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November 17, 2004

I’ve been doing observations and collecting video of some live performances. The video files are too big to offer online, but I might extract some clips later. I used the videos in a brief presentation I gave yesterday that was very well received. One of the problems that was identified was a lack of a coherent design message. It is easy to say that a laptop is not an optimum performance instrument. But it is slightly more difficult to say who you are improving it for, and why. I think it will be easy to improve audience engagement by making the performer’s movements more expressive, but will that be to the detriment of the artist some how? I also think it’s possible to improve the laptop evironment for performance, but a true improvement may be just to get rid of the laptop.

So, I’ve settled on a design message that I’m hoping will drive the formation of my prototype. As of right now, I’m trying to shoot for improving both aspects of the performance (artist expression and audience engagement). I think that by improving one (artistic expression), you will improve the other. So, here’s the message of the day:

Better, cheap, laptop-like configurations can lead to more expressive performance & audience engagement using less space

There are several negative factors to electronic music that I’m trying to improve or remove. They include:

  1. The lack of performer gaze into the audience during performances.
  2. The fragility of a laptop leading to restrained expression
  3. The limited interface options available on the laptop

Once again, it seems that simply using something other than a laptop would improve things greatly. Several suggestions included using other midi enabled music instruments such as guitars, or some sort of sensor based dance interpreter. However, I think these ideas miss the target audience. I’ll develop this concept further…

From → Capstone

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