OtoKin: Mapping for Sound Space Exploration through Dance Improvisation

Dahlstedt, Palle and Dahlstedt, Ami Skånberg

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We present a work where a space of realtime synthesized sounds is explored through ear (Oto) and movement (Kinesis) by one or two dancers. Movement is tracked and mapped through extensive pre-processing to a high-dimensional acoustic space, using a many-to-many mapping, so that every small body movement matters. Designed for improvised exploration, it works as both performance and installation. Through this re-translation of bodily action, position, and posture into infinite-dimensional sound texture and timbre, the performers are invited to re-think and re-learn position and posture as sound, effort as gesture, and timbre as a bodily construction. The sound space can be shared by two people, with added modes of presence, proximity and interaction. The aesthetic background and technical implementation of the system are described, and the system is evaluated based on a number of performances, workshops and installation exhibits. Finally, the aesthetic and choreographic motivations behind the performance narrative are explained, and discussed in the light of the design of the sonification.