Alice Unchained is a virtual chamber for chamber music. It is the third work loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, created by media artist Claudia Hart and composer Edmund Campion, Director, at the Center for New Music and Audio Technology, UC Berkeley. Alice mashes 3D animation, motion-captured live performance, and music performed by live and virtual musicians whose sound is analyzed in real-time and remixed in the bodies of sculptural avatars. It feeds-back the virtual and the live, blending them together in a liminal, uncanny mix.
Both Hart and Campion were inspired by the technology theorist Donna Haraway, whose Cyborg Manifesto imagined a Utopian future in which advanced bio-technologies would liberate human culture from the constraints of gender binaries. So for Alice Unchained, Hart directed and motion-captured professional wrestler Isaias Velazquez and choreographer Kristina Isabelle, mixing their data together to create a singular, ‘cyborg’ choreography. Acting in parallel, Campion composed the music for live drummers who are bound to computer generated click-tracks and mixed with the disembodied sounds of an invisible improvising cellist. It adds up to a new chamber music experience, one obliquely referential to the 19th century salon for chamber music and time of Alice, only now existing between the real and the digital.
Andrew Blanton, percussion
Edmund Campion, music composition and live audio mix
Russell Greenberg, percussion
Danielle DeGruttola, cello improvisations
Kristina Isabelle, dance
Jeff Lubow, CNMAT music systems designer
Tommy Martinez, live motion capture and shader programming
Isaias Velazquez, wrestling