Infinite Possibilities

The ‘Infinite’ Possibilities of Multimedia and Dance

The Hawk TV studio hosted a unique light show when Infinite Light held a presentation on November 7 for students and faculty.  This show combined the multimedia capabilities of Brenton-C Bainbridge with the soulful choreography of Brooke Broussard.

The event was the first ARTS NOW: Performance, Art, & Technology Visiting Arts Series for the year.

Michael Richison, specialist professor of Arts and Design, welcomed all and thanked the audience for coming.  “It’s truly a pleasure to introduce Brenton C-Bainbridge, his collaboration, and Brooke Broussard,” he said.  He also thanked Staton Green, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences for this programming and students Dan Villanova, Kate Novorski, and Kate Purez for helping out.

Richison explained that Bainbridge and Broussard have worked together for two years with their biggest project being Infinite Light in spring 2011, which began with a Kickstarter fund that brought the show to New York City.

Brooke has done choreography in New York City and danced in X’ian, China while Bainbridge used his multimedia talents as video director for two Beastie Boys Tours and brought his visuals to over five continents. 

The first video presented was a new one, which Bainbridge and Broussard completed the previous day in Asbury Park.  Bright shapes and lines illuminated off the screen and popped out.  It was as if these colorful designs were moving back and forth like someone was adjusting the radio’s volume.  Unique images started to work in unison with background music to make images feel reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey with today’s technology.

As the colors on screen turned from yellow to blue, Broussard’s body appeared behind the screen, dancing to a steady rhythm alongside the visuals and sounds.  Toward the end, the video became surreal as an image of Broussard was on the screen with a skyline projected on her as she took her final dance steps.

In regards to how Infinite Light is reshaping multimedia, Richison told The Outlook, “Artists who are able to take media like video and dance and combine them fluidly like Benton and Brooke are able to show the world some very interesting work.”

When the lights came on, Bainbridge and Broussard introduced themselves; Bainbridge asked for questions before saying, “Still wondering what the heck you just saw?”

One student asked what Bainbridge was “manipulating” and he answered, “We were adjusting elements.”  He described VJ software that can alter the speed, direction, and brightness/contrast of clips.  He also said the images popping in and out of the screen used a software version of an old analog TV effect.  “It’s sort of like a TV losing its mind,” he said. 

Richison asked how Bainbridge and Broussard pick the images and whether the images or dance comes first.  Broussard said, “It’s a fluid process with back and forth dialogue.  I see a space with water dripping down a building and it looks like a woman in a bathhouse.  Benton will get it.” 

Bainbridge added, “One thing that makes Brooke unique is for the most part dance was open to visuals.  Brooke is open to integrate dance into an overall visual state.  Usually dancers like to be seen and every subtle movement is open to the audience.”

The second video was a montage of Infinite Light’s past work with a variety of clips such as three dancers who created spirals as they spun around on the left, center, and right to create a very interesting composition of lights, people, and sound.  A bright green tree slowly came to life to appear like a mad scientist. 

This was accompanied by scenes of shapes and lines that began to command the screen with blue silhouettes and placid purple backgrounds.  Some clips of Bainbridge’s work on the Beastie Boys’ tours were also shown.  These visuals demonstrated how traditional dance can be combined with new technology to create hypnotizing images. 

Broussard then discussed how she “drew movement from abstract images” and Bainbridge said when he met her, “I never met a choreographer that did something so abstract.”  Broussard continued saying that over the years, she has “developed movement vocabulary, style, movement style, and an overall vision” for her dancing anywhere. 

Bainbridge said, “Dancing is how we make abstract means with our body.”  He described incorporating dancing by saying, “You reverse engineer your approach.  You look back at the abstract image and work the background to the image.”

One of the more interesting parts of the event was when Bainbridge broke down the first video.  Bainbridge first projected the city skyline and Broussard separately.  He used his computer to create as well as slow down Broussard’s dancing and add layers of color to build the final image that the audience viewed.

John Curcia, a graphic design major, said he liked this because “it was easier to understand what they were talking about after they showed us.”

Bainbridge and Broussard also discussed the creative challenges on the videos, “Big Bang.”  Bainbridge said they shot against a green screen and installed cameras in different locations including the ceiling.  He said this was done while both were in separate countries.

The last video shown was what helped Bainbridge and Broussard get Kickstarter funding.  It featured a unique collection of natural images and expressive color schemes.  While it is difficult to replicate it in writing, some noteworthy images included a rose bloom that turned into people spiraling and, a green shape that grew into plants, trees, and other life forms. 

Relaxing background music added a gentle pace and energy required to add vitality.  Other images were abstract like when  legs appeared on the edge of the screen and their feet slowly connected to one another. 

The video ended with women’s faces bursting further with a yellow halo around them and a red color scheme on their heads.  It was a proper ending to this nature themed video as if the plants were the seeds needed to make the life we see at the end smiling off the silver screen.

Bainbridge offered the crowed with some advice, saying,  “If you want to succeed as an artist, the key thing is to tell the world you are an artist.  Keep saying, ‘I am an artist.’”

After the event, Bainbridge showed some students how he makes videos further while Broussard discussed her dancing. 

When The Outlook asked Broussard what inspires her, she said, “I would say what inspires me are nature, changing the human form, and light.” 

She connected this with the flowers featured in the last video.  “Flowers can be seen as a symbol of love,” she said.  “If you give it, it keeps repeating itself.”

Purez, a senior, said she enjoyed the show.  “It definitely put the interactive media minor in perspective.  I liked the first video the best.  I like how they utilized the artist’s body with all the layers.”

By having Infinite Light come to campus, Richison said, “I hope students and faculty were able to understand that any creative media should break out of its boundaries.  Brooke and Brenton overlapped dance and video with astounding results.  I hope audience members were able to be inspired.”