Physicality in Digital Environments was the title of the first presentation by media artist Chris Ziegler. Chris works on the cutting edge of media, dance and performance, with a special focus on space, stage and architecture. He is currently associate professor for Interactive Media at Arizona State University and participating artist in the ETL project “Stage your city”, created by theatres in Karlsruhe (Germany), Nancy (France) and Tbilisi (Georgia).
“Immersion is all about the body”, he stated, “about the relationship between image and body, and about the energy exchange between architecture, performer and audience. How can we use the environment to play with perception? How can I make an image accessible? How do architecture and scenography influence movement and images? And how does immersion include physical proximity in shared virtual spaces?”
One of Chris Ziegler’s ground-breaking projects is “M” by Kris Verdonck, a reflection on the German playwright Heiner Müller, in which the audience can no longer distinguish between the video imagery and the real actor. In fact, there was no actor at all, it was all on video, which leads us to the question: Do we still need performers? In “Improvisation Technology” by William Forsythe, Chris developed an architectural concept by capturing the muscle memory of a trained dancer. In his on-going project “Corpus”, which he began in 2011, he uses light to track the dancers’ motion. Click here for his full presentation and visit his website for more details.