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<nettime-ann> Meet Discotrope: The Secret Nightlife of Solar Cells - liv
Amy Alexander on Fri, 4 Nov 2011 05:27:42 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime-ann> Meet Discotrope: The Secret Nightlife of Solar Cells - live audiovisual performance


.
Discotrope: The Secret Nightlife of Solar Cells
by Amy Alexander and Annina RÃst, with algorithmic sound design by
Cristyn Magnus
http://discotrope.org
New demo video at: http://discotrope.org/?page_id=47
We've also written a new project-announcement-turned-essay-on-the-future:
"The Future is Dead. Long Live the Future." http://discotrope.org/?p=764

Ever wondered what solar cells do at night?
Introducing Discotrope: The Secret Nightlife of Solar Cells - an
audiovisual performance by Amy Alexander and Annina RÃst, with
algorithmic sound design by Cristyn Magnus. Discotrope performances
invoke both alternative energy and the curious history of dance in
cinema â from backlots to backyards â from Thomas Edison to YouTube.

Discotrope events can range from seated concerts and gallery
performances to public space dance parties. Weâll project moving
images of dancers â both party attendees and recorded clips â onto the
Discotrope ball. The video dancers power the ball, literally and
figuratively: the ball uses solar cells as disco ball mirrors. So the
projected dance videos not only reflect off the ball, they also
âsolarâ-power the motor that makes it rotate â which creates
zoetrope-like projections on the surrounding walls, floors, surfaces,
and people. Weâll perform the ball live, adding color and light
effects to the video projections that vary the amount of light to the
solar cells. That changes the speed of the ballâs motor, which allows
us to âchoreographâ the movement of the projected visuals as they move
around the space.

The recorded videos are assembled from the history of people dancing
âatâ movie cameras. From Edisonâs âAnna Belle Serpentine Dance,â
continuing through 1940âs tap dancers, belly dancers, strip tease
artists and more, people have gazed into cameras and danced for a very
long time. Todayâs self-directed YouTube performers do full-frontal
camera dancing their own way â challenging yet sometimes echoing
Hollywoodâs ideas about dance â and especially about dancers.

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