interactive performance

THÆTA is StratoFyzika’s third interdisciplinary work for stage. With new collaborations in sound and interactivity (sensors building, creative coding, sound design), Stratofyzika further explores the use of technology to establish connections between the organic body and electronic media.

There is a brief time, between waking and sleep, when reality begins to bend. Conscious thought slowly starts to dissolve into early stage dreaming. While dwelling on the threshold, we are able to trascend the expectations and schemes of our woken mind: visions on the edge of sleep, whispy light shadows, multi-dimensional geometric objects, sudden sound as if from the halls of a mind in a dream state.

This liminal zone is a state referred to as Hypnogogia.

The hypnagogic state is a place of crossover moments, a kaleidoscopic realm of multi-consciousness.

THÆTA embodies this borderland state. All merge onto the stage, interactively; body dynamics, auditory sensations and visuals function as the culmination of parts into one constellation in live performance.


Hen Lovely Bird / creative direction, movement writer /
Alessandra Leone / creative direction, visual content
Davic Nod / sound project
Thomas Van Ta / creative code
Giovanni-Marco Zaccaria / wearable sensors design & development
Jeanette Bruneau Rossow / costume design
Juan Cristobal Ribes / sound mastering /
Xperimental Sound Lab / audio contributors /

B-Seite Festival ( Mannheim,DE ), 15.03.14
Sesi-SP - Sao Paolo, June 2014
German Premiere at Platoon - Berlin 19.06
ISEA2014 Symposium on Electronic Art - Dubai,
November 2014 CYNETART festival - Dresden, 14-15.11.14
PatchlabFestival Krakow, Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology , 08.10.2015
Goethe Institut Pop-Up Pavillon Wroclaw, 22.04.16

Thanx to:
B-Seite festival crew
Dario-Jacopo Laganà // photography
Oriol Pastor //creative coding
L'estruch MediaLab - Sabadell

Visual Stratum

The stage is designed by the visuals around and together with the performer, investigating the liminal zone through the use of live sketch techniques as well as morphing shapes modeling, audio-driven geometric patterns and pre-shot shadows characters appearences. The projections narrative takes the shape of a path, sinking into the black subconscious world, giving birth to a night creature, shaping its visions and then re-emerging to face the sharp cold touch of the light beam.

Over the whole performance experience, specific interactivity is being used to let gestures drive specific visual impressions. The interactive part of the visuals shows a complex system, where the interaction of a large number of individuals creates a new entity with a different behavior than just the addition of the single ones. This emergent behavior is modeled following the classic flocking rules written by Craig Reynolds in 1986 (separation, alignment and cohesion). To those we added a few more like a bounding area, a noise field or a perlin random walker.

Interactive Stratum

The aim of introducing interactivity in our work is to engage a live performative environment where the movement is able to affect the sound and the image as well as with those elements. To accomplish this task in a meaningful way, something beyond a 1 to 1 connection between sensors and effects parameters should be achieved. Data is not information until it is analyzed and transformed. In this direction, different pattern and gesture recognition algorithms are applied to the values coming from the sensors in order to extract the key steps out of the choreography. This technique allows the performer to establish a set of movements to create a new language within the scope of a
particular performance.

Sensing Stratum

Body-mounted sensors: three-axial accelerometers and a gyroscope, are being used as the primary sensing mechanism for quantification of temporal variations in motion and gesture. THÆTA uses a specifically designed prototype of wearable electronic devices whose main module is based on Arduino Fio, and an x-bee module for wireless communication.

Movement Stratum

The dancer’s torgue, bend, twisting and qualities of movement is the consequence of the mind directing the body’s reactions on/into the audiovisual environment. In THÆTA, the movement is focused on the embodiment of a character which is in contact with light and dark shadows, traveling through the hypnogogic state via an (imagined) Theta wave state. The choreography on it’s own is a movement map written through common brainstorm and then broken down into sections either with specific set choreography and/or an improvised score sometimes employing the Atavistic Technique.

Sound Stratum

The soundtrack for THÆTA is composed of abstract atmospheres and drones which at a certain point morph into rhythmic patterns and lead the piece to its most intense conclusion. The sound synthesis process is connected to the sensors' signals and the overall quantity of movement is mapped to the occurrence of sound, which shapes refinements with movement data’s details. The sonification of images and movements aims to hypnotize the audience with various tricks, from noise cacophonies to otoacustic emissions - a physiological reaction to a couple of pure tones that makes the ear hair cells resonate and produce a tone.

The main sound sources have been selected from the archives of the Xperimental Sound Lab, a free sound collection curated and maintained on the Internet by Thalamus Lab. The project launched an open call and many artists from different countries contributed to create a collaborative library.

Special thanx go to the people who have been contributing to our crowd funding, supporting the production costs for the piece.

with love,
Tina Zimmerman, Wolfram Lakaszus, Lisa and Jerry Hicks, Garth Webb, Alexandros Drymonitis, Alison Colman Carly Pick, Margery Fairchild, Daria Kaufman, Gautam Agarwal Savannah Lees-Haley, Michael Jenkins, Susanne Kirchmayr Donna Larson, John and Jo Larson, Cio Dorbandt Han Van Acoleyen, Mumu Mariane Charline Hernandez Brianne Crabtree, Audrey Panven, Ian Smith-Heisters Claudia Frickemeier, Tommaso Leone, Judy Kaufman, Helga Jäckel,
Mary Franck
and our Private donators, of course.

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