Amplified Fencer is a research project by Gökay Atabek that investigates observational practices and implicit composition with the help of experimental interfaces. It is presented as a series of performance pieces.
There is undeniably an inherent choreography in any sport, emerging out of the battle between the opponents. The title Amplified Fencer refers to the way the work makes this choreography visible and audible. In the piece, a fencer’s movements are dissected via motion and orientation sensors, reformatted with the help of a neural network and remapped to an experimental audio synthesizer. This allows the fencer’s set of moves to be translated into soundscapes and syncopated rhythm snippets. The fencer constructs a composition by performing a realistic, logical set of moves; the fencer (now a musician) is forced to play the instrument implicitly, not intentionally. This process is prone to the same failures that would lose the fencer points in a match; the neural network is only trained to recognize absolutely perfect positions. Anything short of that will result in garbled output.
This project was developed as part of a Summer Sessions residency at V2_.