The system as performance partner and the immersive kinetic space had been the two main areas of research since the mid 20th century with Czech scenographer Josef Svoboda and American choreographer Alwin Nikolais to be the most often cited. The researchers aimed to add a layer to the historical evolution of performance by the linkage of the interactive system, real-time generated visuals and performance. Later, Klaus Obermaier with his project “APPARITION”, (2010) stresses resonances between virtuoso performer and sophisticated computation and media processes and contributes specifically to the evolving aesthetic in the genre of interactive stage performance. He attempts to further develop the aesthetics of body projection by making a piece that would use interactive technologies to release the performer from the determination of set choreography and would use digital media performance software to generate the video and sound content in real-time.
Transcranial (Resonate festival in Belgrade), is a collaborative project by Klaus Obermaier, Daito Manabe and Kyle McDonald that aims to dive deeper and enhance the communication among the members of an interactive stage performance and be a continuous and reflective collaborative research It is a social art installation project that combines the art of performance, music, theatre and new media and deals with a nonverbal communication and the performative possibilities of body and mind on stage. As Obermaier points out “the software—the computer—is the third performer on stage.” It is the mutual awareness between the dancers and software that creates the dynamic, one that plays out like a conversation.
The artists explore the way design production and performance are influenced by contemporary digital technologies and computational tools and on the other hand how the independent behaviour of the software is influenced (not only ‘controllable’) by the performer’s movement. This interplay between dancer and system and how one begins to understand the properties of the other, has been crucial to the conceptual and aesthetic development of the work; helping give shape to the choreography and underpinning its dramaturgy. The overall computer system built forTranscranial is much more than a tool or simply an extension of the performer, but a potential performance partner, giving opportunities for more complex dynamics of emergent choreographic forms.