GILLabS Overview

GILLabS creates platforms for investigating group improvisation experiences. These are open content, modifiable experiments in doing things together. They can involve collective exercises, games, or scores, and they can involve digital interaction, responsive environments, and virtual reality devices.

Organizing Principles are to

  1. Create spaces and times for shared experience/experimentation. Take time.
  2. Stay open, attend to differences, especially neurodiversity, and always ask why we are doing this.
  3. Start with what we have, our skills, training, teaching, ideas, practices, equipment, and desires.
  4. Connect with other labs, co-invent, share happenings, and co-teach across them.
  5. Make platforms that are open content, public, and modifiable.
  6. Choose over-crediting rather than under-crediting. Note who is in the room and who is in the room even when they are not.
  7. Prioritize the above goals before thinking about experiments, equipment, measurements, and publications.

We are whoever shows up. Joe will be spending time at the ModLab this spring on most thursday and friday afternoons working to create and further develop group improvisation projects (live, VR, and otherwise), and trying to connect these to ongoing projects in Paris and Denmark.There is no requirement to join GILLS, nor to stay. We have a lot to learn regarding what this means. Everything is made public, on this website if possible. Anyone can use it and modify it, hopefully while over-crediting.

Platforms: Open Moddable GIGs Scores Metagaming Metaphors/Paradigms
Collaboratories: ModLab++ SpatialMediaLab ArTeC InteractingMindsCentre JointImprovisationLab

Examples: Articulations PlayTheKnave ICI KeckCAVES
Experiences: improvisation exploration togetherness neurodiversity
Experiments: as object of study in psychology/neuro++ soc/ed, anthro, microphenomenology, critical theory

Organizing Notes – to be moved to archive pages once this overview page is sufficient by itself

4/9/19 Message

tldr; I am going to be spending time at the ModLab this spring on most thursday and friday afternoons working to create and further develop group improvisation projects (live, VR, and otherwise), and trying to connect these to ongoing projects in Paris and Denmark. I would love for you to join me when you can. This Thu 1-3pm, and Friday 12-4pm i’ll be there and if you can make any time in there, let me know!

====longer version====

for now imagining a Group Improvisation Lab Lab, for figuring out ways to create platforms for experiences, experiments, and documenting group improvisations.

  • Using live action, body sensors, VR (Kinect, HIVE, KeckCAVE, Kinect) and our ongoing projects (Mechanimator/Play the Knave, Critical Sensors, HIVE & KeckCAVE/VRUI)
  • To collaborate with Joint Improvisation Lab & ArTeC in Paris, and Interacting Minds Centre in Denmark, where related platforms are being developed.
  • Sharing these platforms and ideas.
  • Creating experiments that can be published.
  • Creating experiences for art and pedagogical environments.

My proposal is to meet in the ModLab – I will be there most thursdays 12-4 and fridays 12-4. Come when you want.

I’m already part of the following collaborations and one of my jobs is to further connect UCDavis to them and their institutions. Paperwork pending, i’ll be visiting professor in ArTeC Paris four weeks this fall (Oct 18-Nov 18) and two months in Aarhus U Denmark this year (Aug-Sep) and for the next 3-5 years.

In Paris: Labodance (Joint Improvisation Lab) at CNRS under Asaf Bachrach has been pioneering field-neuromeasurement devices (incl. inexpensive accelerometers and touch-pads, breathing/heart monitors, portable EEG, GSR) and group (3+) improvisation game protocols. (website out of date)

Articulations project (Asaf), part of ArTeC (a new joint university across Paris) for new media and research creation: making open-source platforms for VR (using HIVE + Unity) for 1-2+ participants aimed at environments for improvisational play that can be used to measure interaciton, facilitate communication to neurodiverse populations.

See especially the Spatial Media Group and the Tamed Cloud project of Loup Vuarnesson and Dionysis Zamplaras at ENSAD.

Interacting Minds Centre (IMC at Aarhus U, dir. Andreas Roepstorff) – neuroscience, psychology, anthropology research in social neuroscience, joint creativity, oija boards, playfulness and lego making, dance and medicine, art and memory, etc.

Experiencing, Experimenting, Reflecting (large 5-year grant between IMC and Olafur Eliasson’s art studio Berlin) to develop creative experiences in life and museums, that are also neuro/psy experiments

4/17/19 Message:

As soon as i have a website i will put things there. Each week i will post a short precis of previous meetings and post longer one to the website. We had two very nice meetings last week with (Paulina, Mike, Ariadne, Tom, Evan, KevinO, KevinD, Isa, Gina, Rosemary attending some or both days).

We talked about the main principles of GILLabs, which is that everything we do is open-source, open content, shared. We are starting with what we have, modding platforms, and working to create spaces for shared experience/experimentation, focusing on improvisation/fun/interactive generativity, taking time. Sharing these games/exercises/approaches is primary, measures are secondary (important but they do not drive the research). Elaborations on all this will be on the website soon!

Please see the Himberg et al paper on Kinaesthetic Togetherness for one touchstone.
We brainstormed and played with different games/exercises:
    Tom Burmester offered “group juggling” that he has used for years to create group togetherness among undergrads in theatre settings, and because the intensity of passing many balls around between people at the same seems to make it very experientially clear when one is in “flow” (attending almost exclusively to the passing) and when one drops out of flow. On Friday he brought a bunch of juggling balls and five us experimented with various iterations of this. We are interested in how to measure the movement of the balls, how people are experiencing it, and how we are behaving physiologically.
    Mike Chin offered Bunraku puppeting as a possibility. This involves three people manipulating one puppet together, with group breathing practices and shared projected experience of the puppet. There seems to be a lot to explore with this, including tracking the puppet itself as well as the players. We are considering having Mike lead a puppet making and then puppeting workshop in a couple of weeks.
    Kevin O’Connor offered string-kite-becoming, my name for a score (light instructions) in which two people hold ends of a short string and one “flies” the other like a kite. Then exchanging roles. This also seems to quite quickly create a sense of when the two are together. Can we  “measure the relation” (the string in this case) rather than the people in relation.
    Gina talked about and then Evan demonstrated Play the Knave (virtual Shakespeare theatre karaoke). The interface is both glitchy and inhabitable: one can play with the weird way in which your avatar does not obey you very well, or you can learn to move in a way that the machine (Kinect) tracks you. The latter induces a particular movement style within which you can improvise.
    We also discussed how to approach the frame of these events. Isa and Rosemary each drew on authentic movement practice to notice how important it is to stage how to offer commentary, questions, and feedback to another. Making sure that we stay open to different forms of eliciting experience. One technique is microphenomenology and its variants of “elicitation interviews” that are being practiced a lot in Europe and combine first-person perspectives with second and third person ones.
    Joe showed some interfaces being used by the Articulations Project in Paris. One uses a two-person VIVE virtual reality setup in which each participant sees themselves and the other as three balls (one where each hand is, and one for the head). This is very reduced interactive environment precisely in order to have a simple set of things to track. The question being asked in Paris was how to create games/scores/setups where the interaction is interesting.

Again, more elaborate descriptions on website to come!