Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has often credited his success to spending countless hours studying his opponent’s movements on film. This understanding of movement is necessary for all living species, whether it’s figuring out what angle to throw a ball at, or perceiving the motion of predators and prey. But simple videos can’t actually give us the full picture.
That’s because traditional videos and photos for studying motion are two-dimensional, and don’t show us the underlying 3-D structure of the person or subject of interest. Without the full geometry, we can’t inspect the small and subtle movements that help us move faster, or make sense of the precision needed to perfect our athletic form.
Recently, though, researchers from MIT’s [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have come up with a way to get a better handle on this understanding of complex motion.
The new system uses an algorithm that can take 2-D videos and turn them into 3-D printed “motion sculptures” that show how a human body moves through space. In addition to being an intriguing aesthetic visualization of shape and time, the team envisions that their “MoSculp” system could enable a much more detailed study of motion for professional athletes, dancers, or anyone who wants to improve their physical skills.
“Imagine you have a video of Roger Federer serving a ball in a tennis match, and a video of yourself learning tennis,” says PhD student Xiuming Zhang, lead author of a new paper about the system. “You could then build motion sculptures of both scenarios to compare them and more comprehensively study where you need to improve.”
Because motion sculptures are 3-D, users can use a computer interface to navigate around the structures and see them from different viewpoints, revealing motion-related information inaccessible from the original viewpoint.
Zhang wrote the paper alongside MIT professors William Freeman and Stefanie Mueller, PhD student Jiajun Wu, Google researchers Qiurui He and Tali Dekel, as well as U.C. Berkeley postdoc and former CSAIL PhD Andrew Owens.
How it works
Artists and scientists have long struggled to gain better insight into movement, limited by their own camera lens and what it could provide.
Previous work has mostly used so-called “stroboscopic” photography techniques, which look a lot like the images in a flip book stitched together. But since these photos only show snapshots of movement, you wouldn’t be able to see as much of the trajectory of a person’s arm when they’re hitting a golf ball, for example.
What’s more, these photographs also require laborious pre-shoot setup, such as using a clean background and specialized depth cameras and lighting equipment. All MoSculp needs is a video sequence.
Given an input video, the system first automatically detects 2-D key points on the subject’s body, such as the hip, knee, and ankle of a ballerina while she’s doing a complex dance sequence. Then, it takes the best possible poses from those points to be turned into 3-D “skeletons.”
After stitching these skeletons together, the system generates a motion sculpture that can be 3-D printed, showing the smooth, continuous path of movement traced out by the subject. Users can customize their figures to focus on different body parts, assign different materials to distinguish among parts, and even customize lighting.
In user studies, the researchers found that over 75 percent of subjects felt that MoSculp provided a more detailed visualization for studying motion than the standard photography techniques.
“Dance and highly-skilled athletic motions often seem like ‘moving sculptures’ but they only create fleeting and ephemeral shapes,” says Courtney Brigham, communications lead at Adobe. “This work shows how to take motions and turn them into real sculptures with objective visualizations of movement, providing a way for athletes to analyze their movements for training, requiring no more equipment than a mobile camera and some computing time.”
The system works best for larger movements, like throwing a ball or taking a sweeping leap during a dance sequence. It also works for situations that might obstruct or complicate movement, such as people wearing loose clothing or carrying objects.
Currently, the system only uses single-person scenarios, but the team soon hopes to expand to multiple people. This could open up the potential to study things like social disorders, interpersonal interactions, and team dynamics.
As for anyone wondering about the Muybridge comment, here’s an image the MIT researchers have made available,
A new system uses an algorithm that can take 2-D videos and turn them into 3-D-printed “motion sculptures” that show how a human body moves through space. Image courtesy of MIT CSAIL
Contrast that MIT image with some of the images in this video capturing parts of a theatre production, Studies in Motion: The Hauntings of Eadweard Muybridge,
Getting back to MIT, here’s their MoSculp video,
There are some startling similarities, eh? I suppose there are only so many ways one can capture movement be it in studies of Eadweard Muybridge, a theatre production about his work, or an MIT video the latest in motion capture technology.
A June 26, 2018 HR MacMillan Space Centre (HRMSC) press release, received via email, announces an upcoming art/sci event,
This July the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Voirelia: Dance, Psychology and Philosophy Hub will be co-hosting Quantum Inkblot, an interactive evening exploring quantum physics through the lenses of physics and psychology, art, and astronomy. The evening will incorporate talks by a physicist and a psychologist, visual artwork, and original contemporary dance performances.
The talks and artistic works will explore some of the questions about how psychology and physics can mirror, inspire, and influence one another. We will touch on topics related to relativity, uncertainty, and predictability of this world.
A dialogue-style talk will be led by physicist Dr. Jaymie Matthews and psychologist Dr. Alina Sotskova exploring the intersections of quantum physics and psychology. Dr. Matthews will be discussing the concept of wave-particle duality and the way it takes the assumption that one thing cannot be in two places at once and turns it on its head.
Dr. Sotskova will be talking about the dissonance in predicting the behaviour of groups vs. predicting the behaviour of individuals, giving pause to reflect on the existence of order at a macro level and chaos at the micro level.
The evening will also feature three original contemporary dance performances and a visual art and music presentation that were all inspired by themes in psychology and the intersection with physics.
There will be time between performances to enjoy a drink, take part in interactive art activities, watch physics demonstrations, and chat with physicists, artists, and psychologists. The evening will end with a question and answer period with all of the performers and speakers.
Here are logistics and additional details,
Quantum Inkblot will take place at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre Thursday, July 12th.
This is a 19+ event.
