Day 3, stream 4


Converging and diverging realities


Chris Bowman


Roger Mills: University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Chris Bowman: University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Sam Spur: University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Michael Day: University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Gavin Perin: University of Technology, Sydney, Australia



The normative use of motion capture technology is to map the body in movement so as to make animated characters more life-like. This filmic application of this process is conceptually instrumental because the data is co-opted for a largely illustrative uses where the focus is on simply re-presenting movement in animated characters so as to make them more believable substitutes for actual actors. With this approach the technology is conceptually limited to mimetic applications. . The technology and data is, in a sense, pre-figured so as to conform to the disciplinary conventions of filmic animation.

In contrast this cross-disciplinary panel will explore a range of alternative conceptual trajectories for the use of the motion capture tool and the data it yields. In particular the panel will discuss a range of applications where the use of motion capture technology directly brings to the forefront issues associated with notion of gesture and its communication. Drawing specifically on design based research currently underway the discussion will encompass the way in which this data brings into focus questions around narrative as a gestural typology and an index of the inter-relation between the body and space. Exploring hierarchies of human gesture in its expressive cultural forms, The understanding of motion data in its broadest context will be discussed as responses to the spatailasation and visualisation of sound, light, text, images, space, surface and object.

The panel will include discussions around how a feedback of these digitized gestural taxonomies can inform choreography to generate new forms of performance as well as explore how space, conceived as a strategically framed environment, can affect the body’s movement without the need to resort to the conventional filmic narratives that this technology is currently limited to.



Gavin Perin is a lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of Technology, Sydney. Having completed his Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of Canberra, he is currently completing a design based research Masters of Architecture Degree at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is also co-director and founding member of the Centre for Digital Design at UTS which is engaged in theoretical and practice based research that explores the evolving frontiers of digital design.
Gavin’s main research interest is the role of representation in architecture and the generative and instrumental affect of the forms of representation on design practice and its artifacts. 
This work is being developed within the CDD, which is engaged in theoretical and practice based research that explores the evolving frontiers of digital design with the aim to develop new and innovative ways digital media can be used to design immersive dynamic information systems that function in physical and virtual environments.

Chris Bowman is a designer, artist, writer, director and teacher who works with animation, film, and convergent media display systems. He graduated in Film and Animation from Liverpool School of Art + Design (Liverpool John Moore’s University, 1980) and completed his MA in Film and Television at the Royal College of Art (1984). Chris has directed and produced award winning animated and experimental art films and he regularly exhibits his screen media work in Australia. In addition Chris has an international profile as a production designer with over thirty film and television productions to his credit. Since 1992, Chris has taught in the Visual Communication Program at UTS in Sydney and is currently Director of the Master of Animation at UTS. He is a member of the Centre for Contemporary Design Practice and he actively participates in the Centre for Media Arts Innovation and the Creativity and Cognition Studios at UTS. In 2006 Chris co-founded the Centre for Digital Design. Chris has been the recipient of funding from ACID (Australasian CRC for Interaction Design), the Australian Film Commission (Screen Australia), and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Michael Day is a lecturer in the Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building at UTS, where he has been lecturing and tutoring in lighting, ergonomics, human behaviour and theatre design subjects since 2000. In 2011 he launched a new Master of Design Coursework Degree in Lighting Design. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Architecture and Masters in Design Science (Illumination) from the University of Sydney. Over a period of 40 years his international architecture, interiors and lighting design practice has completed over 200 projects in 11 countries. He has also designed exhibitions, events, plays and operas in England, Nigeria, SE Asia and Australia as well as writing, directing and designing for film. Michael was an instigator of the first Vivid/Smart Light Sydney Festival in 2009 and was one of the artists with an installation along the Light Walk in The Rocks. For the Festival he also curated the (sm)art light exhibition and organised  the Smart Light Symposia at UTS, as well as having a concurrent exhibition of his lighting research projects at the DabLab Gallery at UTS. For the 2013 Vivid Festival he is working on public interaction projects at UTS, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Roger Mills is a lecturer at UTS and a musician, sound artist and writer whose practice and research focuses on improvisation, networked music, sound installation and experimental radio. He is founder of the networked music ensemble Ethernet Orchestra, which informs his research into telematic sound and intercultural interaction in networked improvisatory performance. Roger is currently undertaking a doctorate at the University of
Technology, where he also lectures in media arts production and sound and music design. International performance and exhibition credits includes a Golden Eye award for contrapuntal radio performance Idea of South (Sydney) 2008, score for BAFTA award winning dance performance, At Swim Two Boys, Earthfall, UK, The International Theatre Soundscore and Music Composition, Prague Quadrennial 2011, and From Gormley to Gaga: Exhibition of British Theatre and Sound Design, V&A museum London, 2012.

Daniel Scott is a technical artist and software developer who has worked in motion-capture, camera tracking and research and development for animated films including Happy Feet 2 and Walking with Dinosaurs 3D. Daniel holds a Masters of Animation from The University of Technology, Sydney and is currently assisting with the motion-capture and software development of tranSTURM.

Sam Spurr is an architectural theorist and designer working across academia, journalism, design and curatorship.  She is currently a Research Fellow in the School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Adelaide. Sam was the founding director of the Interior and Spatial Design program at the UTS in 2009. She has taught in tertiary education for over a decade prior to this including as a full-time lecturer in architecture at UTS. She has been invited to run studios and workshops in Berlin, Beirut, Prague, Helsinki and Montreal. Sam has exhibited at the Prague Quadrennial 2011, The Gwangju Design Biennale 2011, the 
Sydney Biennale 2012 and the Storefront Gallery NYC (2012). Sam was awarded her doctorate from the University of New South Wales in 2007 for her thesis titled ‘Performative Architectures’. She is a regular contributor to both academic journals and architecture and design magazines.