CTR concepts & visualization

Information Visualization is concerned with providing (interactive) visual representations of abstract data to reinforce human cognition; thus enabling the viewer to gain knowledge about the internal structure of the data and causal relationships in it. Techniques that have emerged from this discipline have been used to devise patterns to visualize complex information such as social networks, migration patterns, economical and social patterns, among others. In the context of the BlackBox project, our aim is to understand how visualization techniques can be used to visualize the implicit knowledge underlying a creative process that informs both the general public and researchers alike.

In this first case study we have observed as well as participated in several CTR workshop sessions in order to understand the underlying concepts of this creative process. We have had also several meetings and discussions with João Fiadeiro in order to clearly understand these concepts, but more important, how they come to life in a performance piece. From this work, four main concepts were chosen to serve as proof of concept as well as tentative visual representations for each of them. 3D data was capture in two different improvisation sessions using the CTR method with João Fiadeiro himself and seven other dancers. This data was then processed and a point cloud visualizer was developed in Unity3D. For each of the chosen concepts a visual effect was implemented using a shader language and the final result is presented in the videos.



Video examples

Fiadeiro Ex 1

Short example of a key CTR concept: Position. On a simple improvisation section, three different performers enter the scene performing an action which introduces a new element to the current creation. Each one is identified by a different color which was previously annotated and attached to the newly introduced element.

Fiadeiro Ex 2

This video shows relations being formed by different elements introduced in the creation. The elements introduced in a new position may create a relation with some or all elements from previous positions in the scene. This example shows the same clip from the first example, but highlighting the establishment of newer relations when the new elements gradually assimilate the same color as what is currently in the scene. If different pairs had separate relations, they would have different colors.

Fiadeiro Ex 3

On this example the three-dimensional aspect of the captured data allows for a better representation of the concept of “Suspension”, which is used at the decision making process. Each position in this improvisation section adds one more object to the performer in the center of the stage, until a situation is reached where it becomes unstable, and a decision must be made related to how it should be handled. We exemplify the suspension of time in which one participant is examining the current situation, with his personal time being disconnected from the real time. The most likely future possibility is shown the background. When a decision is made and that future is accepted, the camera navigates forward to that dataset. Such spatial manipulation is o possible due to our data being represented in a three-dimensional space.

Fiadeiro Ex 4

We demonstrate the concept of “Cycle of vitality” in this clip, which is the time frame during when the composition is progressing. The idea is that the end must be postponed, by creating new relations through new positions. We exemplify this through the loss and gain of color in this example where we see color fading out when no new elements are being introduced, and relations are being lost. When a new relation is created, we see data with color again, which means the composition is still progressing.

Fiadeiro Ex 5

This last example shows possible futures and pasts. One remarkable feature of Fiadeiro’s work, is rewriting the past by changing the future, by creating new relations. We recorded different improvisation sessions always repeating the first position, and giving freedom to the performers from there on. Here we exemplify our results, spatially organizing the possible futures in a three-dimensional space. The performer is placed inside a cube, in which he has a possible future in each one of the sides of the cube. We navigate the camera through each one of the possible futures for new relations. In reality, we would have countless possible futures in each position. We exemplify this concept through the results of the different sessions.