Category

Interactive

Seven Minutes in Heaven

By | Interactive

An exploration of guided intimacy and the performance of romance

It begins with a shot. Of whiskey, usually. The two participants are given audio devices and headphones and are directed to begin playback simultaneously while standing outside of a room. Once the audio begins, a friendly voice instructs the players to follow its directions and “do their best”. Once participants are inside the small, dimly lit room, Seven Minutes in Heaven attempts to live up to its name.

7 Minutes in Heaven

Originally created in 2012 in Minneapolis for The Wyld Plan with MYNDWYRM, Seven Minutes in Heaven has been shown in Minneapolis (Halloween Space), Portland (RECESS Gallery), and Brooklyn (Cloud City).

P.I.C.N.I.C. (Performative Interactions Creating Naturally Inclusive Community)

By | Interactive

Examining the boundaries of public and private space in Northeast Minneapolis

A group of thirty people assemble on a grassy vacant lot in Northeast Minneapolis. Each has downloaded an MP3 track necessary for the experience of this piece. Unbeknownst to the participants, not each person has the same track. Individuals begin their audio simultaneously; they are prompted to explore the field in which they stand, collecting painted rocks which they arrange at the center of the lot. Instructed to form a circle, they look at each other. One person steps forward into the circle; the others applaud her. She races to the edge of the field, whipping a tarp off of an object to reveal a bicycle, which she rides off on, down the street, as the others wave goodbye. And so begins P.I.C.N.I.C. 

P.I.C.N.I.C.

The remaining players split in two, walking and sometimes running in groups to find hidden items necessary to complete the piece. They are prompted to paint on walls, rearrange environmental objects, and sometimes to pause and listen to some poetry by a bridge.

P.I.C.N.I.C.

Occasionally each group will glimpse the other in the distance as they traverse empty playgrounds, train tracks, dried up ponds, and a community garden. As the groups reassemble (for a picnic, obviously) the lone bicyclist returns–with ice cream bars.

P.I.C.N.I.C. was created in collaboration with MYNDWYRM in Minneapolis in July 2012.

Sad Portland

By | Interactive

“Welcome. I am sorry to inform you that you have reached the Sad Portland hotline. If you are currently in the depressing cemetery, please press 1. If you are in the gloomy schoolyard, please press 2.”

Sad Portland

First you’ll need to get ahold of one of the Sad Portland maps, distributed to Portland galleries and theatres. On the photocopied hand-drawn map, the top half of the page is occupied by a depiction of an area of Southeast Portland of about a mile in size. On the map are indicated various points of interest–a sad abandoned lot, a disused former school building, a macabre cemetery. The bottom half of the page features a drawing of two tombstones, with some of the numerals in the birth and death dates obscured by symbols. At the bottom of the page is a ten-digit phone number with some of its numerals obscured by these same signals.

To play, one must go to the cemetery indicated on the map, find the tombstones, and plug in the appropriate numbers to reach the Sad Portland hotline, at which point the experience begins in earnest.

Featuring hours of non-linear content reachable through the interactive hotline, Sad Portland is a afternoon-sized rabbit-hole to go get gloomy in.

Sad Portland

Created in collaboration with MYNDWYRM, Sad Portland was commissioned by RECESS Gallery in Portland, Oregon, in August 2012.

Knollr

By | Interactive

Satisfy your OCD and fit all of the objects in the frame at a 45°/90° angle. Exactly. No gaps. And on time. ASAP. Recommended if you like packing things nicely and neatly.

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Created for the 2016 Global Game Jam “Ritual” with Nic Albrecht, Chloe Chia, Dominic Liu, and Alex Voskuil. Additional information and a downloadable version of Knollr can be found here.

Cartball

By | Interactive

fast-paced, hilarious, requires a stolen shopping cart

Cartball, Portland

Created in collaboration with Minneapolis-based collective MYNDWYRM, Cartball is a 3v3 game in which teams compete to score points by throwing a ball into a shopping cart controlled by the defense. For a sense of the rules and gameplay, watch this goofy video:

 

National Psychogeographic

By | Interactive

“Turn so that the wind is at your back. When you reach the blue building, call me again.”

A highly subjective urban journey, directed by phone.

bikeview

Participants begin in a gallery space by calling the National Psychogeographic Hotline, which guides them through a meditative centering exercise inside the gallery before inviting them to hang up, walk outside, get onto their bike, go to the end of the block, and then call the hotline back. With each new call, the hotline delivers new directions for the biker, some of which are concrete (‘take the third right’), some of which are more open (‘go whichever direction reminds you most of your childhood home’). Each journey is unique, and designed to provide an unexpected series of encounters with the environment. At the end of the journey, participants are given a pad of paper and a pen with which to sketch a map of their trip. These maps were displayed in the gallery of origin.

Commissioned by RECESS Gallery, Portland, OR, in 2012.

Created with

OpenVBX

Start by pressing on your eyeballs

By | Interactive

That feeling you get when someone else is touching your phone

phoneInDark

In a pitch-dark room, a boombox tinnily plays spooky music. A voice interrupts the music and invites the audience to use their phones to light their way to the stage to come sit in a circle. Sitting together in the semi-dark, lit by blue device-light, the audience/participants are guided through a ritual series of steps involving their phones. Caressing a stranger’s phone with their fingertips, having their own personal device ever so gently touched by another, the exercise is either meditative or nerve-wracking, depending on your relationship to your little rectangle. Given a number to text their thoughts to, the participants then split up and move around the room to find some privacy. One by one their phones ring, and as participants answer, the discordant variety of ring-tones gives way to a shimmering, phasing soundscape, each face lit ghostly from beneath.

Created for the Tank Theater’s Dark Theatre Festival in February 2013

Death and the Compass: a geolocative AR mystery

By | Interactive

Amid the unceasing aroma of the eucalypti

deathncompass

An augmented reality adaptation of Jorge Luis Borges’ story by the same title, Death and the Compass uses participants’ smartphones to immerse them in the investigation of a series of gruesome ritual murders. After downloading the mobile app, players are shown a location on a map to which they must go in order to begin playing. Once at the start point, an image onscreen indicates that they must hold up their phone to look through the camera at specific parts of their environment in order to trigger the next event. Traveling from building to building on Carnegie Mellon University’s campus to examine a series of crime scenes (in surreal 3D images superimposed over the phone camera’s view of the actual architecture) the player assumes the character of Detective Lonnrot. Conversations between Lonnrot and his colleagues (and enemies) are played out in immersive 3D audio, responsive to the player’s position and orientation.

Made for CMU’s Mediated Reality class in collaboration with Kevan Loney and Akiva Krauthamer in spring 2015.

Created using Unity3D with Vuforia. A combination of image targets and geolocation was used to trigger events.

Bob & Dave & Ren

By | Directing, Interactive

A jumble of aesthetic theory, participation, and Dirty Dancing. With a few surprises along the way. 

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March 23 – 25, 2016 at Carnegie Mellon University’s Helen W. Rauh Studio Theater.

conceived, written, and directed by Ben Gansky

Silent Film

By | Directing, Interactive

Silent Film is a three-part interactive live-scored film-cum-site-specific-dance conceived with Eric Powell Holm, Katie Melby, John Egan, and Ben Lewis. It performed at Cloud City in April 2013.

Silent Film

direction from Eric Powell Holm

interaction design, writing, film editing, scenic and lighting elements by Ben Gansky

performed by Katie Melby and John Egan

costume design by Josh Allen

story consulting from Ben Lewis

live score composed and performed by Owen Weaver