6:30pm doors open, 7:00pm show starts in the Planetarium Star Theatre
$25 for tickets
Tickets available online through Eventbrite,[clicking on this link will give you a map to the location] in person, or by phone at 604.738.7827.
Find the Quantum Inkblot event on Facebook for sneak peeks at the art work being created, learn more about the process of collaboration between artists and scientists, and more!
The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is a non-profit community resource that brings the wonders of space to Earth, while providing a personal sense of ongoing discovery. Through innovative programming, exhibits and activities, our goal is to inspire sustained interest in the fields of Earth science, space science and astronomy from a Canadian perspective.
Voirelia is a Vancouver-based Dance, Psychology, and Philosophy Hub. Its main purpose is to create original dance and art works inspired by ideas in psychology and philosophy. Voirelia also organizes talks, workshops, and events relevant to the intersection between dance, psychology, & philosophy, such as talks on philosophy of science. Our aim is “movement with meaning.”
BC Psychological Association has provided support for this event and BCPA representatives will be available to chat with the guests.
There will be several dance works presented during Quantum Inkblot. Here are the latest shots from one of the rehearsals, with physicists Dr. Jaymie Matthews and Dr. Ewan Hill joining us for a transdisciplinary open-rehearsal style session.
Photographs: Jason Kirkness. Dancers: Sophie Brassard, Michael Demski. Rehearsal direction/choreography: Alina Sotskova. [Not all the images have been included in this excerpt.]
We wanted to document our artistic and creative process as we put together this unique event. Below you will see examples of original art works and how artistic creation progresses. In the dance photographs below (by Jason Kirkness), we had a brainstorming session that included people with backgrounds in physics, psychology, dance, and theater. We spent about an hour talking about concepts from quantum physics that people often find “weird” – such as the concepts of waves, particles, wave-particle duality, and the uncertainty principle. We touched on how quantum physics influences our perception of science, the world, and ourselves. We discussed topics of identity and searching for meaning and why the quantum world is so different from what we see with our senses. Then we took our brainstorming to the dance studio. Here, using prompts suggested by physicists and her own knowledge as a psychologist and dancer, Alina Sotskova facilitated improvisational movement exploration. This yielded a great deal [sic] of ideas about parallels between physics and psychology, and we will use these ideas a spring board as we begin to develop specific dance works for the event. You can also check out short videos of the improvisational movement research session on our Facebook page, in the Videos section. [Not all the images have been included in this excerpt.]
The team who was part of the brainstorming session […] included: Andrew Elias (Graduate Student working in the field of quantum physics, UBC); Jason Kirkness (Co-lead for the Quantum Inkblot Event and; background: physics and computer science); Alina Sotskova (Co-lead for the Quantum Inkblot Event and; background: psychology and dance). Our dancers were: Angelo Moroni, Michael Demski, Carolyn Schmidt, Alejandra Miranda Caballero, Alina Sotskova.
The images below are samples of original art works by Andrew Short, one of Voirelia’s Core Consultants. Inspired by topics in quantum physics, psychology, and cosmology, Andrew is working on preparing a very special presentation especially for Quantum Inkblot. [There are more images at Voirelia.]
Interestingly, this does not seem to be a ‘sister’ event to Toronto’s ‘Out Of This World; Art inspired by all things astronomical’ exhibition and talks being held July 4 – 22, 2018 in honour of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s (RASC) sesquicentennial (150th anniversary). There’s more about Toronto’s astronomical art/science event in my July 2, 2018 posting.
During August (2017), science in Vancouver (Canada) seems to be mostly about the night sky. The one exception is an event featuring American science communicator, Bill Nye. Here, in the order in which they occur, are the three science events mentioned in the head (scroll down to the third event [Eclipse: Total Alignment] if you are interested in Early Bird tickets, which are available until Aug. 4, 2017).
Bill Nye speaks
Billed as ‘An Evening With Bill Nye & George Stroumboulopoulos’, the event takes place at the Orpheum Theatre on Friday, August 11, 2017. Here’s more from the event page on brownpapertickets.com,
An Evening With Bill Nye & George Stroumboulopoulos
presented by Pangburn Philosophy
Friday, August 11, 2017
Show: 8pm Sharp!
Bill Nye is one of the worlds most eminent promoters of science. He is a scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor. His mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has been doing most of his life. He will grace the stage on August 11th at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver to exchange dialogue with one of Canada’s most beloved public figures and tv personalities. George Stroumboulopoulos is a six-time Gemini Award and Canadian Screen Award winner for best host in a talk series, George Stroumboulopoulos has interviewed a who’s who of entertainment icons, world leaders and respected thinkers. George has also taken an active role in global initiatives and is a strong advocate for social issues.Special Note:
All PREMIUM ticket purchases grant you a copy of Bill Nye’s new book “Everything All at Once” plus fast-pass access to Bill’s book signing, taking place directly after the event.
All STUDENT discounted tickets are Will Call only at the Box Office, on the evening of the event. Student & Photo ID must be shown. No exceptions.
Service Charges Disclaimer
Note that all tickets are subject to an additional $3.50 for the Facility Fee and $5.00 for the Ticketing Fee.
Friday Aug 11, 2017 8:00 PM – Friday Aug 11, 2017 11:00 PM | CA$60.00 – CA$150.00
I got a message saying ‘sales are ended’, which suggests the event is sold out but organizers usually trumpet that detail right away so I don’t know. It might be an idea to try the Buy Tickets button on this page for yourself.
For anyone unfamiliar with the event organizers, Pangburn Philosophy, there’s their home page and this video,
While I’m quite interested in science and art, singly and together, the discussion about science, religion, and/or god, discussed in the video, leaves me cold. I notice the Pangburn Philosophy organization has a series of events titled ‘Science and Reason’ and all of them feature Richard Dawkins who (as I understand it) has been very involved in the debate about science/reason and religion/god. The debate gets more attention in the UK than it has here in Canada.
