EPIC-Tom

EPIC-Tom, interspecies audio-visual performance (34:00), and installation, 2014-ongoing.
A collaboration with Simon Lysander Overstall and Tom (canine)

—video shows 03:20 min excerpt of the full performance—

EPIC-Tom expands on new media art by considering more-than-human creativity. The human and canine collaborative project is inspired by lived experiences shared together over time. In the process of making the project, we explored Tom’s expressive vocals and gestures. Tom collaborated with us in a motion capture studio and sound recording studio by freely moving and vocalizing. The best results generated a live animation of Tom imaged jumping for a ball, and a sequence of vocal utterances. Biophilic attention, in the form of thinking-feeling-like-a-dog, was an empathic technique we used to sense his experience. What it was like for Tom as he jumped for the ball? Could it be proto-euphoric—eager, expectant, desirous? This inquiry informed the processes for generating the audio and visual material.

The performance aspect of the project further explores visualizing and sonifying Tom’s proto-euphoric state in a live setting. The animation of Tom is complimented with generative effects. Software granular treatments on Tom’s recorded vocals create a durational call for the participating human musicians’ acoustic responses. (The musicians in the performance are site-specific participants from the host city.) Andreyev performs with a theremin as one of the responding instruments—its sonic characteristics like voice, even canine voice.

The project can be exhibited as an installation following the performance. This involves using sound recordings of the performance remixed live via installation software, and an accompanying automated single-channel play of the visual media.

Production Team:

Julie Andreyev: concept, theremin performance
Simon Overstall: Max/MSP software, granular soundscape performance
Tom: concept, actor, vocals
Jay White: animation of Tom
Richard Overington + Hyuma Frankowski: motion capture support

performances + exhibitions:

 

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.
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Intersections Digital Studios, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver.

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VIVO Media Arts, Vancouver

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Installation commissioned by Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum, Regina, Canada