Artistic research

Conceptual platform of art performance Hallerstein:
An audio-visual interactive performance

Production:
KID KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia
CIANT, Prague, Czechs
Politecnico de Tomar
Confucio Institute Minho
Korotan, Vienna

Author: Wang Huiquin
Director: Omerzu Silvan
Conceptual shift: Aleksandra Kostic
Fine arts and graphic elements: Wang Huiquin
Puppets and scene requisites: Omerzu Silvan, ciant
Scenario: Omerzu Silvan
Choreography: Edward Clug
Performer: Edward Clug
Video: Dino Schreilechner, Ana Pečar
Music: Cameron Bobro, Sun Lin
Audio-interactive componenting: Bobro Cameron, Marko Gutman
Animation: Fenshu, Alen Breznik-Flip
3D graphics and modeling: Evita Alle, Instituto Politecnico de Tomar, Portugal

Artistic concept:

Because Avguštin Ferdinand von Hallerstein was a scientist and a man of an extremely strong personality who lived in Chinese imperial court as a court astronomer for 35 years and studied the universe and even attempted to count the Chinese population, he represents a great inspiration to Huiquin Wang and Silvan Omerzu. During the process of painting Huiquin discovered that the most important thing is to present Hallerstein to a wider public, to let the audience know about his important contribution to Chinese-Slovenian relationship. The painting of his image is a big challenge because there are no pictures of him, so Huiqin believes he must be painted as a faceless man. She depicted him with the combination of various technics. Her concept is to search for different material (letters, sketches, suits, coat of arms, pictures) and create a visual image of Hallerstein, a kind of calligraphy image.

Scenarium:

The project aims to connect a virtual multimedia platform and a real/actual presentation of Performing Arts. An intended 3D (three-dimensional) environment will use the latest audiovisual technologies in order to interconnect those two realities. Hallerstein is a triple figure: live performer, a puppet and a figure in a virtual space. He is slowly changing his clothes. Monastery respectively Jesuit suit is transforming itself into Chinese national costume of the 18th century in a laboratory environment of the observatory. The historical end of the Jesuit period is indicated with the deposition of the suit. Dancer places himself in the starting position in a pessimistic bearing for that denotes the death of Hallerstein.

Huiqin Wang - an initiator of a project

Hiuqin Wang is a Chinese-Slovenian artist, living and working in Ljubljana for twenty years after finishing her art education in Nanjing. She represents an extremely precious addition to Slovenian multiculturality. She lives the Asian-European experience in her own way, as a sensitive creator, that unites ontological experiences of the Western and the Eastern painting traditions with the intimate experience of a displaced person-woman. In 2005 Slovenian Times chose her for a cultural personality of the year.

After the graduation from the department of fine arts at the Nanjing Faculty for Education, Huiqin came to Slovenia and specialized in graphic arts and painting at the Ljubljana Fine Arts Faculty. During 20 years of her creation she represented Slovenian artists at the entrance of Slovenia into the European Union and exhibited in Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Austria and Germany. In the year 2000 she was named senior university teacher for drawing and calligraphy.

Huiqin’s work has been presented in Slovenian and foreign art magazine. She publishes articles in magazine such as: Shanghai Art World, Jiangsu Pictorial and Taiwan Today Art.

The reputation and the influence of these magazines in China is extremely big as is their circulation. Many Chinese artists have become familiar with Slovenian art world through her articles. In this cotext we can state that she is the best harbinger of the Slovenian fine art culture. She often prepares exhibitions of Slovenian artists in China and Chinese artists in Slovenia which includes a lot of organization and cultural exchange, that is why she made a great contribution toward the artistic exchange between the two countries. She is also often invited to elementary and secondary schools, to seminars and workshops in various cultural institutions and galleries and to cultural events where she can introduce Chinese culture and her art to a wider public.

Huiqin Wang has a lot of recommendations that justifiable present her work. Here it might be good to mention what the recommendations often leave out. In her creation Huiqin Wang the intellectual essence that subsists in her original cultural tradition and represents an exceptional phenomena, a rare gift in our eyes. Her work up until now means a precious contribution to European cultural life.

Her work should be regard as a key and a guide for a new project.

