Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Motion mapping

Enlighted by Marc Downie's work at the MIT Media Lab, I just checked his company Openended Group where he co-creates digital artworks for stage, screen, gallery, museum and public spaces.
His PhD thesis (459 pages) on choreographing the extended agent is available for download online.

I selected this quote that I find particularly interesting regarding my current research ...

If you cast your mind back to childhood, you will soon discover our topic – motion-mapping – most clearly and imaginatively revealed. There in the games and pursuits of your earliest years you can distinguish this phenomenon in its three most basic forms. You can also follow each form forward in time to find out what they grew into -- forms of art.

You might start by bringing back the movement games you played so ardently as a child – in particular the games of imitation and mimicry, like Copycat, Follow the leader, Charades, Simon Says, and the innumerable variants you and your friends would improvise. These games had you map the movements of others onto your own body, sometimes in the simplest one-to-one transformations (as when you followed the leader), but sometimes more intricately, as when you mimicked a lion, or a horse, or a gladiator...

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