Sylvia Rijmer
Third Case Study: May 2018 to October 2019More

Multimodal Communication & Cognition

Computer Vision & Motion Tracking

Performance Studies & Information Visualisation

BlackBox - Arts & Cognition

A collaborative platform to document performance composition:
from conceptual structures in the backstage to customizable visualizations in the front-end.

BlackBox is an interdisciplinary ERC-funded project hosted by FCSH-UNL since September 2014, under the direction of Prof. Carla Fernandes as its Principal Investigator.

With a wide-breadth duration of 5 years, the BlackBox project aims at developing a cutting-edge model for a web-based collaborative platform, dedicated to the documentation of compositional processes by contemporary performing artists with a focus on dance and theatre. The platform will enable a robust representation of the implicit knowledge in performing practices while applying novel visualization technologies to support it.

Choreographer João Fiadeiro (Re.Al) was our first year case study, Rui Lopes Graça the second, and Sylvia Rijmer the current one.

As an Arts&Cognition project, BlackBox aims at the analysis of the invited artists’ unique conceptual structures, by crossing the empirical insights of contemporary creators with research theories from Multimodal Communication (Human Interaction, Gesture Studies, Cognitive Science) and Computer Vision.

General objectives:

  • Perform theoretical and innovative interdisciplinary research on the intersection of multimodal communication and cognition, performance studies and digital media.
  • Document, transmit and preserve the unexplored knowledge contained in performance composition processes.
  • Assist artists with creative tools to facilitate their choreographic/dramaturgic practices on a collaborative basis.

The ERC Starting-Grant which supports this project has allowed the recruitment of 3 Post-Docs and 2 PhD students in the research domains of Cognitive Linguistics, Digital Media applied to the Performing Arts and Computer Science. The project also hosts several freelance collaborators and external service providers in the areas of graphic and web design, video, photography and software development, as well as international consultants in Digital Archiving and Intangible Cultural Heritage.

It has additional collaborators from: Interactive Multimedia Group at FCT-UNL; the Neuroscience Programme at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown; C-DaRE at Coventry University, UK; The Linguistics Centre of Universidade do Porto; and the Motion Bank Institute, Frankfurt.

Dance Data, Cognition, and Multimodal Communication (DDCMC19)

BlackBox Arts&Cognition announces its final conference for September 19-21, 2019, on Dance Data, Cognition, and Multimodal Communication (DDCMC19). Abstracts submission open until January 15, 2019.

Informal showing on cognition & dance by BlackBox Project and choreographer Sylvia Rijmer

October 8, 2018 - Estúdio CAB, Centro Coreográfico de Lisboa

BlackBox Arts and Cognition and choreographer Sylvia Rijmer will host an informal showing on cognition and dance, on Friday 12th of October, 8 pm, at Centro Coreográfico de Lisboa.

Carla Fernandes in conversation with artist João Penalva and choreographer Rui Lopes Graça at Mudam, Luxembourg

September 12, 2018 - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg

Prof. Carla Fernandes is going to participate in a discussion with artist João Penalva and choreographer Rui Lopes Graça on September 12th at MUDAM Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, on the occasion of the ballet Fifteen Dancers and Changeable Tempo by the National Ballet of Portugal being presented at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg on September 15th.

Blackbox Team at the 8th Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies: “Gesture and Diversity”

July 4-8, 2018.

BlackBox project has created a new concept to study creative processes in dance and performance using a 360º camera and animated and interactive annotations.