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Toys' Opera


A multimedia installation and performance project by Yoni Niv, Elad Shniderman and Adam Kendall

Toys' Opera

Toys' Opera is a multimedia installation or performance project for multi-channel video, multi-channel sound-art, and physical-computing. It's centered around a small universe of HO-scale trains, models, contact microphones, and miniature cameras on a 5ft x 4ft stage, most of which are serially-controlled via Arduino microcontrollers.

The installation logically and randomly organizes procedural activity and algorithmic composition into phrases and gestures that span and integrate the various media. The stage-world is the source-material for all video and audio, which is then interactively processed via computers and distributed among two projectors and multiple audio channels.

The cameras feed custom video-processing software. Multiple channels of live, computer-processed video are projected onto a traditional screen and fed to a vertically-mounted projector to provide dynamic, self-reactive lighting for the stage. The sounds and electrical interference of the toys, serial-objects and stage itself are amplified by contact microphones and then manipulated, diffused and spatialized via computer into the multi-channel sound system.

Toys' Opera creates an abstract narrative built by machine-like formal processes executed upon the recognizable trains and models. It explores the boundaries between suggested and real worlds and wants to create a corrupted sense of reality.

Play A/V Clip: Installation at cDACT gro{o}ve  (3:35 / 87mb)  (January/February 2010)