Author Archives: Scott

DORKBOT SUPPORTS: Creativity & Cognition Studios: Hacking the Stage feat. Elke Utermöhlen and Martin Slawig (blackhole-factory) + Chris Bowman + Linda Walsh


Augmenting the Senses – Artists Talk

Dorkbot Sydney and Creativity and Cognition Studios present a special event of artist presentations featuring visiting audiovisual media artists Elke Utermöhlen and Martin Slawig (blackhole-factory) from Germany, Chris Bowman, Sydney and Linda Walsh.

Friday 2nd October 11am – 1pm
Creativity and Cognition Studios
Level 6, Room 402, UTS Building 11, Broadway

Elke Utermöhlen and Martin Slawig (blackhole-factory)


We use technology to expand space and develop new performance practices incorporating augmented reality environments and data visualisation and sonification. In this talk, we present examples of our installations and performances that illustrate how we understand expanded spaces: opening the boundaries of space, sensing the environment through outdoor-sensors, connecting spaces over the internet or linking performers equipped with sensors.  Most of our work uses self-deciding systems that confront the performer with unpredictable behavior. We will show some work in progress, which we will be developing during our residency in Sydney as well as talking about our use of Max/MSP, Arduino, sensors and XBee modules. These arts projects aim to examine issues of appropriation and transformation and emancipation from preformed reality.

Chris Bowman

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In February 2015, Chris Bowman and Holger Deuter led a special interdisciplinary design studio in the UTS Data Arena for 3rd year students from UTS’s School of Design. Students from various design disciplines engaged with one of Australia’s leading choreographers, Dean Walsh who demonstrated for the first time at UTS the motion capture capabilities of the Data Arena system.  This presentation explores the concept development, visualisation and animation processes used by the students in response to the brief, the 360 degree cinematic space in the Data Arena and the choreographic data which the students rendered as prototype 2D and 3D animation assets. This special student lab extended the work undertaken by the tranSTURM collective on the short film, Heroic commissioned by Sydney Olympic Park Authority.

Linda Walsh


This presentation will describe the new work “ Blue Space” for oboe and interactive audio-visual system, that uses motion tracking, real-time fluid simulation and granular sound synthesis to create a responsive digital environment. The gestures, movements and sounds made by the oboist generate the audio-visual digital content which is projected in real-time. The interactive system used for Blue Space has its origins in the dance work ‘Encoded’, performed in 2012 by the Stalker Theatre, which used a fluid simulation system developed by Andrew Johnston at the Creativity and Cognition Studios at UTS. The addition of sound to the original system led to the earlier experimental works for oboe, Sound Stream and Airflow in 2013.
Based on Gaston Bachelard’s philosophical text ‘Water and Dreams’, Blue Space explores the relationships between water, image and sound. Taking form in many kinds of fluid, vapour, ice crystals and rain, water appears in its diverse moods, encompassing tranquility, power, life and death. While the work has a clearly defined structure, improvised sections allow flexible interaction during performance as the artists react to each other and to the output of the system.

DORKBOT SYD : MAY 2015 : Electromechanical Percussion + Body-Centred Interactivity + Mobile Phone Orchestra


WHAT: People doing strange things with electricity, in association with Musify+Gamify (Vivid 2015)
WHEN: Monday May 18th, 6-8pm
WHERE: UNSW Art & Design (formally COFA) courtyard ‘Black Box’ 1st floor D Block, cnr Oxford St and Greens Rd, Paddington (see map at bottom of post)
COST: Free!



Robbie Avenaim – Percussionist and composer who’s practice combines traditional and extended techniques with physical modification of the drums. Recent modifications have included the invention and application of motorised percussive mechanisms, namely SARPS (Semi Automated Robotic Percussion System) and it’s latest development SARPS 2.0. The design of new instruments is an integral part of Avenaim’s improvisatory and compositional processes in providing access to a greater vocabulary of sounds as well as expanding the role of percussion in experimental and contemporary classical musics. His kinetic sound installations have been featured at numerous galleries and festivals around the world.



Body Ba-Bump, Lian Loke
The body as a prime generator for creativity, performance and interaction.
Ideas and projects from subtle seat bone dancing to jamming gravity sound platforms.