Getting back to Bill Nye, there was a provocative essay about Nye, his new television programme, and the debate regarding science/reason and anti-science/alternative facts (which can also touch on religion/god). From an April 25, 2017 essay (titled: Can Bill Nye – or any other science show – really save the world?) by Heather Akin, Bruce W. Hardy, Dietram A. Scheufele, and Dominique Brossard for The Conversation.com (h/t May 1, 2017 republication on salon.com; Note: Links have been removed)
Netflix’s new talk show, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” debuted the night before people around the world joined together to demonstrate and March for Science. Many have lauded the timing and relevance of the show, featuring the famous “Science Guy” as its host, because it aims to myth-bust and debunk anti-scientific claims in an alternative-fact era.
But are more facts really the kryptonite that will rein in what some suggest is a rapidly spreading “anti-science” sentiment in the U.S.?
“With the right science and good writing,” Nye hopes, “we’ll do our best to enlighten and entertain our audience. And, perhaps we’ll change the world a little.” In an ideal world, a show like this might attract a broad and diverse audience with varying levels of science interest and background. By entertaining a wide range of viewers, the thinking goes, the show could effectively dismantle enduring beliefs that are at odds with scientific evidence. Significant parts of the public still aren’t on board with the scientific consensus on climate change and the safety of vaccines and genetically modified foods, for instance.
But what deserves to be successful isn’t always what ends up winning hearts and minds in the real world. In fact, empirical data we collected suggest that the viewership of such shows – even heavily publicized and celebrity-endorsed ones – is small and made up of people who are already highly educated, knowledgeable about science and receptive to scientific evidence.
Engaging scientific programming could still be an antidote to waning public interest in science, especially where formal science education is falling short. But it is revealing that “Cosmos” – a heavily marketed, big-budget show backed by Fox Networks and “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane – did not reach the audience who need quality science information the most. “Bill Nye Saves the World” might not either. Its streaming numbers are not yet available.
Today’s fragmented and partisan media environment fosters selective exposure and motivated reasoning – that is, viewers typically tune in to programming that confirms their existing worldview. There are few opportunities or incentives for audiences to engage with scientific evidence in the media. All of this can propagate misleading claims and deter audiences from accepting the conclusions of sound science. And adoption of misinformation and alternative facts is not a partisan problem. Policy debates questioning or ignoring scientific consensus on vaccines, climate change and GMOs have cut across different political camps.
None of this is meant to downplay the huge potential of entertainment media to reach diverse audiences beyond the proverbial choir. We know from decades of research that our mental images of science and its impact on society are shaped heavily by (sometimes stereotypical) portrayals of science and scientists in shows like “The Big Bang Theory” or “Orphan Black.”
But successful scientific entertainment programming needs to accomplish two goals: First, draw in a diverse audience well beyond those already interested in science; second, present scientific issues in a way that unites audiences around shared values rather than further polarizing by presenting science in ways that seems at odds with specific political or religious worldviews.
And social science research suggests that complex information can reach audiences via the most unlikely of places, including the satirical fake news program “The Colbert Report.” In fact, a University of Pennsylvania study showed that a series of “Colbert Report” episodes about Super PACs and 501(c)(4) groups during the 2012 presidential election did a better job educating viewers than did mainstream programming in traditional news formats.
Social science can help us learn from our mistakes and better understand how to connect with hard-to-reach audiences via new formats and outlets. None of these shows by themselves will save the world. But if done right, they each might get us closer, one empirical step at a time.
I encourage you to read the essay in its entirety and, in particular, to read the comments.
The tickets for the Aug. 11, 2017 event seem a bit expensive but as they appear to be sold out, it proves I know very little about marketing science celebrities. I guess Stroumboulopoulos’ name recognition due to his CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) experience was part of the sales strategy since he doesn’t seem to have any science background. That said, good interviewers take the time to research and often unearth questions that someone with more expertise might not think to ask. I’ve been favourably impressed the few times I’ve caught one of Stroumboulopoulos’ interviews.
Blackout: Night Sky Festival
The day after Bill Nye, on Saturday, August 12, 2017, there’s a special event at the Museum of Anthropology on the University of British Columbia grounds in Vancouver. Cecilia Lu in a July 24, 2017 posting on The Daily Hive (Vancouver edition) writes up the event,
With the Perseid meteor shower returning next month, the Museum of Anthropology is putting on a unique stargazing festival for the occasion.
On Saturday, August 12 , at the peak of meteor shower viewing season, Blackout: Night Sky Festival will see the MOA transform into an all-ages arts and astronomy celebration.
The museum will remain open until midnight, as stargazers enjoy the night sky amidst Indigenous storytelling, special musical performances, and lantern making.
Saturday, August 12  | 5 pm – Midnight | All-Ages + Licensed |
Adults $10 | Youth + Students Free | Tickets available at the door Join the event on Facebook
Explore our connection to the stars during an evening of arts and astronomy.
Inspired by the global dark sky movement, Blackout brings together storytellers, musicians, artists and astronomers to share their relationships to the skies. Join us to witness the peak of the Perseid meteor shower and explore the museum until midnight during this all-ages event.
You’ll have the chance to peer into telescopes, make your own star lantern and experience an experimental art installation that reimagines the constellations. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy stargazing to a soundtrack of downtempo and ambient beats, punctuated by live music and throat singing.
Co-hosted with the UBC Astronomy Club, in association with Hfour and the Secret Lantern Society. Performers include Bronson Charles, Jerry DesVoignes, You’re Me, Andrew Kim the musical scientist and the Secret Lantern Society musicians.
