Four artists — Brian Knep, Golan Levin, Casey Reas and Sosolimited — were invited to independently re-purpose Merce Cunningham's dance performance data into new digital forms. The source of the data was the LOOPS project (2001-2008), a digital portrait of Merce Cunningham by artists Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser. Motion capture information of Cunningham's performance has been released as open source data by the Cunningham Foundation and OpenEnded Group (the artists’ organization) for this purpose. The LOOPS project is funded by the LEF Foundation; the four remixes were commissioned by the 2009 Boston Cyberarts Festival.
"Merce's Isosurface" (2009: Golan Levin remixing Merce Cunningham + OpenEnded Group) returns a mortal coil to the disembodied datapoints of Merce Cunningham's "LOOPS" performance. Here, the digitally captured coordinates of Cunningham's fingers and knuckle joints are used to structure a smooth field of simulated energy. The result is a twitchy, fleshy blob, animated by Cunningham's own movements, which dances in the liminal territory between pure abstract form and medical information visualization.
Software: Golan Levin, April 2009
Motion Capture Data: Cunningham Foundation and OpenEnded Group
Mocap parsing code: Lucas Walter, Bioviewer
Metaball code: Andreas Jönsson, Angelcode
Mocap file conversion: Moshe Mahler, CMU
Developed in openFrameworks.
Commissioned by Boston Cyberarts Festival, 2009.