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Automaton: second fundraising event for
The Fuse Factory featured digital media
N. SHUMATE, OUT OF THE BLUE     posted: Nov. 19, 2009
“Automaton” is defined as “a mechanical figure or contrivance constructed to act
as if by its own motive power; robot” by dictionary.com.  

This is the concept for “Automaton II,” the second fundraiser for Columbus, Ohio’s
electronic and digital arts lab, The Fuse Factory. The technologically-focused event
was Nov. 14 at The Bar of Modern Art (BoMA), 583 E. Broad St.

Alison Colman, who received her doctorate in art education from The Ohio State
University in 2003, is the founder and executive director of The Fuse Factory.  

She said Automaton II was developed to help continue fulfilling The Fuse Factory’s
mission to cultivate artistic production, research and experimentation in the digital
age. It also aims to offer hands-on workshops and classes about current technology.

“People really like what we’ve done so far,” Colman said.  “Not a lot of people are
doing what we’re doing, and we strive hard to make sure it’s accessible.”

Colman said the one-night event will feature three parts, each designed with
audience participation in mind.

Tone Elevator, an experimental industrial/electronica band from Columbus, opened
the event with its music and a projected backdrop of videos made by Columbus
College of Art and Design students.

“We will be creating intuitively improvisational sound waves from electronic
instruments to create soundscapes and unusually structured aural regions that are
not often heard in mainstream music,” keyboardist Kaswan Kreutzfeld said.

The four-member band formed in 2008, and they use several synthesizers, voicings,
computer tracks and guitars structured over rhythms.  

“We hope to elicit a mood that will evoke reactions within a technology-oriented
environment that one does not normally see or hear,” said the Ohio State graduate
who received an art education degree.

Kreutzfeld said, “[The Fuse Factory] is an arts group with its eye to the future and
Tone Elevator is a relevant group of artists who wish to be involved with these
kinds of activities.”

After the band performs, Julie Cruse, an OSU graduate student in dance and
technology, demonstrated and explained the uses for her software project, VICKi
(Virtual Interactive Choreographic/Kinetic instructor).  

Cruse said she built VICKi to facilitate learning interactive dance and performance
techniques by experiments, collaboration and personal reflection.  

The Sandusky, Ohio native with a BFA from Ohio University’s School of Dance,
said VICKi users will work with all kinds of media and it could be used by anyone
to use for just about anything.

“I think of VICKi as a mixing board for mixers, both sonic and visual, where each
internal mixer can be used to control the others, or can be controlled by some
outside source,” Cruse said.

Cruse said there will be a Q-and-A session for the audience after the lecture and

For the second year, German choreographer and dancer Robert Wechsler headlined
Automaton II.

Wechsler is the artistic director of “Palindrome,” a world touring intermedia
performance group based in Germany and New York City.  

The dancers use bio-sensors and motion tracking technology to control lighting,
music and video by their movements.

Colman said Wechsler will perform a solo piece titled “7 Memories” and will also
perform a group piece with OSU graduate students in dance, to by Spanish
composer Pablo Palacio.  

“Robert will also have audience participation by demonstrating his motion tracking
chorographic system,” Colman said.
This article posted on www.thelantern.com on 11.10.09 in "Arts"  CLICK !
This article printed in The Lantern's "btw"
weekly arts' insert on 11.12.09  CLICK ! -->
Robert Wechsler, Frieder Weiß of Palindrome.
Photo By Bernd Telle
Robert Wechsler of Palindrome.
Photo Courtesy of Robert Wechsler.
Photo Courtesy of Robert Wechsler.
For more information on Wechsler

For more information on The Fuse Factory,
Photos below feature VICKi, courtesy of Julie Cruse