Blackout Night Sky Festival Schedule
Indigenous Sky Stories | 5–6 pm
Join us in the Great Hall for celestial storytelling by Margaret Grenier and learn about what you’ll see in the skies that night from the UBC Astronomy Club. Planets and Pulsations: The New Keplerian Revolution | 6–7 pm
Does Earth harbour the only life in the universe? Astrophysicist Don Kurtz examines how the Kepler Space Mission has revolutionized our view in an animated multimedia performance. Late Night Gallery Viewing | 5 pm – midnight
Explore MOA all night long — including our brand new Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks. Bar + BBQ + Music | 7 pm – midnight
Grab a bite to eat or drink from our licensed bar and enjoy the music that runs all night. Vegetarian and non-alcoholic options available. Lantern Making Workshop | 7–9 pm
Make your own pinhole lantern inspired by constellations from around the world in this drop-in workshop hosted by the Secret Lantern Society. Reclaiming the Night Skies | 8:30 pm – midnight
Experimental artists Hfour and the MOA’s Native Youth Program present an immersive, projected art installation that brings to life a series of new constellations, featuring soundscapes by Adham Shaikh. Lantern Procession | 9 pm
Join the procession of freshly built lanterns and roving musicians as we make our way across the Museum Grounds and up the hill for a night of stargazing! Stargazing + Meteor Shower | 9:30 pm – midnight
How many meteors can you find? Expand your knowledge of the night sky with the telescopes and expertise of the UBC Astronomy Club and HR MacMillan Space Centre, set to a background of live and electronic music. On view that night: Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, M13, M15, Ring Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, Dumbbell Nebula and the Perseid meteor shower.
There are two eclipses during August 2017 (Aug. 7, 2017 and Aug. 21, 2017) and I find it odd that neither are mentioned in this astronomy-focused event at the Museum of Anthropology. The Aug. 21, 2017 astronomical event is a total eclipse of the sun.. There’s more about it on this NASA (US National Aeronautics Space Administration) eclipse website.
Curiosity Collider and the Eclipse
[downloaded from http://www.curiositycollider.org/events/]
Vancouver’s art/sci organization (they have a wordier description here). Curiosity Collider is holding an event that celebrates the upcoming eclipse. From a July 28, 2017 notice (received via email),
Join Curiosity Collider and H.R. MacMillan Centre for this one night
ART & SCIENCE EXPLORE THE MOMENTARY DARKNESS
ON AUGUST 17TH , FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY, CURIOSITY COLLIDER AND THE H.R.
MACMILLAN SPACE CENTRE WILL HOST ECLIPSE: TOTAL ALIGNMENT where artists
and scientists interpret the rare alignment of the sun, earth, and moon
during a total solar eclipse. The event includes a performance show in
the planetarium theatre, and interactive multi and mixed media art
installations on the main level Cosmic Courtyard. Highlights include:
* a soundtrack of the solar system created by data sonification
* a dance piece that plays with alignment, light, and shadow
* scientific narration about the of the upcoming total solar eclipse
(on August 21st) and the phases of the moon
* spectacular custom planetarium dome visuals
* meeting the artists and scientists behind one-of-a-kind interactive
and multimedia art projects
This event is 19+ only. Beer and wine available for purchase, light
WHEN: 6:30pm on Thursday, August 17th 2017.
WHERE: H. R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, BC
COST: $25-30. Each ticket includes entrance to the Space Centre and one
planetarium show (7:30pm or 9pm). LIMITED EARLY BIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE
BEFORE AUGUST 4 .
Interested in observing the partial solar eclipse in Vancouver on
Monday, August 21st ? Check out the two observation events hosted by H.R.
MacMillan Space Centre  and UBC Department of Physics & Astronomy
I have listings for two art/science events in Vancouver (Canada).
Dance, poetry and quantum entanglement
From April 20, 2017 (tonight) – April 22, 2017, there will be 8 p.m. performances of Lesley Telford’s ‘Three Sets/Relating At A Distance; My tongue, your ear / If / Spooky Action at a Distance (phase 1)’ at the Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St, Yes, that third title is a reference to Einstein’s famous phrase describing his response of the concept of quantum entanglement.
An April 19, 2017 article by Janet Smith for the Georgia Straight features the dancer’s description of the upcoming performances,
One of the clearest definitions of quantum entanglement—a phenomenon Albert Einstein dubbed “spooky action at a distance”—can be found in a vampire movie.
In Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive Tom Hiddleston’s depressed rock-star bloodsucker explains it this way to Tilda Swinton’s Eve, his centuries-long partner: “When you separate an entwined particle and you move both parts away from the other, even at opposite ends of the universe, if you alter or affect one, the other will be identically altered or affected.”
In fact, it was by watching the dark love story that Vancouver dance artist Lesley Telford learned about quantum entanglement—in which particles are so closely connected that they cannot act independently of one another, no matter how much space lies between them. She became fascinated not just with the scientific possibilities of the concept but with the romantic ones. …
“I thought, ‘What a great metaphor,’ ” the choreographer tells the Straight over sushi before heading into a Dance Centre studio. “It’s the idea of quantum entanglement and how that could relate to human entanglement.…It’s really a metaphor for human interactions.”
First, though, as is so often the case with Telford, she needed to form those ideas into words. So she approached poet Barbara Adler to talk about the phenomenon, and then to have her build poetry around it—text that the writer will perform live in Telford’s first full evening of work here.
“Barbara talked a lot about how you feel this resonance with people that have been in your life, and how it’s tied into romantic connections and love stories,” Telford explains. “As we dig into it, it’s become less about that and more of an underlying vibration in the work; it feels like we’ve gone beyond that starting point.…I feel like she has a way of making it so down-to-earth and it’s given us so much food to work with. Are we in control of the universe or is it in control of us?”
