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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Garcia

LIPP live performance 1: Revisiting 'Penance is Poetry'

As I noted to Matt during office hours this week, I came to ITP as a relatively analog person; while hyper-knowledgeable about the realm of interactive tech/media/design as a reporter on the subject, my artistic process exists mainly in poetry and corporeal performance. However, there were many times I wish I could complete my productions with video and interactive performance elements, which is why learning Max is so important to me.

We've been working toward our first in-class performance the last couple weeks, so I decided to revisit a piece I assembled in October 2017 to be performed at Catland that I really wish I had visuals for at the time. The piece is called "Penance is Poetry" and was a cumulative meditation on biopolitical autonomy and the absolution from guilt enforced by authoritative bodies. It existed in both performance and installation formats, and now for LIPP I've translated a section of it into a two-minute live video "VJ" set.

Documentation of rehearsal

Given the themes, you can assume that it is a fairly vulnerable and sometimes confrontational performance. The material I use here reflects that, so consider thyself warned. There is no nudity or violence, but it turns out my teenage goth stage wasn't a phase...

Lessons learned

If you've been following my progress, you know the learning curve has been steep. I am really quite happy with what I was able to put together in the last couple weeks though, and feel like I've built a solid foundation to build on from here. I decided not to go with live video input as I wanted to have more control of the aesthetic and wouldn't have time to set up an environment that would provide that. So I'm crossfading between two video files, which is pretty heavy on Max, and I experienced some frustrating downtime because of it. I lightened my touch on some of the other processing to prevent that, and can only cross my fingers that I won't encounter the overload during performance today until I talk to Matt about a surefire way to prevent it in the future.

My elements are simple right now, and a lot of my visual impact comes from the footage I gathered for the performance. It's actually really impressive what can be achieved with the four main elements I'm using, those being: jit.chormakey for some gnarly green-screening, jit.brcosa to art-house some of the footage, jit.op for the glitchy feedback looping, and crossfade to put it all together. The soundtrack is a snippet from the original performance, remastered for this.

Using performance mode makes a massive impact and I can navigate my changes fluidly. This is work mode:

And this is performance mode:

I'm looking forward to see what everyone put together today!! It's really exciting to go into performance mode for ITP and bring that realm of my life into school. Truly anticipating where I go from here in Max-land and can't wait to play more.


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