Ripples After the Wave

Ripples After the Wave

June 2013: “When the first moving pictures were shown, at the beginning of the 20th Century, they were fairly rudimentary, even crude films: images of zeppelins on maiden voyages; people attending operas; cotton mills in actions; guns being fired; trains running on tracks. People were impressed with seeing a representation of real life, whether exotic or trivial. Is this very different from the current state of YouTube, with its cat videos, recut movie trailers, and home-made TV programs? A hundred years from now, people will look back on our first usage of the internet as a quaint fascination, a group of people who had neither the tools nor the context to push the form to its sophisticated end point… TIMEWAVE is a fascinating project, in that it is beginning the conversation and exploration of how we as artists use this medium, a medium that will continue to change our world in unimaginable ways. Who knows where this will take us, who knows how it will be part of our work as theatre artists in even five years time, much less twenty or thirty? I can’t begin to measure the value of this experience just now, I can only appreciate having the chance to be part of the act of pioneering.” Drayton Hiers ~ Artistic Director, LoNyLa Singapore and director (“Paradise”) “TimeWave was a great opportunity to collaborate with artists across the pond. Being able to use current and popular technology in a theatrical context is a great affirmation of the continued relevance and importance of live performance. As a performer, I found the practice of taking a theatrical script, written...
Raquel Santiago, Winner of Photo Contest

Raquel Santiago, Winner of Photo Contest

June 2013: Selected as the best photo by Amogh Desai, Founder and Director of the National Institute of Photography (India), “London Bridge from Top of Shard” by Raquel Santiago has won the TimeWave photo contest. Please see further details of the contest on award.io’s TimeWave page. Given the competition’s theme “Photo memories of your life,” Santiago’s photo captured a startlingly beautiful aerial view of London Bridge. The TimeWave team is thrilled to see this entry and announce Santiago’s photo as the winner. Santiago’s photo “follows the rules of composition properly and also the river flowing in between creates a dramatic effect in the image,” says Desai. As the winner, Santiago will receive a case of delicious wine as sponsored by Naked Wines. TimeWave thanks Naked Wines as well as award.iofor running the contest with an elegant 21st century vehicle. Although other photo submissions by TimeWave artists and crew didn’t make the cut, the TimeWave team was thrilled by their participation in the contest. In particular, British director Ben Mills submitted a shot of the TimeWave space station in which Production Designer Simon Gethin Thomas and Producing Artistic Director J Dakota Powell were sweating it out over the technology required to make the festival happen. Camera operator Shan Christopher Ogilvie also submitted a wonderful picture of Princess, the Innovation Warehouse startup...
TimeWave Space Station

TimeWave Space Station

June 2013: The expectations of whizz-bang tech and the realities of current and affordable applications for video streaming/telepresence haven’t yet shaken hands. Compared to tools available a decade ago, the digital space has taken huge leaps. However, one may underestimate the complexity of a festival that not only streams remote pieces from multiple locations during the course of an evening but also employs telepresence. LoNyLa had evolved to the point where we were streaming in HD online with one camera. In Velocity Lab 2012, we streamed rehearsed readings between London, NYC, LA, Singapore and Berlin. TimeWave represented a steep ramp-up in terms of technical complexity. While Simon Gethin Thomas ran sound and lighting for the live theatre performances, J Dakota Powell managed the video streaming and telepresence components of the festival.  THE SPACE STATION EXPLAINED What was affectionately known as the “space station” consisted of 4 laptops. Each one had a designated function. To combine all of these functions in one computer would’ve overloaded its processing power. Certain applications had to remain open and accessible for transitions. Even so, the transitions between plays took too long – a hard-learned lesson in front of a patient audience. As TimeWave evolves, the transitions between plays need to be compressed. The functions of each of the four computers were as follows:  COMPUTER 1: COMMAND AND CONTROL (C&C) We used a 2012 Macbook Retina with an i7 quad core processor, two Thunderbolt ports and plenty of RAM. Two Canon Vixia HV30s were hooked up to Blackmagic Intensity Extreme video encoders, which plugged into the laptop. The Canons were set to stream in HD....
Update from LA: When in Doubt, Sketch It Out

