Austin-based singer-songwriter and KUTX DJ Elizabeth McQueen presented an interactive, multi-media performance entitled "Infinity + Infinity" at Austin's Museum of Human Achievement on Thursday, April 30 and Friday, May 1. The event had previously been scheduled for March 5-8, but was rescheduled due to inclement weather. There were two shows each night, one at 7 p.m. and another show at 9 p.m.
The installation was funded in part by a grant from the City of Austin's Cultural Arts Division, as well as through funds received from local music non-profit Black Fret. Additional sponsors include KUTX 98.9, PsiPlay and Texas Music Water. The inter-media music performance features McQueen's newest ensemble, EMQ (with guitarist Lauren Gurgiolo and multi-instrumentalist Lindsay Greene), in conjunction with interactive structures designed and built by designer/visual artist Jerome Morrison. The work will utilize cutting-edge animation, audience-engaging motion sensor technology, and sophisticated building processes to create interactive, life-sized, audience-controlled visual environments (the PsiScreen, PsiBox and PsiWorld) working in tandem with McQueen's all original music. For more information on the technology, see www.PsiPlay.net.
The music and the media will explore the heartaches, ambivalences and joys of long-term commitment. Says McQueen about the theme of the installation, "Last year I suddenly found myself with time enough to write about where I was. And where I was, where I am, is deep into a series of lifelong commitments - to my husband, to my children, to my cat even. This kind of journey is as mind expanding and magical as it is tedious ... as rewarding as it is frustrating. And I wanted to try and capture that lovely ambivalence in my songs. At the same time I was getting more and more interested in different possibilities in interactive visuals thanks to my friendship and collaboration with Jerome Morrison. I'm excited to combine these visuals with my new songs to create an immersive experience for people."
The PsiScreen, PsiBox and PsiWorld are adult-sized structures that combine the "Pepper's Ghost" technique - wherein a 3-D image is reflected onto a clear, reflective surface, making it appear to be a floating hologram. Through the use of motion sensors, a person will be able to manipulate that image with their movement. This will be layered onto video imagery where the audience will be able to control different aspects - such as opacity and colorization - via this use of midi controllers and VJ software. In the PsiBox, which is more of a pyramid than a box, the image appears to float in the center of the pyramid. PsiWorld is a 12' x12' version of a PsiBox, large enough for an adult to walk inside of. While inside, they will be able to interact with images in such a way that they, as well as the people outside of the box, will feel as if they are experiencing a new kind of magic.
Photography by: Nick Kwasny - http://nicholaskwasnyphotography.com