Tactile Signal: Agave Relay (Live)


An agave plant sits in a gallery space, emitting sound while awaiting the arrival of a performer. The agave is fitted with a capacitive touch sensor that connects with a sound design programme used to transpose the plant’s MIDI data to sequences whose sonics have been designed by the author. The performer arrives, wearing an HMD fitted with a gestural interface. Sitting on a chair facing the plant, they use tactile hand gestures to performatively intra-act with the leaves, shifting the frequency of the voltage emitted. Modulating the sound as it is generated, playing with and against the real-time flow of MIDI data, the performer is co-composing with the agave.

Tactile Signal: Agave Relay is a live performance that re-works the optically privileged Reality-Virtuality Continuum, to present a diffractive reading of AR from within desktop VR. The Leap Motion’s infra-red camera parameter has been exposed, so that is used as a sensor for computer vision. That vision is then ported through to the HTC Vive. The result is mixed reality that enfolds VR, challenging the discreet categories of the Reality-Virtuality Continuum (Milgram and Kishino 1994). The enfolded virtualities, established by the technical network of Tactile Signal, diffract a variety of relations that negotiate different modes of virtuality as they emerge in tandem. For the audience, this software assemblage is apprehended through the performer’s HMD view, shared via an LCD screen in the performance space. Viewing the performance through a shared HMD view, affords the audience access to the computer vision system established through Unity, Leap Motion and the HTC Vive.

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