Genealogy of a digital supported performance

Not long ago (February 2007) she started a new international project in coproduction with distinguished Maribor gallery Kibela which meant broader performance expression that included a longer list of collaborators. Besides her, artist in this projects are Daisuke Sakaki, Japanese dancer of traditional dances, Slovenian director Silvan Omerzu and multimedia artist Alfred Vešligaj. Interactive exhibition »Live calligraphy« with collaboration of artists coming from three countries represents first such performance in Slovenia. Live calligraphy no longer has limitations of traditional calligraphic forms because it expresses abstract ideas with the movement of the human body and represents the searching of the connection between the movement and contemporary technics of visual expression. It connects traditional forms of expression with contemporary ones. With the performance the artist wishes to express the longing of human beings for peace and love with the help of art that knows no boundaries and no religions. Huiqin invited international artist to collaborate in this project with the intention of showing that one of the most important viewpoints of contemporary art is to unite various elements of expression of different people into one art work. The wish for harmony that should rule the world was fulfilled by the artists themselves with their art work, a result of fruitful and harmonious cooperation. Visual artist Wang Huiqin and Multimedia Centre Kibla, Maribor, Slovenia, Europa.

Intermedia work in progress

In the 21. century the approach of a presentation would be made through digital data processing and 3D modelling. One of the goals of the project is to use a virtual multimedia platform for innovative production and presentation of Performing Arts. 3D (three-dimensional) environment will use the latest audiovisual technologies in order to interconnect two contents: (human) performer, puppets, audio and video interactive surroundings of stage sceneries

To enhance the process of their interactivity. we’ll develop a special experimental ground for a performance in real and virtual spaces, employing multimodal interfaces and techniques of hybrid scenography.

Professional operators as well as individual creators will use the platform of a previous CIANT’s project e-Agora - a complex tool and network for producing and sharing new artistic expressions. Now we will be able to implement in our new performance Hallerstein, providing an example of a modern production in Europe and China.

The development of appropriate tools, interfaces and techniques will put together individuals from area of performing and visual arts on the one side, and engineers and researchers from computer science, robotics, and electronics, on the other. The pure technological progress without the intervention of creative artists is led blind. Moreover, 3D computer generated environment with active participation of visitors is usually known from game industries, we want to use this common practice and employ it for the art purpose.

Ciant will coordinate and organize 2 workshops on those specific fields. Creation of multimedia 3D shared stages connected to the Internet will establish sensitive, narrative and interactive 3D environments constituted by data of sounds, videos, 3D volumes, 3D architectures, texts, images and 2D/3D animations able to take part within the performances in reality or to become the moving stage of specific online performances.

Ciant and KIBLA will thus also enable cross-media connection with other artistic forms. This is founded on real-time experimentation with image processing, contemporary poetry, literary performance (automatically generated text), contemporary musical events, broadcasting of independent radios, etc. This inter-connection should help modify the creative strategies and make the step into the age of mixed reality. A status of narrativity and virtual/real actors (theatre, dance, videos art, sound performance) will be projected into the fields of cognition, new technologies of information, and generally accessible virtual reality systems.

Artistic exploration will predominantly face interfaces which allow the interactive audio-video live treatment and its implementation as textures and/or data streaming into multimedia 3D shared stages using advanced tools (e.g. MAX MSP - software created in IRCAM or EYES WEB developed at University of Bologna), and interfaces which allow manipulation of 3D shared spaces components using audio-video signal together with data streaming.

Ciant will help performing artists to understand the possibilities and application of these tools and encourage them to define new ways of their combination and possible improvements for the purpose of performing arts. The effective implementation of affordable solution will be focused on freely available (GNU) software and inexpensive hardware (cameras, IR sensors).

Beside these goals, the project aims to intersect classical puppet animation with the most sophisticated technology, that why the country of theatre puppets - Czhech. Ciant will provide a knowledge/presentation for workshop in manufacturing puppets. Sivan Omerzu is a puppet producer and director of puppet shows. There will be studies linked to animation and digital processing of puppets movements.

In Vienna there will be a step between different approaches, trying slowly to implement digital processes.

Ciant, Praga, Czech Republik
KIBLA, Association for Culture and Education/ACE KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia
Politecnico de Tomar, Portugal
Korotan, Slowenische Kulturverein, Vienna, Austria
Adviser: Anne Roquigny, Independant New Media Curator Paris, France