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Performance Machine(s)

Alejandro Crawford

Custom video performance system(s), a study and survey: cross-application, networked realtime live image processing / audio-visual musical instruments: funneling video games & Xbox Kinects into VJ rigs.

Recent technological developments have begun to seriously reshape the landscape of possibilities for realtime video performance. "Performance Machine(s)" functions as a study of contemporary AV performance workflows; it is a malleable video performance system, but it is also a survey of some of today's most uniquely exciting realtime video processing tools and strategies.

When I arrived at ITP, I wasn't a coder; I was skilled at video editing but had know idea what Max MSP Jitter was, & I certainly didn't know what a shader was, or what OpenGL meant. Almost immediately I was learning how to construct custom video performance experience. The rest is history.

Other live visualists, VJs, video performers, & all those technically curious about video systems design (or just want to figure out how to screen record their Xbox with their laptop).

User Scenario
Live performance mode, playing for an audience; Installation mode: setting up the system as an interactive installation.

Performance Machine(s) employs various softwares & technologies in an effort to create a robust, highly reactive & interactive video composition experience. From custom code interfacing with larger software environments to the ability to pipe video from one application to another (in realtime), these video performance systems seek to push the limitations of consumer grade technologies. Hardware controllers allow these software systems to become more akin to musical instruments.

My overarching learning experience stemmed from the realization that, even though it's 2012, you can still max out a single computer's resources rather quickly. Along the way, & by pushing various technologies and softwares to their limit, I've illuminated bugs in the system, & am now working alongside these software creators to further develop their technologies.