“Computer Theater” presented by Pinhanez


Session Title:

  • Interactive and Intermedia Software System Design

Presentation Title:

  • Computer Theater



  • ‘Computer theater’ refers to live theatrical performances involving active use of computers in the artistic process. The concept groups diverse ideas, methods, and levels of integration between theatrical and electronic elements. The use of computers in theater can be roughly subdivided in four categories. Computers can be used as electronic puppets, where a human puppeteer controls a computer graphic character displayed on a stage screen. More novel is what I call a computer-actor, where the computer automatically controls a character, establishing a true interplay between man and machine. A third possibility is expanding the body of an actor on stage, enabling the actor to produce sound, images, or music as expansions of his voice and body – a hyper-actor. Finally, the most common example of the use of computers in theater has been computerized stages, where the space as an element of the performance (set, lights, and ambient music) is controlled by a computer.


    Recent developments in image processing and speech recognition now permit that basic aspects of the live action performed on a stage to be recognized in real time by a computational system. Also, computer graphics and multimedia technology are achieving a state where live control of graphics and video on a stage screen is possible. These technological breakthroughs are opening the stage for artistic experiences involving  computer-synthesized characters and environments that were virtually impossible less than half a decade a go.


    Full text p.47-49

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