Communication Interfaces: People, Programs, Machines workshop

Proposition of a simple procedural programming language for the performance scores.

Interfejsy komunikacji: ludzie, programy, maszyny [Communication Interfaces: People, Programs, Machines] was a workshop conducted by Grupa ETC [The ETC Group] (Mateusz Felczak, Antoni Michnik, Maciej Ratajski) as a part of Interference Festival in Gdańsk. It was focused on the coding of information, starting from performative activities towards interaction with computer systems.

The workshop began with a simple but very engaging group exercise, whose goal was to develop a communication system that would later allow encoded visual information to be communicated and correctly read and reproduced by another group. Participants who could not use words or images had to resort to gestures from fields such as choreography or sound. This internally consistent translation of visual information into the language of performance and music did not differ much from the interpretive strategies used by experimental musicians dealing with graphic musical scores.

With these ideas in place, the participants were encouraged to interact with computer systems — e.g. games that were programmed to react to gestures and body movements of the players only to learn that those programs control the players' behaviour in a similar manner to the event scores composers creating instructions for the performers.

In the final part, the participants could use all of these strategies and with the aid of a simple programming language create their own procedural and interactive performance scores. For the final performance, they took full control of the Grupa ETC members, who performed for them the pieces created during the workshops.