Christian Graupner


March 3April 2, 2011

Using a modified one-armed bandit slot machine, MindBox is a viewer-driven dance video and music triptych. Insert a coin, work the machine's lever and buttons, and directly remix the moves of the beatboxing man on three screens. Media artist Christian Graupner and choreographer Roberto Zappalà teamed up to make a vocabulary of sounds and movements that take beatboxing—a vocal percussion style that comes out of hip-hop—into the realm of interactive media.

The soundtrack takes advantage of both the randomized real-time processes of slot machine gaming and Zappalà's rhythmic, beat-based performance. The viewer becomes an active player in the creation of the installation's audiovisual clusters via the playful tactile interface of the machine. Complex technology developed by Nils Peters (Humatic) and Norbert Schnell (IRCAM) remains hidden as machine lights flash, and the viewer draws out an idiosyncratic movement portrait in beats and starts, playing this headstrong media sculpture like an instrument.

There will be a Q&A with Christian Graupner on March 3 at 5:00 PM. All are welcome!

Hélène Lesterlin

Christian Graupner is a Berlin-based artist, film composer, guest artist at ZKM Karlsruhe and the creator and developer of real-time media playback systems. His earlier works include drawings, paintings, and experimental electronic music under the pseudonym VOOV. He recently has developed a series of reactive media installations in which characters appear significantly in the foreground. With works such as 2Lives Left and newer projects like MindBox and Don't Dance, he is keeping alive his conceptual platform Automatic Clubbing. In 2000, he and Nils Peters formed the independent artist group and production company Humatic Ltd.

Roberto Zappalà founded the Compagnia Zappalà Danza in 1989 to widen and deepen his own research in choreography while extending the possibilities for the training of young contemporary dancers. Since then he has created more than 25 pieces that have been presented throughout Europe, South America, and the Middle East. He is currently the artistic director of the Scenario Pubblico Performing Arts Centre in Catania, Italy.

Norbert Schnell studied telecommunications and music, and worked at the Graz Institut für Elektronische Musik (IEM) as a developer and advisor for projects with composers such as Beat Furrer and Robin Minard. In 1995, he joined the real-time systems team at IRCAM, which focuses on scientific and artistic projects involving real-time interaction. His team has worked on artistic productions with composers such as Boulez, Manoury, Nunes, and Stroppa, as well as participated in an array of international research projects. In 2006, Schnell organized and chaired IRCAM’s 6th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression.

Nils Peters is a coder and artist. Starting in music, his work has taken him into fields such as installation, theater, and performance. He joined machinery art ensembles such as Dead Chickens and BBM, combining music and robot sequencing. With Humatic Ltd., he developed a patented real-time multimedia sequencing environment. He has received several grants for his projects, and his musical work has been published by the Academy of Arts, Berlin.

Christian Graupner
Video Gallery
March 3April 2, 2011

Christian Graupner (Germany) Humatic, Media Artist, Director, Composer, Producer
Roberto Zappalà (Italy) Performer, Choreographer
Norbert Schnell (France) IRCAM – Centre Pompidou, Interactive Music & Sound Design
Nils Peters (Germany) Humatic, System Developer & Software Artist

Dirk Behrend (Madeye Productions): Graphics & Interface Design; Christian Günther & Jo Frgmnt: Electronics & Electromechanics; Gobi Hofman & Jochen Liedke: Metal Works, ‘Slot Machine Pimpin'; Gwendaline Bachini: Team Assistant; Maria Inguscio: Management in Italy; Simon Harris: Text Editor.

Produced by Humatic GmbH in collaboration with TMA Hellerau, VOOVsystems & Compagnia Zappalà Danza. The MindBox technology is based on HUMsystem and the FTM & Co libraries for Max/MSP.

EMPAC 2010-2011 presentations, residencies, and commissions are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust), and the New York State Council for the Arts. Special thanks to the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts for support of artist commissions.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
NEFA - New England Foundation for the Arts
State of the Arts - NYSCA