Towards Hypermedia Performance – On the Boundaries Between Body, Time, Space

MSc thesis. Art & Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg.

Supervisor: Mats Nordahl

This thesis presents my explorations into the field of multimedia performance, broadening the scope of my musical background and investigating the differences between various media and expressions. The thesis starts by presenting some of the theoretical foundations for this project, including multimodal perception, embodied cognition, interaction design, nonlinear thinking and hypermedia theory. This is followed by presentations of a series of creative projects where I have been exploring the boundaries between time and space in photography, live visuals and music. Examples are also shown of how game controllers can be used for artistic purposes, using the MultiControl software I created to communicate with the HID protocol. Finally, I present the Interactive Mass, a large-scale, networked, nonlinear, multimedia performance system intended for organizing a Christian service where the audience control both content and structure. The system was built around a server containing pictures, sounds, videos and text fragments. Using various
multimedia stations and objects around the space, more content could easily be added during the mass, and it would form the content of what musicians, dancers and priests would be accessing. The result was a series of truly different Christian services performed at various locations in Norway, and the system proved stable and scalable, allowing interaction for groups from 10 to 250 people. The Interactive Mass proved as an efficient testbed for my thoughts about creating a hypermedia system for use in live performance, and extending the traditional ideas about body, time and space.