From Flesh to Abstraction: an interactive disappearance


IMG_6019The Convergent Media Collective teamed up with Amber Ortega-Perez of and helped produced her MFA thesis project

From Flesh to Abstraction:  an interactive disappearance.

Envisioned by Amber Ortega-Perez as a contemporary dance interactive, responsive, international event where interpretive dance is shared, mediated and expressed across the globe through technological interfaces, From Flesh to Abstraction: an interactive disappearance became a technical marvel in many ways.

Amber Ortega-Perez reached out to the collective after having attended a talk series about projection mapping and new media.  We discussed her vision and over a series of months we collaboratively worked together to create a core group of participants to help with the actual implementation of our collective concepts.

Amber and the collective members would meet during and after the spring Convergent Media II class sharing ideas in bi-directional ways throughout the process.  It was amazing to see the students get to learn how to rapid prototype ideas out and also for the community members and Amber to get to hear their ideas and see their projects ideation.

So here is what we ended up with:

3 Screen Setup

Screen 1 projected Amber’s dance projects

Screen 2 projected 4 dancers from around the world using google hangouts

Screen 3 projected visualization feedback using the xbox kinect, synapse, Apple’s graphics SDK quartz composer and resolume.


We used a Logitech C920 webcam to stream the event live through Youtube’s live streaming capabilities, which also simultaneously records the event as well.

Augmented Reality

Aurasma, an app originally introduced to the collective by collective member Andrew Valdez to create an augmented reality Lotería art project was employed and implemented by Amber to create further interactive spaces within the experience of From Flesh to Abstraction:  an interactive disappearance.


Filmmaker Erik Bosse provided coverage of the event.  He and Amber have collaborated in the past.  We look  forward to the final video and will follow up when it is released.

From Flesh to Abstraction (clips). from Erik Bosse on Vimeo.

In addition to Erik’s coverage, Joey Lopez and Luis Valasquez took photos and video as well, which you see in our gallery and highlight vignette below.

The Performance

The performance itself was held at the Radius center, facilitated by Gylon Jackson.

The layout was in a large open space with light control.

It included two performances, one on March 12th, 2016 from 6-8pm and the other on March 13th, 2016 from 2-4pm.  Each performance included an hour long live international interactive experience and then an hour of locally mediated performance.

Amber worked with local dancers to be participatory with streaming dancers located all over the world.  This created a feedback loop that allowed for interpretation and exploration of movement and dance.

In addition the audience themselves were encouraged to be interactive and participatory.  Amber’s theory was that by encouraging the audience to be interactive and participatory it would enrich and create that much more interpretation and feedback as the event progressed.  This proved to be true and at the March 12th performance there were many children and parents who entered in and activated the space in regard audience participation.  What then happened was the dancers both on screen and in the physical space began to interact with and playfully shadow and evolve many of the movements the audience performed.

Overall this collaboration proved to be fruitful for all involved.  It allowed the CMC to engage with a super talented dance artist and gain insight into contemporary dance and we were able to reciprocate the process by adding to the experience with our own expertise.

We look forward to continued collaborations like this one and are excited to see where Amber takes her concepts after receiving her MFA.


Leave a Reply