With climate change and industrial and domestic effects on water quality, there is a global need to share resources around water-issue awareness, management and celebration. In response, Waterwheel (water-wheel.net/) provides a free, collaborative online platform for streaming, mixing and sharing media and ideas about water, allowing thinkers, activists, artists, scientists and educators to inform, debate, present and archive. Its structure, based on democracy and sharing, allows all comers to make and manage their own projects, independently, in private or public, locally or globally, through a unique and highly intuitive video-conferencing/media mixing system called the Tap (water-wheel.net/tap).


Workshop Description:

This hands-on workshop will introduce participants to the use of Waterwheel / the Tap, and explore telepresence, media mixing, creative presentation and networked performances. Participants will gain experience in mixing visuals and audio, drawing simultaneously with multiple webcam streams (up to 6 at once), creative control of media objects in shared viewer space (position, rotation, scale, opacity etc), and scripting live online presentation by revealing and hiding layers. They will be guided through logging in, profile setup (time zone etc), making a Tap, adding and assigning media, inviting crew members (collaborators), and scheduling private rehearsals and public performances. Through playful games they will become familiar with the Tap toolbar and tool palette – the media manipulation controller. In small groups participants will research, gather resources for, and collaboratively create and present a short performance based on a chosen thematic thread.

Participants must bring a laptop/netbook with webcams, microphones and email program.


Workshop Presenters:

James Cunningham is a performance, movement and video artist, and the co-Artistic Director, along with Suzon Fuks, of Igneous Inc., a Brisbane-based multimedia and performance company established in 1997 that has presented solo and ensemble stage shows, performance-installations, video-dance works and networked/online performances in Australia, Europe (Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland), UK, Canada and India.

Suzon Fuks is an intermedia artist, choreographer and director, exploring the integration and interaction of the body and moving image through performance, screen, installation and online work (http://suzonfuks.net). During an Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship (2009-12), she initiated and co-founded Waterwheel, following which she has been a Copeland Fellow and an Associate Researcher at the Five Colleges in Massachusetts, continuing to focus her research on water and gender issues, and networked performance, as well as coordinating activities on Waterwheel.

Cunningham and Fuks have both given lectures, workshops, master-classes and labs in Australia, USA, Europe, India and Indonesia, in tertiary institutions, cultural venues and community contexts.