“Playing the Stage” 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

Timing/Organization: 32 h workshop. 4 full days organized in two consecutive weekends:  3-4 and 10-11 November form 10 to 19h.

Cost for Participants: 125€ (reduced for students or unemployed: 95€)

Registrations: Application form below.

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 workshop will be divided into two blocks (of two days each):

During the First Block we will build the stage-instruments using cheaply available technology: Arduino controller boards and different kind of sensors. We will explore which kinds of sensors are suitable to control a certain parameters (those modulating or creating images and sounds).

During the Second block we will focus on creating and rehearsing a scene using our own stage-instrument. During this part we will investigate both, the creative possibilities of out instrument and possible technical improvements that might be necessary.

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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