Spooky Action at a Distance, a work for seven dancers, ends up being a string of duets that weave—entangle—into other duets. …
Lesley Telford’s choreography brings together a technically rigorous vocabulary and a thought-provoking approach, refined by her years dancing with Nederlands Dans Theater and creating for companies at home and abroad, most recently Ballet BC. This triple bill features an excerpt of a new creation inspired by Einstein’s famous phrase “spooky action at a distance”, referring to particles that are so closely linked, they share the same existence: a collaboration with poet Barbara Adler, the piece seeks to extend the theory to human connections in our phenomenally interconnected world. The program also includes a new extended version of If, a trio based on Anne Carson’s poem, and the duet My tongue, your ear, with text by Wislawa Szymborska.
Here’s what appears to be an excerpt from a rehearsal for ‘Spooky Action …’,
I’m not super fond of the atonal music/sound they’re using. The voice you hear is Adler’s and here’s more about Barbara Adler from her Wikipedia entry (Note: Links have been removed),
Barbara Adler is a musician, poet, and storyteller based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is a past Canadian Team Slam Champion, was a founding member of the Vancouver Youth Slam, and a past CBC Poetry Face Off winner.
She was a founding member of the folk band The Fugitives with Brendan McLeod, C.R. Avery and Mark Berube until she left the band in 2011 to pursue other artistic ventures. She was a member of the accordion shout-rock band Fang, later Proud Animal, and works under the pseudonym Ten Thousand Wolves.
In 2004 she participated in the inaugural Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, winning the Spoken Wordlympics with her fellow team members Shane Koyczan, C.R. Avery, and Brendan McLeod. In 2010 she started on The BC Memory Game, a traveling storytelling project based on the game of memory and has also been involved with the B.C. Schizophrenia Society Reach Out Tour for several years. She is of Czech-Jewish descent.
Barbara Adler has her bachelor’s degree and MFA from Simon Fraser University, with a focus on songwriting, storytelling, and community engagement. In 2015 she was a co-star in the film Amerika, directed by Jan Foukal, which premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Finally, Telford is Artist in Residence at the Dance Centre and TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics and accelerator-based science.
To buy tickets ($32 or less with a discount), go here. Telford will be present on April 21, 2017 for a post-show talk.
Pi Theatre’s ‘Long Division’
This theatrical performance of concepts in mathematics runs from April 26 – 30, 2017 (check here for the times as they vary) at the Annex at 823 Seymour St. From the Georgia Straight’s April 12, 2017 Arts notice,
Mathematics is an art form in itself, as proven by Pi Theatre’s number-charged Long Division. This is a “refreshed remount” of Peter Dickinson’s ambitious work, one that circles around seven seemingly unrelated characters (including a high-school math teacher, a soccer-loving imam, and a lesbian bar owner) bound together by a single traumatic incident. Directed by Richard Wolfe, with choreography by Lesley Telford and musical score by Owen Belton, it’s a multimedia, movement-driven piece that has a strong cast. …
Long Division uses text, multimedia, and physical theatre to create a play about the mathematics of human connection.
Long Division focuses on seven characters linked – sometimes directly, sometimes more obliquely – by a sequence of tragic events. These characters offer lessons on number theory, geometry and logic, while revealing aspects of their inner lives, and collectively the nature of their relationships to one another.
Playwright: Peter Dickinson Director: Richard Wolfe Choreographer: Lesley Telford, Inverso Productions Composer: Owen Belton Assistant Director: Keltie Forsyth
Cast: Anousha Alamian, Jay Clift, Nicco Lorenzo Garcia, Jennifer Lines, Melissa Oei, LInda Quibell & Kerry Sandomirsky
Costume Designer: Connie Hosie Lighting Designer: Jergus Oprsal Set Designer: Lauchlin Johnston Projection Designer: Jamie Nesbitt Production Manager: Jayson Mclean Stage Manager: Jethelo E. Cabilete Assistant Projection Designer: Cameron Fraser Lighting Design Associate: Jeff Harrison
Dates/Times: April 26 – 29 at 8pm, April 29 and 30 at 2pm
Student performance on April 27 at 1pm
A Talk-Back will take place after the 2pm show on April 29th.
Shawn Conner engaged the playwright, Peter Dickinson in an April 20, 2017 Q&A (question and answer) for the Vancouver Sun,
Q: Had you been working on Long Division for a long time?
A: I’d been working on it for about five years. I wrote a previous play called The Objecthood of Chairs, which has a similar style in that I combine lecture performance with physical and dance theatre. There are movement scores in both pieces.
In that first play, I told the story of two men and their relationship through the history of chair design. It was a combination of mining my research about that and trying to craft a story that was human and where the audience could find a way in. When I was thinking about a subject for a new play, I took the profession of one of the characters in that first play, who was a math teacher, and said, “Let’s see what happens to his character, let’s see where he goes after the breakup of his relationship.”
At first, I wrote it (Long Division) in an attempt at completely real, kitchen-sink naturalism, and it was a complete disaster. So I went back into this lecture-style performance.
Q: Long Division is set in a bar. Is the setting left over from that attempt at realism?
A: I guess so. It’s kind of a meta-theatrical play in the sense that the characters address the audience, and they’re aware they’re in a theatrical setting. One of the characters is an actress, and she comments on the connection between mathematics and theatre.
Q: This is being called a “refreshed” remount. What’s changed since its first run
A: It’s mostly been cuts, and some massaging of certain sections. And I think it’s a play that actually needs a little distance.
