“Playing the Stage” 2 audio-visual media workshop by Jan Mech

“Playing the Stage” Integrating spaces, bodies and objects with audio-visual media a workshop by Jan Mech

This workshop will introduce the use of the stage/performance space and its objects as an instrument that can play and create the different technical media (audio, video) used on stage. The focus will be on both the artistic and the technical impact of this approach.

The workshop addresses artist, technicians and designers with a technical interest and performance or stage-related work (theatre, dance, performance, music). Participants should have basic understanding of electronics and be comfortable in working with computers (audio and video). An in depth deep pre knowledge of working with electronic sensors is not required. As the workshop will also focus on the artistic creation it is also valuable for those who already experiences with building performance interfaces.

Language of the seminar: English


Playing the stage I: wo intensive weekends on 20th and 21st April 2003  / 27th and  y 28th April 2013  from 10h to 19h

Playing the stage II: two intensive weekends on 15th and 16th Juny  2013 / 22nd and 23rd Juny 2013 from 10 to 19h

Cost for Participants Playing the Stage I (14h): 160€  (students and unemployed:  145€)

Cost for Participants  Playing the Stage II (28h): 160€  (students and unemployed: 145€)


Workshop description

Playing the stage follows a new paradigm of integration audio video and light within the use of the stage. It is addressed to all stage related professions from both the artistic and the technical side –such as dancers, chorographers, directors, actors, musicians as well as light-, video-, and sound-designers and engineers.

The 80’s and 90’s stage avant-garde introduced the approach that audio, video and lighting are equal elements of the performance-stage, together with the dancers, actors and performers. We will take this approach a step further: the stage itself becomes an instrument that controls these stage media. This stage-instrument will be played live by the dancer/actor/performer though his/her gestures, movements the objects he/she moves. The touch of an object might create a sound, or the position of the dancer might dim the lights. The possibilities are multiple and versatile.

In order to fruitfully transform the stage into an instrument, two fields of knowledge must be combined: the technical knowledge on how to use all kind of sensors to control and create images and sounds, and, of course, the knowledge of the requirements for a performer/actor/dancer on stage. Both sides need a deeper understanding of each other’s work.

Therefore, this contents will be divided into two workshops (of two weekends each):

Playing the Stage I will teach how to technically create a stage instrument. We will design and build our own instruments, controlling audio, video or lights under the use of the open source platform Arduino. It introduces different kind of sensors that are available to capture all kind of parameters (i.e. movement, temperature, light, sound and so on) and will focuses on the question of how to generate useful signals from those sensors.

Playing the Stage II has its focus on the artistic creation. We will work on performance scenes using the stage instruments. The scenes will be developed in regard to the interests of the participants and explore the conditions and possibilities of working with interactive technology.

Jan Mech (Büchenbach, 1974) currently lives and works in Barcelona and Berlin.

He studied Theatre, Film and Media Studies with Prof. Dr. Hans-Thies Lehmann at Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universtität Frankfurt/Main in Germany and was stipend of DasArts Amsterdam. Since then he has studied with prestigious contemporary music composers such as György Kurtág Junior and Raphael Toral, focusing in composition and real-time composing.

Mech is a media-artist, musician and performer. His sound works, compositions for video artists and stage works have been shown in a variety of places such as Artists Space New York, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, HCC London, Tate Modern (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris) and Fabrik Potsdam (Berlin).

Since 2007 he is collaborates regularly as a performer with Spanish artist Dora García. Currently, he collaborates with García’s project for dOCUMENTA (13) entitled Die Klau Mich Show: Radicalism in Society Meets Experiment on TV (www.dieklaumichshow.org).

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