Particles - new strategies for interactive dance, music and visualization.

Daniel Bisig, Andrea Cera, Pablo Palacio, Marc Sauter, Lisa Stockinger, Robert Wechsler

2.2.2011 - 13.2.2011
L'ARC, Romainmôtier, Switzerland (location)














































In this eleven-day residency we will develop new strategies for interactive dance, music and visualization.  This work feeds into a project at Bauhaus University to build a device for handicapped people to turn movement into music.


Concept:  Particles

Groups of small sound elements known as particles seem to offer a promising approach to interactive music.   Because particles are discrete, they offer a simple way to build palpable correlations of action and sound. (Discrete and tightly-synchronized changes are one of the key ways to give movers the sense that they are hearing their movements (1). )

In addition, groups of many particles can form something akin to clouds in our perception.  Clouds have shape and flow -- and thus they allow us to apply parameters of continuous control.  In other words, taken together, particles can be both precise and also complex, textural and subtle.  By mapping variables such as particle density onto human movement, we hope to generate sound environments which respond to human movement and dance in new ways, with new responsiveness and tactility.  Like the sound of an animal in a forest, one can imagine "stirring up" or disrupting clusters of particles through one's movements.



This point about density is but one of a number of ideas floating around -- each composer will work on his own and thus we will develop multiple motion-controlled musical environments.  This is important:  it is our goal not to make a piece but perhaps several short experimental projects.   With a dancer/choreographer present, we will be dveloping both sound, movement and the relationship between the two.


Presentation of Work

At the end of the residency, a public or private presentation will be presented at L'ARC (if desired).  Additional public presentations are planned, as are publications.



1.  See White Paper on Interactive Environment Design    07.11







Daniel Bisig, PhD. (Switzerland) worked as a biologist in protein crystallography before becoming a visual and interactive artist.  An award-winning web designer, he finally moved into the field of artificial intelligence, first as a research associate at the University of Art and Design, and finally as a senior researcher at the Labor für Künstliche Intelligenz at the University of Zürich (AIL). Together with Jill Scott, he directs the project e-Skin: SmartSculptures in Interactive Environments. His work on Swarms was presented recently at ARC, in Romainmotier, Switzerland.
"In my research I explore and evaluate concepts and methodologies from those sciences which pursue a synthetic approach with regard to their applicability to art and design. The synthetic principle of abstraction of natural processes and their reimplementation in an artifact is very common in art and steadily gains in importance in science. I'm particularly interested in the fuzzy boundary region between the scientific fields of Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life and the artistic fields of interactive and generative art. Complex and self-organized systems have a great appeal for art, since they possess the capability to continuously change, adapt and evolve."

Andrea Cera (Italy) is an electronic musician. He studied of Piano and Compostion in Italy (Conservatorio di Padova) and Electronic Music (Cursus Annuel de Composition et Informatique Musicale – IRCAM). He has produced music for choreographers Hervé Robbe, Edmond Russo and Shlomi Tuizer, J.C.Maillot. The audio art works “Innig” and “D-Day” were commissioned by the Centre Georges Pompidou and “NightRun” and “Reactive Ambient Music” for the Fresnoy in Tourcoing. He has also composed for the music ensembles Court-Circuit, Paris and the Nouvelle Cuisine Big Band in Vienna. He collaborated on research projects with different institutions including, and most recently, IRCAM, Native Instruments, Renault and Notam. He currently also works at the Conservatoire de Padoue et à l'Académie de Beaux Arts de Brera in Milan.

Dan Hosken is an Associate Professor of Music at California State University, Northridge, where he teaches music technology and composition. Dr. Hosken is an active composer of acoustic and electronic music with a special emphasis on interactive works and multimedia. His research interests include innovations in the pedagogy of sound composition to make that medium accessible to both musicians and those without traditional musical training such as artists, multimedia designers, etc. This research has led to a number of innovative student projects and courses taught at CSUN that involve cross-disciplinary work by students in Art, Cinema and Television Arts, and Music.  Dr. Hosken's music has been performed at Carnegie Recital Hall, the "Cube" at the MIT Media Lab, and at such festivals as the National Conference of the Society of Composers (SCI), the National Conference of SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the US), the Florida Electro-Acoustic Music Festival, the Seoul International Computer Music Festival, the International Symposium on Electronic Art, and the International Computer Music Conference. He has collaborated with Palindrome on a number different projects since 2003.