Like mathematics, the patterns only reveal themselves at a remove. I think I needed that distance to see where things were working and where they could be better. So it’s a gift for me to be given this opportunity, to make things pop a little more and to make the math, which isn’t meant to be difficult, more understandable and relatable.
You may have noticed that Lesley Telford from Spooky Action is also choreographer for this production. I gather she’s making a career of art/science pieces, at least for now.
In the category of ‘Vancouver being a small town’, Telford lists a review of one of her pieces, ‘AUDC’s Season Finale at The Playhouse’, on her website. Intriguingly, the reviewer is Peter Dickinson who in addition to being the playwright with whom she has collaborated for Pi Theatre’s ‘Long Division’ is also the Director of SFU’s (Simon Fraser University’s) Institute for Performance Studies. I wonder how many more ways these two crisscross professionally? Personally and for what it’s worth, it might be a good idea for Telford (and Dickinson, if he hasn’t already done so) to make readers aware of their professional connections when there’s a review at stake.
Final comment: I’m not sure how quantum entanglement or mathematics with the pieces attributed to concepts from those fields but I’m sure anyone attempting to make the links will find themselves stimulated.
ETA April 21, 2017: I’m adding this event even though the tickets are completely subscribed. There will be a standby line the night of the event (from the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies The Hidden Beauty of Mathematics event page,
02 May 2017
7:00 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm)
The Vogue Theatre
918 Granville St.
The Wall Exchange lecture with Cédric Villani is sold out. There will be a standby line available on the night of the lecture.
It has been said that mathematics is the poetry of science. Some of the fundamental values of poetry parallel those of mathematics, and mathematical research is, in many ways, an art. Professor Cédric Villani will discuss the interface between mathematics and art, showing how both these disciplines seek to illuminate hidden beauty in the world.
Cédric Villani is the Director of the Institut Henri Poincaré, France’s prime and oldest international institute for research in mathematical sciences. He has received many mathematical awards, including the Fields Medal in 2010, often considered the most prestigious in mathematics. Prof. Villani is a specialist of mathematical analysis applied to problems of statistical physics, geometry and probability. His books on gas theory and optimal transport theory have become classics.
It’s time for another Curiosity Collider art/science event. to get you excited (from a Nov. 8, 2016 announcement received via email),
Dance. Genetics. Digital Media. Photography. Science Illustration. Join us to create new ways to experience science.
Our #ColliderCafe is a space for artists, scientists, makers, and anyone interested in art+science. Meet, discover, connect, create. Where will your curiosity for science take you? How will you express science through art?
$5.00 cover at the door. Proceeds will be used to cover the cost of running this event, and to fund future Curiosity Collider events. Curiosity Collider is a registered BC non-profit organization.
Where would your curiosity for science take you? How would you express science through art? Join our upcoming “Collider Cafe: Scientific. Expression.” to hear from these speakers about their ideas and to chat with them about collaborations.
Julie-anne Saroyan (artistic producer | project manager, Small Stage)
You can find individual websites by clicking on each presenter’s name (if you have the time, it’s worth it for the most part). Milbury’s, unfortunately, is simply a LinkedIn page although you do find out she’s a PhD candidate who’s working at Telus World of Science. As for Saroyan, I found a biography for her on the Small Stage website,
Julie-anne loves sharing dance with everyone.
She co-founded the company and kicked off the series Dances for a Small Stage in Vancouver. Since then, Julie-anne has she has produced many dance events- including all installments of the MovEnt series Dances for a Small Stage in Vancouver, at the Canada Dance Festival (2006), BC Scene (2009) and Magnetic North Theatre Festival + Canada Dance Festival (2015) at The National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Saroyan has established herself in dance industry as a skilled and dedicated professional in identifying, developing, and mentoring emerging dance artists. She has successfully developed Dances for a Small Stage as a breeding ground for new choreographic talent and as a stable, sustainable artistic venture.
They don’t seem to be holding their ‘open mic/request for collaborator’ subevent where they invite members of the audience to stand up and talk for 60 secs. about a proposed project and put in a request for a collaborator. Perhaps next time, eh?
Curiosity Collider provides an inclusive community [emphasis mine] hub for curious innovators from any discipline. Our non-profit foundation, based in Vancouver, Canada, fosters participatory partnerships between science & technology, art & culture, business communities, and educational foundations to inspire new ways to experience science. The Collider’s growing community supports and promotes the daily relevance of science with our events and projects. Curiosity Collider is a catalyst for collaborations that seed and grow engaging science communication projects.
Be inspired by the curiosity of others. Our Curiosity Collider events cross disciplinary lines to promote creative inspiration. Meet scientists, visual and performing artists, culinary perfectionists, passionate educators, and entrepreneurs who share a curiosity for science.
Help us create curiosity for science. Spark curiosity in others with your own ideas and projects. Get in touch with us and use our curiosity events to showcase how your work creates innovative new ways to experience science.
I wish they hadn’t described themselves as an “inclusive community.” This often means exactly the opposite.
Take for example the website. The background is in black, the heads are white, and the text is grey. This is a website for people under the age of 40. If you want to be inclusive, you make your website legible for everyone.
That said, there’s an upcoming Curiosity Collider event which looks promising (from a July 20, 2016 email notice),
Neural Constellations: Exploring Connectivity
An Evening of Art, Science and Performance under the Dome
“We are made of star stuff,” Carl Sagan once said. From constellations to our nervous system, from stars to our neurons. We’re colliding neuroscience and astronomy with performance art, sound, dance, and animation for one amazing evening under the planetarium dome. Together, let’s explore similar patterns at the macro (astronomy) and micro (neurobiology) scale by taking a tour through both outer and inner space.
