Last summer I worked with students, Hogan Birney, Sean Kinberger and David Plakon on creating an interactive live audio/visual performance for Mirror Pal’s CD release party. The students asked me to help them develop a multimedia performance for the release party and I was more than happy to help. We developed a live multiple camera setup for the stage performance of the band which allowed them to mix live stage shots, prerecorded video clips and realtime video manipulation. To do this we modified affordable security cameras to be easily placed on stage and created a mixing station to easily switch between the cameras. We also created our own software to mix the live footage with prerecorded clips and add effects in realtime. Audience members could also submit text messages which were mixed with the live images and projected during the performance. We also created an interactive photo booth that audience members could sit inside and create short animation that were used during the performance of the band. The project was very ambitious for three students but they did an outstanding job. Here is some video they created to document the event.
MPG: Mobile Performance Group was invited to perform at the Intermedia Festival hosted by Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. I am working on an interface for the iphone/itouch, using the OSC based mrmr app. I developed an interface that allows the public to control the manipulation of live video and send text messages which becomes part of the live video projection. Users are be able to do things such as mix video, choose video clips, apply effects, and use the iphone’s accelerometer to rotate and position the text and image. The festival was a blast and I will post some documentation soon.
Below are a few videos from the final performance of a class I taught called Collaborative Multimedia Performance. In this class students learn how to collaborate with students from different majors, Music, Art, Computer Science. Students were taught a variety of techniques for live performance using electronics and software.
For this assignment students used contact mics to turn an object into an instrument. They created their own contact mics and attached them to the table and bottles to create a percussive instrument. The microphones were run through some guitar pedal effects and amplified. Students, David Plakon, Sean Kinberger and Zeb Long.
Student Ian Guthrie performs under the name Benny Loco and Uncle Abuelito. For this performance Ian teamed up with student Jana Fisher to create a visual accompaniment for his music. Jana learned how to create her own VJ software that allowed her to manipulate clips from the Twilight Zone to accompany his music. Jana built her VJ software using the Max/Jitter programing environment.
A metal shopping cart converted into a mobile interactive audio/visual instrument. Touch and pressure are used to control the live manipulation of sound and image. The cart is equipped with a video projector, computer and battery making it portable and self contained. Using a microprocessor (arduino) and custom software (max/msp/jitter) to sense the users touch and translate the pressure of the users touch, a real-time response is created both visually and sonically. The cart is used by MPG performers and the audience is also encouraged to play the cart as well. This project was created by students Hogan Birney, Sean Kinberger and David Plakon under the direction of Matt Roberts at Stetson Universities Digital Art Program.
A small cardboard box converted into an interactive instrument. Inside the box is a wireless device sending motion data (wiimote). Users can turn the box to select between images and text. Rotation of the box also turns and scrolls the image in real-time. This project was created by Mobile Performance Group under the direction of Matt Roberts at Stetson University’s Digital Art Program.
Audience members of a MPG: Mobile Performance Group performance were asked to contribute to the performance by sending text messages. Participants messages were used as performance material and projected onto public spaces. This project was created by student Derick Ostrenko under the direction of Matt Roberts at Stetson Universities Digital Art Program.
This project converts a metal güiro, which is normally used as a percussive instrument, into a video instrument. The güiro is modified with an arduino to create a link between the instrument and a computer. Every rib on the güiro becomes a switch, when a rib is struck a signal is sent to advance a video clip one frame. A musician can play the instrument as it is normally played, however in this case the performer produces video as well as audio.
La Media Naranja Project
La Media Naranja Project converts traditional music instruments, used in the Americas, into audio/visual instruments. The instruments can be played as they are normally used; however they also control real-time video manipulation and playback.
MPG: Mobile Performance Group is a collective of new media artists interested in finding new ways to present art outside of traditional venues. MPG disseminates their work by using mobile technologies, real-time video/audio, custom interactive devices, and other new technologies that allow artist to engage the public. The group has performed throughout the country and participated in several international new media festivals including Conflux, ICMC, NWEAMO and ISEA. MPG is part of classes taught, by faculty Matt Roberts (Founder and Creative Director of MPG) and Nathan Wolek (Music Director of MPG), at Stetson University’s Digital Arts Program. For more information please visit http://www.mobileperformancegroup.com
You can find more information about the group at
Using custom video and audio software instruments in real-time. Matt Roberts and Nathan Wolek present a meditation on the Florida Landscape, which is realized as an improvised new media performance.
Using only materials found in the “virtual” scenes from the Disney film “Tron” (1982), DropBox creates a multimedia database of 3D landscapes, animated characters and synthetic sounds. After organizing the database according to various formal characteristics, DropBox creates a new interface to the computer world of “Tron” via a real-time performance employing original software instruments. “The Soft Bits” stretches and expands the world of “Tron” into beams of colored light and staccato digital pulses–a meditation upon the primary language of our technology.
Matt Roberts is a memebr of DropBox which is a performance collaborative organized in 2001. Using video and audio software instruments in real-time, the duo micromanages original and found material via loops, non-linear equations and other processes.