The Irish MIDAS collective has brought together programmers, designers, and composers working to fuse traditional and new techniques. Their premiere project is entitled “MIDASpaces,” a kind of dynamic performance space built on projection mapping and responsive interaction. As they describe it:

MIDASpaces: An interactive projection mapped space designed for the Creative Arts. Using the Latest tracking technology, the space learns, adapts and reacts, allowing the performer to create new improvised performances.

The promo video is shot in Dublin’s lovely performance space The Helix, working with a PS3 Eye camera modded for infrared light and openFrameworks for tracking. (There’s a bit of Kinect, too, they say.) Three projectors do all the work – proof that you can do quite a lot just by adding a projector or two, before you go crazy with a flock of projectors.

There are definitely some familiar tropes here, though I think that’s honestly the best place to start with a new project, and I’m eager to see where else this goes. Dancer Tom O’Donnell has been working on improvisatory dance movement, and it’s worth saying that this sort of medium can benefit from pushing choreography and music and visual content, not only the technological aspect itself.

Great work, folks; I’d love to get back to the brain trust that seems to flourish in Dublin soon!

Keep the projects coming. Lastly, a couple of videos of the work in-progress, testing both Kinect and PS3 cam:

Other ingredients: Quartz Composer, and one tool I hadn’t seen before:

tryplex, a set of macros for Kinect. Let’s put that in another post, actually.

  • deb

    oh. my. god.

    i say this 2x: once, in that this is obviously very sophisticated. second, ENOUGH WITH THE DUBSTEP WOBBLE BASS ALREADY.

    i dunno. this whole motion tracking thing is kind of cool but leaves me cold. i wish i had seen the whole thing but i suspect, sadly, that the trailer is about what happened that night.

  • Peter Kirn

    Deb, if you were playing the wobble bass video demo drinking game with CDM, you might have a different perspective. (hiccup)

  • ilan

    They forgot to mention that they used MadMapper for the cubes. Although I would say projections on cubes fits somewhere near the wobble at this point.

  • Teemu

    Ilan: agreed, having done the cubes a few years back myself. At the monemt it seems that we are in a situation, where the wow-effect of just neat looking video mappend on geometry is starting to wear off. And I think that's a good thing, as it hopefully will encourage people to push the artistic content further, and not just ride on the newness of the medium. It's also a little sad when a potentially good thing (like wobble bass or projected cubes) get's over used, and becomes something to avoid… After all, wobble bass and cubes are just that, elements to be used creatively and fearlessly, in places that make sense and start to mean somenthing. Oh, this is turning in to a rant…

    In conclusion, let's keep pushing the art and boundaries, that's what it's all about!

  • deb

    @ peter: ….hic

    @ teemu: bravo. well said.