The mobile phone orchestra is a sonic experiment in automated collaborative composition. With the rise of the portable .mp3 player we find ourselves surrounded by crowds of people all wearing headphones, immersed in their own private sonic landscape. The Mobile Phone Orchestra attempts to blend these private landscapes together to create a shared sonic environment that is unique to each separate performance. The next evolution of the Mobile Phone Orchestra will combine motion tracking and physical simulations to add an entirely new level of interaction and playfulness into the collaborative composition process. This brand new work in progress will have participants randomly exploring their combined musical collections by playing ping pong.

Are you lost? We’re here! (Google Maps link)

musifyGamifyLogo     UNSWlogoColour

DORKBOT SYD : JUNE 2014 : Projection Projects

WHAT: People doing strange things with electricity
: Thursday 26th June, 6-8pm
WHERECollege of Fine Arts, UNSW, Cnr of Oxford St and Greens Rd Paddington, Outdoor Courtyard, between Block D and Block F (campus map here!)


This month is a special outdoor (weather permitting) Dorkbot, where we’ll be taking over the COFA courtyard and firing up a few projectors to light up the night sky. Rug up and Bring Your Own Beamer (see the end of this post for more)…


Andrew Burrell and Chris Rodley (Live Data Streams)


Andrew Burrell is a contemporary arts practitioner with a history in real time 3d and interactive audio installation. He is exploring notions of self and narrative and the implications of virtual worlds, networked environments and artificial life systems upon identity. His networked projects in virtual environments have received international recognition. He holds a PhD from the University of Sydney (Sydney College of the Arts).

Chris Rodley is a writer for new media whose work is exploring emerging frontiers for the literary in networked environments. Past projects include writing for web, television and live performance. Chris is currently a PhD candidate in digital cultures at the University of Sydney, where he is studying the rise of data-driven writing.

Andrew and Chris will present their recent collaborations. They will be focusing on the challenges of working with live social data and on moving between screens spaces – from tablet & laptop to large scale projection. Recently, their focus has been on storytelling with real-time data in a series of media art collaborations including Enquire Within Upon Everybody, presented simultaneously in Sydney and Darwin as part of ISEA2013, and Everything is Going To Be OK, a dialogue created from social media content shown at the Electronic Literature Organization’s 2014 conference and media arts show in Milwaukee, USA.

Bert Bongers (Projections in the Wild and other Interactivities)


A/Prof Bert Bongers leads the Interactivation Studio in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at UTS to support the design and research of interactivating objects and spaces. He lectures across the design disciplines in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Bert has a mixed background in technology, human sciences and the arts, developed through education as well as practice. In his work he combines insights and experiences gained from musical instrument design, interactive architecture, video performances and interface development for multimedia systems to establish frameworks and an ecological approach for interaction between people and technology. Currently his research projects cover the design and development of interactive rehabilitation tools, advanced lighting controllers, haptic feedback, and interactive textiles.

MPU and Toby&Pete (Mobile and Interactive)


MPU (Mobile Projection Unit) is a collective working on taking mobile interactive experiences out into the urban landscape. The foundation of our work is to use urban architecture to generate and drive the interactive experience. By scanning building facades and determining features such as windows, doors, pipes and signs the MPU system is able to feed these into projected imagery as interactive elements in the form of geometry, boundaries or obstacles.

Toby and Pete is a multi-disciplinary design studio that brings together a select team of creative specialists. Since opening our doors in 2010, our constant curiosity has lead us to build a folio with roots in printcraft to one that now spans across film, interactive installations and more recently live visuals performed to crowds of thousands of people.

Volker Kuchelmeister (Expanded Spaces of Representation: Exploding the boundaries of the cinematic image)


Volker Kuchelmeister is a media artist, researcher and digital media specialist. He is expert in place representation and has worked extensively in cinematography, experimental imaging, spatial mapping, interactive systems, immersive visualisation and mediation in the performing arts while exploring and exploding the boundaries of the cinematic image. He was a founding member of several media-based research labs (ZKM Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe, University of New South Wales iCinema Centre and the National Institute for Experimental Art iCinema Lab) and his art projects are exhibited internationally.


Bring Your Own Beamer and share your ideas! As a special Dorkbot show-and-tell, we want to see projection work of all shapes and sizes, painting the concrete walls of the COFA courtyard. Share your work-in-progress and crazy light/projection hacking stories! Arrive early to set up and find that all important power outlet.

Poster image: Snake The Planet by MPU