This show is curated by Curiosity Collider’s Creative Director Char Hoyt, along with Special Guest Curator Naila Kuhlmann, and developed in collaboration with the MacMillan Space Centre. There will also be an Art-Science silent auction to raise funding for future Curiosity Collider activities.
Participating performers include:
Alexandria Jaeger (Neuroscience, Dancer)
Brady Marks (Cultural Prototyper, Interactive Art, Digital Media)
$20.00 sliding scale. Proceeds will be used to cover the cost of running this event, and to fund future Curiosity Collider events. Curiosity Collider is a registered BC non-profit organization. Purchase tickets on our Eventbrite page.
Head to the Facebook event page: Let us know you are coming and share this event with others! We will also share event updates and performer profiles on the Facebook page.
There is a pretty poster,
[downloaded from http://www.curiositycollider.org/events/]
As noted in the Canadian Council of Academies report ((State of Science and Technology in Canada, 2012), which was mentioned in my Dec. 28, 2012 posting, the field of visual and performing arts is an area of strength and that is due to one province, Québec. Mark Wilson’s Aug. 13, 2013 article for Fast Company and Paul Ridden’s Aug. 7, 2013 article for gizmag.com about McGill University’s Instrumented Bodies: Digital Prostheses for Music and Dance Performance seem to confirm Québec’s leadership.
One is a glowing exoskeleton spine, while another looks like a pair of cyborg butterfly wings. But these aren’t just costumes; they’re wearable, functional art.
In fact, the team of researchers from the IDML (Input Devices and Music Interaction Laboratory [at McGill University]) who are responsible for the designs go so far as to call their creations “prosthetic instruments.”
For the last three years, a small research team at McGill University has been working with a choreographer, a composer, dancers and musicians on a project named Instrumented Bodies. Three groups of sensor-packed, internally-lit digital music controllers that attach to a dancer’s costume have been developed, each capable of wirelessly triggering synthesized music as the performer moves around the stage. Sounds are produced by tapping or stroking transparent Ribs or Visors, or by twisting, turning or moving Spines. Though work on the project continues, the instruments have already been used in a performance piece called Les Gestes which toured Canada and Europe during March and April.
These instruments are the culmination of a three-year long project in which the designers worked closely with dancers, musicians, composers and a choreographer. The goal of the project was to develop instruments that are visually striking, utilize advanced sensing technologies, and are rugged enough for extensive use in performance.
The complex, transparent shapes are lit from within, and include articulated spines, curved visors and ribcages. Unlike most computer music control interfaces, they function both as hand-held, manipulable controllers and as wearable, movement-tracking extensions to the body. Further, since the performers can smoothly attach and detach the objects, these new instruments deliberately blur the line between the performers’ bodies and the instrument being played.
The prosthetic instruments were designed and developed by Ph.D. researchers Joseph Malloch and Ian Hattwick [and Marlon Schumacher] under the supervision of IDMIL director Marcelo Wanderley. Starting with sketches and rough foam prototypes for exploring shape and movement, they progressed through many iterations of the design before arriving at the current versions. The researchers made heavy use of digital fabrication technologies such as laser-cutters and 3D printers, which they accessed through the McGill University School of Architecture and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology, also hosted by McGill.
Each of the nearly thirty working instruments produced for the project has embedded sensors, power supplies and wireless data transceivers, allowing a performer to control the parameters of music synthesis and processing in real time through touch, movement, and orientation. The signals produced by the instruments are routed through an open-source peer-to-peer software system the IDMIL team has developed for designing the connections between sensor signals and sound synthesis parameters.
For those who prefer to listen and watch, the researchers have created a video documentary,
I usually don’t include videos that run past 5 mins. but I’ve made an exception for this almost 15 mins. documentary.
I was trying to find mention of a dancer and/or choreographer associated with this project and found a name along with another early stage participant, choreographer, Isabelle Van Grimde, and composer, Sean Ferguson, in Ridden’s article.
I found two items about neuroscience in one day that tickled my fancy. The Watching Dance Project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council recently announced a study that found experienced dance spectators mirrored the movement they were watching. From the March 21, 2012 news release on EurekAlert,
Experienced ballet spectators with no physical expertise in ballet showed enhanced muscle-specific motor responses when watching live ballet, according to a Mar. 21 report in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
This result when watching such a formal dance as ballet is striking in comparison to the similar enhanced response the authors found in empathic observers when watching an Indian dance rich in hand gestures. This is important because it shows that motor expertise in the movements observed is not required to have enhanced neural motor responses when just watching dance performances.
The authors suggest that spectators covertly simulate the dance movements for styles that they regularly watch, causing the increased corticospinal excitability.
‘Watching Dance: Kinesthetic Empathy’ uses audience research and neuroscience to explore how dance spectators respond to and identify with dance. It is a multidisciplinary project, involving collaboration across four institutions (University of Manchester, University of Glasgow, York St John University and Imperial College London).
Amateurs have a new tool for conducting simple neuroscience experiments in their own garage: the SpikerBox. As reported in the Mar. 21 issue of the open access journal PLoS ONE, the SpikerBox lets users amplify and listen to neurons’ electrical activity – like those in a cockroach leg or cricket torso – and is appropriate for use in middle or high school educational programs, or by amateurs.
The work was a project from Backyard Brains, a start-up company focused on developing neuroscience educational resources. In the paper, the authors, Timothy Marzullo and Gregory Gage, describe a sample experiment using a cockroach leg stuck with two needles and monitoring the electrical signals. They also provide instructions for using the SpikerBox to answer specific experimental questions, like how neurons carry information about touch, how the brain tells muscles to move, and how drugs affect neurons, and an online portal provides further instructional materials. These are just a few examples of the many ways this tool can be used.
