Performance in the Community (2016-2017)

Duke has made great strides incorporating the local Durham community into campus life, with its realization of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership. Building on the work of mobile performance platforms like the Minneapolis Art on Wheels, The Anastasio Project, The Graffiti Research Lab and noisivelvet, this Bass Connections project team set out to create a portable performance environment capable of delivering student-created performances to local community events and scenes.

This year’s project team refined the Phase Mirror, developed in a previous Bass Connections project. Using interactive video/sound/motion-sensitive technology, the Phase Mirror has been successfully used in live performance; however, a stage environment does not take advantage of the Phase Mirror’s ability to interact directly with an audience. Team members combined the Phase Mirror with a battery-powered electric cart to enable a quiet, environmentally-friendly platform to project the sounds and visions of Duke student artists and performers in an interactive environment powered by onboard computing and remote internet data.

The platform was instrumented with sensors that enable the sounds and images of the local environment to become part of the performance, and allow audience participation directly in the evolving performance. The system has three short throw projection screens, a high-quality sound system and many sensors/cameras/actuators controlled via interactive interfaces to the onboard data processing computer.

Team members created a series of performances that explored ways to bring performance to the community and convey the joy of the ocean and the earth’s water to others. They created increasingly complex art using digital media, microcontrollers, and motion tracking.


Summer 2016 – Spring 2017

Team Outcomes

Performance in the Community

Performances at ChoreoLab 2017 (April 14-15, 2017)

See related teams, Visualizing Energy through Live Performance (2017-2018) and Machine Society Interfaces (2015-2016).

Team Leaders

  • Martin Brooke, Pratt School of Engineering-Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Thomas F. DeFrantz, Arts & Sciences-African and African American Studies

/graduate Team Members

  • Salima Al-Ismaili, MFA/Experimental and Doc Arts
  • Aaron Kutnick, MFA/Experimental and Doc Arts

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Justin Du, Computer Science (AB)
  • Saptarshi Gan
  • Enrique Medina de Alba
  • Bikesh Pandey
  • William Xiong, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)