EPIC-Tom (the performance)

EPIC-Tom (the Performance), animation and sound performance, 2013-ongoing. In collaboration with Simon Overstall

The canine point of view is presented as an alternative outlook on everyday  action and creativity. EPIC-Tom explores the physical engagement of Tom, the canine collaborator, with a speculation on his euphoric, emotional connection to ball-chasing. The animation shows Tom’s realistically rendered physicality caught in mid-jump as he chases the ball. The generative animations and sound represent Tom’s canine desire and imagination in connection to his environment. The objective of the project is to depict the nonhumans’ subjective experience, thereby proposing an account of canine agency and mind.

The animation was created using motion capture, animation, sound recording and computer programming technologies. Tom participated directly in the research and content creation of the work by determining the responses to the tasks at hand. While in the motion capture suite, Tom defined the specific action in relation to fun activities, such as ball chasing. Tom’s voice was recorded in a sound studio. These movements and vocalizations became the material used in the production stages of the project.

During the performance, custom software creates ever-changing visual combinations of the animation, and a soundscape is generated from the recordings of Tom’s voice and a live theremin performance by Andreyev.

Production Team:

Theremin performance: Julie Andreyev
Generative animations and software performance: Simon Overstall
Animations and rendering: Jay White
Motion capture support: Richard Overington + Hyuma Frankowski
Canine collaborator: Tom
Research Assistant: Maksim Bentsianov

upcoming performances:
2014, with Simon Overstall and the Vancouver Experimental Theremin Orchestra, Aberthau Mansion, July 17.

2014 with Simon Overstall, Interactive Futures 2014: More-Than-Human Worlds, Emily Carr University. Apr 24.
2013, “Beyond Human: Artist – Animal Collaborations“, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass., Oct. 19.

Supported by:

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Intersections Digital Studios, Emily Carr University of Art + Design.