Picture a futuristic and innovative show, where body and machine, in constant dialogue with each other, merge in a single entity. The real and the virtual interact to give birth to both visual shapes and raw emotions.
The hypnotic performance that is Fragments#43-44 blends musical improvisation, cinematic soundscapes as well as visuals generated on the fly by an intriguing new body language: predefined gestures are used to trigger and transform sounds which influence visual projections, which in turn also influence the sounds that generated them.
Fragments #43-44 was originally conceived as a music instrument which would allow to work with sound in a purely physical way (ie with one’s body), yet with no direct contact with any object whatsoever.
Its operating principle is simple: users take place in front of a motion sensing camera which detects gestures and translates them into actions on sound and images. Once immersed in what is both a digital sound universe and a real music instrument, the artist (or the audience) uses the movements of his body to navigate through a series of sound banks, which is renewed prior to every public performance. The content of these sound banks may range from abstract textures to vocal or environmental recordings, and can therefore be conceived with a precise theme in mind if necessary.
In this process, the body can trigger and spatialize sounds (which then move around the performer), and specific gestures are used to loop them, activate effects, or alter a sound’s volume, speed, etc. These actions in turn influence François Zajéga’s generative visual system in real time: the immersive aspect of the experience is thus enhanced through an added sense of synesthesia. Sounds are given a visual shape, a more concrete aspect, sound being perceptively way more abstract than images can be.
One can therefore improvise a unique composition of the instant.
Fragments #43-44 is an art project by Gauthier Keyaerts, in collaboration with François Zajéga (visuals and data mapping), Yacine Sebti (sound engine), Loïc Reboursière (Sound analysis) and the Numediart Institute for Creative Technologies – Université de Mons (gesture recognition). Its core concept relies on both technology and improvisation.
Fragments #43-44 is a project produced by Gauthier Keyaerts, financed by the digital arts division of the Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles, and co-produced by the Numediart Institute as well as Transcultures.