Unnamed Soundsculpture – Dancing With Data And Time

Daniel Franke

Unnamed soundsculpture is a video produced by onformative and chopchop and realized by Daniel Franke and Cedric Kiefer. A cloud of 22000 points, following the movements of a dancer giving a free interpretation of a track called Kreukeltape by Machinenfabriek, creates the illusion of an ever changing statue of sand. The transfiguration of the human figure into grains of sand has been obtained by compiling the data gathered by 3 Kinect depth cameras into a single 3D volume, successively imported in 3D Studio Max. The metamorphosis that took place augments the human figure letting the viewer better appreciate the link between the substance as a whole and its smallest components, and the contrast between the subject and the space where the action takes place. The meaning of this project deepens under an analysis of the subtle details of its implementation. The transient and ephemeral moves of the dancer can now be fully appreciated when her movement stops. During a pause, the body of sand assumes a new density through the grains of sand that for an instant float in space as if crystallized before falling to the floor. The physical alteration of the matter also affects one’s perception of time, creating a slow-motion effect in a video that is otherwise recorded and played back at a standard rate. The sand, the lighting, the mirrored floor and the empty space around the figure remind one of the aesthetics of Robert Smithson’s nonsites, where a central role is played by the dialectic between point and the surrounding space. The post-processing is reduced to the bare minimum. All the data necessary to describe the movement, lighting and position of the camera is obtained through the movement of the dancer and from the soundtrack. Even if the processing doesn’t take place in realtime, and the making of the video has been made possible by a patient reassembling of the collected data, this project is a fine example of how an array of these depth cameras can be used to expand the power of the conventional 3D sculpting tools, adding a human feel that was impossible before.

Alessandro Saccoia