Update from LA: When in Doubt, Sketch It Out

June 2013:  How many people remember strapping a Sony Walkman to their upper arm…the size of a brick…to go for a jog around Central Park and feel as if it were coolest thing on earth? If you got mugged, all you had to do was zap the offender with the Walkman to knock ‘im out. Well that was then and this is now. In 1958, Kilby’s microchip was the size of your pinky and had a single transistor, three resistors and a capacitor. Today, the average microchip is penny-sized, if not smaller, and can hold as many as 125 million transistors. Computing continues to speed up. When it comes to covering a live performance with multiple cameras and streaming it to the Internet, our grown-up kids in 10 to 20 years (if not sooner) will be saying: That was then, this is now. Wires and cables will be obsolete – a laughable remnant from a bygone age. No plugs, no wires, no adaptors. Everything will be wireless. Why bother with a projector when the wallpaper is smart? Wave your hand – huzzah! The wall lights up and projects an interactive live video stream from any city in the world. In 2013, we’re still figuring out which adaptor to use to hook a MacBook Pro to a projector. New York-based playwright, David Simpatico, has written a dark comedy, “Carpe Diesal,” about three American copywriters who are creating advertisements from news coverage of riots and uprisings. The four-part serialized format begs the question: can this era be defined as the commercialization of injustice and discontent? Dylan Southard, the co-founder of LA-based...
Roving Actors with Mobile Devices

Roving Actors with Mobile Devices

June 2013:  The amazing property of a telepresence platform is that actors can stream right into the platform with an iPad or an iPhone. An actor in New York City can be en route to Ray’s Pizza for a slice and interacting with a London actor en route to Pret a Manger for a Peking Duck wrap. As long as the two actors in the two different cities and time zones have a decent Internet connection, they can stream into the same virtual space online. The quality of the stream depends on the strength of the wired connection and the personal device. We’ve found that iPads deliver the same quality stream as a high-powered laptop. An actor can tote around iPad and live stream his or her surroundings – e.g., a frenetic Manhattan intersection with engines revving and horns blaring – into the virtual space. Suddenly, an actor in London hears a dog bark from a Lower East Side street. In “Dead Drop,” a security agent for the British government has to extract information from the British brother of an FBI’s “person of interest.” Security agents in New York City need info from London to figure out what the connection is between the once estranged brothers. The format is a roving spy caper between the US and the UK. And, indeed, their interrogation styles are rather different. Culture clash jokes aside… The actors in New York – Teddy Canez (“Clive”), Susan Louise O’Connor (“Jane”) and David Rysdahl (“Adam”) – and the actors in London – Anniwaa Buachie (“Polly”) and Thomas Rushforth (“George”) – rehearsed online with J Dakota Powell...
Theatre in a Digital Accelerator

Theatre in a Digital Accelerator

June 2013:  The digital space is hot and throbbing. The number of digital startups in London mushrooms as enterpreneurs jump into the space with new concepts, products and business models. It’s the second wave, albeit, more sober after the Wild West era of hyperinflated valuations at the turn of the century. Innovation Warehouse has generously given LoNyLa/TimeWave the use of their event space to launch the festival. In the past few weeks, British theatre artists and digital entrepreneurs have found themselves working side-by-side on occasion. Unlike theatre, however, the digital space in London is distinctly international. Tiptoe through the working areas of Innovation Warehouse and you’ll hear accents from every node on the planet – India, New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Austria. You may even detect a British or American accent in this heady mix. Because people from different cultures work and collaborate in close vicinity, accelerators are fertile environments for new ideas and solutions. On the one hand, the TimeWave journey exposes theatre artists to the boldness and drive of this international community. On the other, artists tend to be an imaginative and daring group. They’re not strangers to living on the edge. The cross fertilization of these two groups can serve both communities in productive ways. As per nuts and bolts, lighting designer Simon Gethin Thomas had to figure out how to create a theatre space in the middle of a wired warehouse! Using his own software, Simon simulated the space at Innovation Warehouse and designed the theatre for the festival. We wanted it to be raw, simple and sleek. A large rear view projection screen would...