In our society, an individual's deviation from conventional social behavior is both romanticized as a form of creative expression yet often quashed as a threat or annoyance. Separation uses dance, reactive noise, and visuals to explore the dichotomous gradient between society's encouragement and rejection of social deviation. Dancers improvise synchronized flocking behavior on stage. Because the dance is improvised, the dancers must continually examine each other for behavioral cues in order to maintain synchronicity. A camera and computer vision software are used to analyze the flock's behavior, and measure its performance in real time. This information is used to control electronic noises and lighting. Eventually, as the norms grow in complexity, or as is dictated by the individuals' volition, the flock will fall apart. Once the software detects that this has happened, it will intervene, and use lighting cues to reestablish order amongst the dancers.
Special thanks to the Arizona State University Graduate and Professional Student Association, School of Dance, and School of Arts Media Engineering for travel funding support, and to the Athens Slingshot Festival for hosting us in Georgia.