“Our mission is to lower the barrier-to-entry for students interested in learning about the brain. We hope our manuscript finds its way into the hands of high school teachers around the world”, says Dr. Marzullo.
Science magazine (published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS]) has been holding a Dance Your PhD contest since 2008* (as best I can determine from a Sept. 17, 2010 posting by Katherine for SciFri). In any case, this year they received a record number of entries (from an Oct. 14, 2011 posting by John Bohannon on Science Now),
Have you ever wondered what nanotube chemistry might look like as a dance? Or fruit fly sex? Or protein x-ray crystallography? Look no further. As part of the 2011 Dance Your Ph.D. contest, scientists who study those phenomena and more have converted their research into dance videos for your enjoyment and edification. And today the 16 finalists of this annual contest are revealed below.
A record 55 dances were created for this year’s contest, submitted by scientists around the globe, from the United States and Canada to Europe, India, and Australia. As the contest rules state, each dance must be based on the scientist’s own Ph.D. research thesis, and that scientist must participate in the dance. For many of the graduate students who danced, the research they depicted is still ongoing. For some of the older contestants, the project is a distant, perhaps harrowing memory from their early days in science. The dances are divided into four categories based on subject: physics, chemistry, biology, and social science. (The criteria for those categories are explained here.)
One of this year’s finalists is from the DeRosa lab at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Titled, “DNA Aptamers as a Tool for Studying Mental Health Disease.” Erin McConnell and her troop are featured in the video below,
I haven’t had time to review the other finalists but given this one, I can hardly wait.
The DeRosa lab also had a finalist in last year’s Dance Your PhD contest. It’s not the only reason I contacted the lab’s leader, Maria DeRosa but it did add a piquant flavour to my interview with her, which I will be posting tomorrow (Oct. 25, 2011).
*ETA Oct 24, 2011 1500 hours: There is an Oct. 18, 2011 article by Bob Weber for the Globe and Mail newspaper about the Canadian finalists in the 2011 Dance Your PhD contest. The contest was informally created in 2007 according to its originator John Bohannon.
The performances (Nov. 25 – 27, 2010) of a dance/science project, Experiments: Logic and Emotion Collide (World Premiere) will take place at the Scotia Bank Dance Centre 677 Davie Street @ Granville St in Vancouver (Canada).
As part of their publicity campaign, the producers (SFU [Simon Fraser University] Centre for Dialogue, in association with LINK Dance Foundation) gave a series of three talks on art and science prior to the performances later this week. I attended the Art, Science and Creativity: Common Threads and Unique Expressions panel discussion (Nov. 9, 2010) which featured the choreographer, Gail Lotenberg, sculptor and evolutionary biologist, Lee Gass, spoken word artist, Nadia Chaney, and poet, Sonnet L’Abbé and moderator, Mark Winston, evolutionary biologist and Academic Director for the Centre for Dialogue.
From the Centre for Dialogue page about the dance/science project,
SFU Centre for Dialogue, in association with LINK Dance Foundation, is pleased to present a series of Dialogues on Art and Science. Explore the similarities and differences between both disciplines as they employ creativity, experimentation, logic and intuition to understand the world around us.
These Dialogues precede the World Premiere of LINK Dance Foundation’s new work Experiments: Logic and Emotion Collide. Over the past three years, LINK Artistic Director Gail Lotenberg has been working with dancers and ecologists to create an ensemble piece interweaving movement, sound, video and lighting, appealing to both halves of the brain.
In trying better understand the underpinnings for Experiments, I located a posting by Lotenberg where she describes the impetus for the piece (excerpted from Lotenberg’s Oct. 29, 2010 posting),
Mark [Winston] is the Academic Director of the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue. He had been impressed with my first work created through this collaboration with scientists (in the field of Behavioural Ecology) and he wanted to help spearhead a new piece, even larger in scale and more ambitious in content. I was gamed. So he asked, “what would you want to create a piece about?” I said, “Experimental Design in Science.” He was surprised, to say the least. What I said next, however, hooked him. “Experimental Design,” I told him, “is as much a reflection of the personality and personal beliefs of a scientist, as it is a reflection of the natural world under investigation. And the elegance of a good design is as beautiful as dance.” He totally agreed and totally jumped in, feet first.
Mark was visibly thrilled that I understood this aspect of experimental design that it is a mirror for personality and a pursuit of elegance in how to ask a refined question. I guess he knew that it was the consequence of having fallen in love with a scientist and seeing first hand the passion, the wit, and the artistry that my husband brings into the process of designing a good experiment. I love how the personality of a scientist is so evident in their experiments–a witty mind creates a trap, a romantic mind seeks evidence of deep connectivity between things, a social activist looks for the influence of community on individual actions in animal behaviour. I was charmed by the spirit of scientists, like when you first begin to see the personality of a child emerging from a newborn.
I was also charmed by how scientists use language. As terse as poetry! Melodic like music. They speak in a way about their research, that gave me a sense of accompaniment for dance. Precise, razor-sharp, impassioned.
These are some of the starting points for this project and they are beginning to become visible in the outcomes of our creative process. Months of experimentation and finally I find myself deeply satisfied to witness what was only in my imagination finding real expression in movement, music, etc. The impulse to translate their poetry; to capture their personalities inside their experiments; interpreting the elegance of a clean set of results with an elegant phrase of dance. I think I am finding the answer to why I undertook the massive endeavour …
I had the idea that Behavioural Ecologists and Choreographers sharing a key aspect in our work–that we both interpret movement and actions as meaningful information, enough to build a career around. A cool idea but until it is presented in some way, it remains only that … an idea. To be brave is to speak that idea out loud through this production.
Interesting insight into how the arts and science are connected, eh?
Tickets for the performances can be purchased here.