Visual performing arts team to be featured at international event

June 13, 2011

The interdisciplinary performance 'Ad Infinitum,' from Purdue's Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts, will open the 2011 Prague Quadrennial's 'Disk Stories' series on Thursday (June 16). A team of 17 faculty and students will present this original interactive performance, which allows audience members to play the role as gamers and use their smart phones as joysticks to generate avatars on performance screens that will interact with the performers. (Photo provided)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A team of 17 Purdue University faculty and students will present an original interactive performance at the 2011 Prague Quadrennial, the world's largest international stage design and architecture event.

This interdisciplinary performance, "Ad Infinitum3," from Purdue's Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts, will open the 2011 Prague Quadrennial's "Disk Stories" series on Thursday (June 16). Purdue is one of eight international universities invited to perform at the 2011 Prague Quadrennial, said Carol Cunningham-Sigman, professor and chair of dance. This team was co-directed by Cunningham-Sigman; Richard Thomas, professor of theater; and Joel Ebarb, an associate professor of theater.

"Our team's goal was to integrate the audience into the performance by using interactive technologies," said Cunningham-Sigman. "The 45-minute interactive performance art event brings the audience into the production as both characters and variable forces through their use of avatars created on a wi-fi equipped cell phone. Performers engage the audience in both the visual and auditory sense with audience controlled projections and sound."

For example, the gamers, who are audience members, can use their smart phones as joysticks to generate avatars on performance screens, which interact with the performers.

The visual and performing arts areas involved in the project are lighting design, dance, music, sound design, costume design, visual and communication design, video arts, installation art, and electronic time based media. Students and faculty from the Department of Computer Science also participated.

Writer:  Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources:  Carol Cunningham-Sigman, carolec@purdue.edu

                   Richard Thomas, zounds@purdue.edu

                   Joel Ebarb, jebarb@purdue.edu