Medialab Prado


Enabling the Spirit of Play in Building Performative Interfaces

22.09.2008 19:00h

Place: Medialab-Prado. Plaza de las Letras, C/ Alameda, 15 · Madrid

Lecture by Hans-Christoph Steiner within the framework of AVLAB 1.0. Seminary



Hans-Christoph Steiner presents the technical and aesthetical limits introduced by mapping. Some practical examples are given of the use of perceptual spaces in experiments done at LMA in a musical context. Discussion of several implications of the mapping strategies: the influence of chosen mapping limits onto performers' virtuosity, and the incidence of mapping on the learning process with virtual instruments and on improvisation possibilities.

"More and more performers are using computer-based instruments for live performance, using software that allows complex control and interaction with sound and visual media in real time. All too frequently, these performers tie themselves to the keyboard-mouse-monitor interaction model, narrowly constraining the range of possible gestures. A multitude of gestural input devices are readily available, making it easy to utilize a broader range of gestures. Human Interface Devices (HIDs) such as joysticks, tablets, and gamepads are cheap and can be good musical controllers. Some even provide haptic feedback. Now, the biggest hinderance for performers wanting to create their own instruments is the usability of the software. To enable the creation of computer-based instruments, we are developing software that allows instruments to be built in the same spirit of play that many people apply when learning a traditional musical instrument."

By Hans-Christoph Steiner

(This work is in collaboration with Cyrille Henry, Olaf Matthes, and David Merrill)

Texts and video published under a Free Art Licence:




Terms of use