On 3 November, digital studio and production company fuse* will be presenting Dökk, their immersive multimedia show for the first time in Belgium at the Cultuurcentrum Hasselt.
The highly ambitious project combining data, choreography, 3D mapping, digital landscapes, and sound design, was devised as a journey through the subconscious mind where reality is represented by universes that take form and dissolve, as it constantly seeks balance between light and dark.
Named after the Icelandic word for darkness, Dökk is the culmination of three years of work and research to create an interactive experience that alters each time it is performed. Under the key concepts of the synchronicity and unpredictability of human existence, the narrative is developed through the creation of ten rooms that make up a circular path in which the end coincides with a new beginning.
The Italian term ‘stanza’ (meaning room) suggests a multitude of meanings: predominantly a physical space, but it could also be represented as a mental space to construct our own reality, or in literature referring to a verse of a long poem. The rooms of Dökk are the result of the coming together of these meanings in a single form of symbolism that accompanies the whole narrative. These universes are constructed to evoke the various stages of life. Every room is characterised by peculiar behaviours defined by specific physical laws that determine their interaction with the various data analysed in real time.
For the show, fuse* developed a system to elaborate the result of interactions between various data generated in real time on the stage: the analysis of sound, the movement of a live performer, their heartbeat, and the sentimental analysis of contents shared on social networks. The combination of these data thus ensures that every performance takes on ever different and unique experiences as a result of the changing nature of the information analysed.
A special setup has been developed consisting of a double frontal projection on a holographic screen and a rear projection on the back of the stage. Real-time landscapes and 3D objects are then mapped on the two projective surfaces, increasing the depth and dynamism of the visual solutions used.
Each time the show starts, a stream of tweets filtered through the trending topics of that precise moment is analysed. For every tweet, a sentimental composition is extracted from an algorithm based on the open-source library developed by U. Krcadinac. While Dökk is performed, if a particularly relevant event in the world occurs, the visual and audio landscapes will change, taking on different connotations. In this way, the audience are involved in a means beyond the physical space where the work is unfolding.
The element that indicates this kind of variation in the various settings is the colour red, which in turn represents the intensity of human warmth. Various emotional states correspond to specific thermal spectrums of various parts of the body. The data extracted from the sentimental analysis of the tweets act on the ‘warmth’ of the scenes, modulating the shade of red in every single moment, as well as altering other graphic details that modify the atmosphere of the single rooms.
The soundscape is influenced by these data: there are six ‘ghost’ tracks, one for each base emotion, which are mixed with the main soundtrack. The mixing of these tracks changes on the basis of the percentages of the emotion distribution analysed, that the spread of single sounds in the 4.2 surround system that envelops the audience also depends on.
The interaction between the scene elements and the choreography as one of the focal points of the project communicates a sense of union and synchronicity between the digital and the bodily components. The use of Perception Neuron: a motion capture system characterised by 18 accelerometers positioned directly on the body of the performer, allows for the real-time tracking of every single movement. These data sets are then cross-checked with the two Kinect units placed on the stage in order to monitor their positioning on the scene.
Technology assumes a fundamental role as a real working ‘partner’. The sound and the digital landscape react to the movements as another dancer would do on stage. The dance is occasionally improvised, without apparent code, unrepeatable.
Dökk premieres on 3 November 2018, at CCHA Belgium