video documentation of a live perfrmance
Art begins with a drawing, literally and metaphorically - the conceptual starting point. In FIVE, I create a drawing through the technological delineation and reconstruction of a live vouging dance performance through real time video processing and motion tracking software manipulation. Vouging is a highly stylized dance form popularized in the 1970’s and 80’s that uses body language and gestures to communicate. Vogueing is made up of five key elements: hands, floor work, dips, spins and runway. I celebrate Vouging due to its underrepresentation as a dance form relative to its contemporaries despite the strong parallels it draws to ballet and modern dance. Vouging continues to remain native to the gay community and I am enthusiastic at abstracting it in my own way. FIVE uses real time video processing software as a means to present and capture the fluid motion of vouging into a continuous linear drawing through live projection and ultimately a translation of this flow into a final composite line drawing. Using a video camera connected to a MacBook Pro and controlled through a software patch developed in Jitter and Max MSP, the movement of the dancer is tracked by an algorithm that recognizes and traces a specific primary color adorned on a particular article of clothing worn by the dancer. This movement is translated into a continuous linear path both live on-screen during the performance and captured into a video file. The dancer wears two primary colors; one on the hands, face and calves. Each color’s unique movement is tractable by the Jitter controlled video camera. I control which color(s) are tracked during the performance to best capture the flow of the stylized body language, and thus creates for the audience an enhanced visual display complimenting the vouging dance moves and pumping beat. The Jitter generated data is stored on the laptop in a video file, which is ultimately, translates into a multi-colored, unique line drawing.
Cast: RASHAAD NEWSOME