Pablo Palacio (Spain) is a rising star in the Spanish electroacoustic music scene. In the last few years, his interactive and non-interactive works were invited to La Casa encendida Territorio Eléctrico (Madrid, Spain), Reencontres Choreographiques de Carthague-Danse et Nouvelles Technologies (Tunis), LEM (Barcelona), Rising Stars (Sevilla-Cádiz-Jerez, Spain), Salle des Eaux-Vives (Geneve), Grange de Dorigny (Lausanne), Arsenic-Centre d'art scénique contemporain (Lausanne), Escena Contemporánea (Madrid) and Bains Numeriques (Enghien-Les Bains, Paris).  This year he was also commissioned to create music for "The Irin", a production of Ballett Mainz Staatstheater in Mainz, Germany. He holds degrees in psychology and psychoacoustics from Universidad Complutense in Madrid and been composing for Palindrome Intermedia Group since 2009.
Concerning his piece "Catexis" (2010), he wrote, "... [it is] constructed upon sound transformations of phonemic gestures emitted by the dancer that constitute the germ of dance motion itself. The piece explores the existence of a natural morphology present in certain phonemic objects, this means that the physiological activity of the vocal tract involved in its production is analogical to the described phenomena in the “real world”. The motion of the organs in the vocal tract (uvula, velum, larynx, tongue, teeth, etc) conform a miniature choreography which is amplified through dance motion and sonic transformations diffused in a multichannel loudspeaker array."

Robert Wechsler (Germany/USA) is a choreographer, dancer and developer of interactive methods of performing with technology. His interest in sensors and electronic devices dates back to the 1970's when he used body-worn electronic devices to generate sounds through his movements on stage. He is the director of Palindrome Performance Group which is a pioneering ensemble in the area of interactive and computer-assisted performances. He has a BFA in dance and an MFA in choreography from State University of New York at Purchase and New York University respectively. Between '79 and '88 he studied with Merce Cunningham and John Cage in New York. For his choreography and dancing he has been honored with a Fulbright Fellowship and, together with Palindrome, won first prize at the Berlin Transmediale and the Dresden CynetArt competitions. In 2004 he directed England's first masters degree program in digital performance (at Doncaster College, Hull University). He is the author of articles in Leonardo Magazine, IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, Ballet International, Dance Magazine, Dance Research Journal, Nouvelle de Danse, Der Tanzder Dinge and others. He now lives teaches and creates in Weimar, Germany.

Marc Sauter is a composer and member of the current EXIST team that is developing the movement-music device for handicapped people.  He met Robert Wechsler in 2010 when both were working for the interactive performance workshop TMA, at Bauhaus University.

Er arbeitet seit seinem Diplom in Mediengestaltung 2007 als freier Komponist und
Interaktionsprogrammierer. Er ist der musikalische Kopf der Projekte Seltsam&Strahler und
Hempel&Sauter.Darüber hinaus arbeitet er mit dem Projekt Bauhausmaschine erfolgreich im internationalen
Performance- und Ausstellungsbereich an State of the Art Live-Video-Audio Mappings auf und für Objekte,
Architektur und Landschaft. Sein Tatigkeitsfeld konzentriert sich in den Bereichen Klang/Musik, interaktive
Installation und Programmierung reaktiver Umgebungen – mit einer Fokusierung auf die Aufmerksamkeitsverteilung zwischen Technik, Mensch und Ort.
2001 - 2007 Diplom Mediengestaltung, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
1998 – 2000 Studium der Philosophie, Ethnologie und Geographie, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg





Exact Google Map Location

its the building behind the trees on the right:



FLV videos:

Two versions of Piece-2 (Duet)

and one version of Piece-1 (solo):

1  2  3