UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Signal to noise : a discussion on the value of interactive technology in lighting design for performing arts Alfredson, Craig


The goal of this thesis project was to investigate (within the confines of current technological limitations) some of the advantages and disadvantages of interactive technology in lighting for performing arts and compare it to traditional cue-based systems. To accomplish this task, the author designed, implemented, and observed interactive lighting for two contemporary dance shows. The first show, with the working title Signal to Noise, was devised with choreographers Arash Khakpour and Kelly McInnes to test various interactive technologies specifically for this thesis project. It was presented in various forms between February and April of 2013. The second show, Karoshi by Shay Kuebler, premiered at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver, B.C. Canada on December 6th, 2012 and subsequently toured around British Columbia. The results were positive but limited. There is notable satisfaction for both the performers and the audience when there is a meaningful correlation between the action on stage and the visual and auditory environment in which it occurs. Automating that correlation using interactive technology can simplify the process for the performers on stage and the artists who create the environment. On the other hand, the complexities of programming computer-controlled interactivity can limit its usefulness. As software improves, interactive technologies will become a more valuable tool for the performing arts.

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