MAN A Apps

Ruth Gibson (Artist), Bruno Martelli (Artist), Adam Nash (Musician)

    Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchSoftware


    The research incorporates motion-captured dance integrated into augmented reality and virtual reality software to enable new user/viewer/mover relationships. The knowledge furthers Gibson's earlier motion-capture viewing tools MocApp and MocApp II developed during 2013 - 2016.

    Research aim: to bring together the artwork and the audience, creating a new experience for them in an immersive performance space.

    Gibson created a library of 3D of motion-captured dance performances to make a unique database and using mediated reality (encompassing virtual, augmented, and mixed reality) adds information to the perception of reality through a handheld device.

    Gibson draws on Bolter and Gromala's 'Windows and Mirrors' theory and considers the idea that the computer can be a window -- showing the user content only, with a 'transparent' interface or be a 'mirror' where the user is aware of the computer as a medium where they can have some influence. MocApp, designed as a tool, appeared to be a 'digital artefact oscillate(ing) between being transparent and reflective'. The AR function in MocApp contributed to the MAN A App development. Here, the software 'reflexivity' is reduced to the didactic, presenting background information about the work. The AR feature is fully 'window- like' as the choice of avatar is where the device is pointed rather than a menu selection. The AR function is designed so that the dance performances can be evaluated as a life-sized overlay in the real world. The logical next step for increasing audience agency and to immerse the audience further was VR. Gibson developed MAN A VR App to present scenes, each an inversion of the performance in-the-round so that the viewer becomes surrounded by dancing avatars.

    The MAN A Apps, are developed for iOS and Android and Google Cardboard.

    Reference: Bolter, Jay David, and Diane Gromala 2003 'Windows and Mirrors: Interaction Design, Digital Art, and the Myth of Transparency', MIT Press

    Dancers: Nicola Gibbons, Siobhan O’Neil, Robert Davidson, Eszter Gal, Bettina Neuhaus, Joe Moran, Florence Peake, Julie Nathanielsz, Ruth Gibson.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherIgloo & Gibson/Martelli
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


    • Augmented Reality
    • Virtual Reality
    • Computer programming
    • Dance
    • Performance
    • software development


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