow me to finish.

Time passes.

You speak again, and I respond with silence.

In theory, simple manipulations of the arrow of time can trigger our desire to see meaning where there is only happenstance.

In execution, the manipulation is both choreographic and algorithmic.

The choreography is optimized for the algorithm. The algorithm is optimized for the choreography.

The Technology:

A real-time stream of the performer is algorithmically manipulated to create a time-delay in a life-size projection of the stream. The delay manufactures the illusion of a duet when in fact it is simply history repeating itself.


The algorithm is at times a fixed delay of time, at times driven by the variability of the performer’s movements and in the penultimate scene of the piece, recovers moments from the opening sequences of the performance as the performer moves through a series of postures that echo what has come before.


The live performer’s movements are tracked using MoveNet, a Tensorflow.js machine learning model for pose detection and classified with a KNN classifier.

Credits:

Music Excerpt from Sonata No. 5 in C Major by Baldassare Galuppi. Pianist: Cheng-zong Yin.

The project was produced by Media Art Exploration (MAX). Special thanks to Media Commons of New York University. 

Premiered at MAXlive: The Neuroverse, New York Live Arts, November 5, 2021.