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Data and Stream

There are two forms of electronic connection travelling between the two spaces. One is a high speed connection that has been dedicated primarily to video streaming using Quicktime and Sorenson Broadcaster. The video is sent and received at a resolution of 640 x 480. It has a lag time of approximately 8 seconds to reach the other space due to the buffering that takes place in the streaming software. The other form of connection is made by sending data only, a much smaller quantity of information as compared to the video stream. The data has little or no lag time -- it is effectively arriving in the space in real time. The main form of data we are sending between the two spaces is generated by the dancers moving in the triggering and sensing environment.

Questions and Answers:

Question #3: what is the difference between transmitting data and sending a video stream between the two spaces? Why is this difference interesting?

Answer #1: Data is a stream of numbers, and video is a pictorial representation of activity in the other space. Data is more interesting to me because it is abstract and easily transformed into other types of media representation. To me data links can be more like a perceptual sense of what is taking place in the other space, somewhat vague and mysterious but still capable of containing meaning if experienced over a period of time. The direct visual link for me is more about instant gratification and can lose much of the beauty and mystery of the subtler type of connection unless the camera work is carefully thought out and controlled. (John Mitchell)

Answer #2: There are two key differences. One is more conceptual - both are actually data, but one form of data (video) is immediately recognisable by humans, wheras the other (data) needs to be translated or mapped in some way. This makes the latter potentially more interesting in that the translation or mapping process can work in many different ways (movement can be mapped to sound, image to text etc...). The other difference is more mundane - video takes longer. I'm very interested in this - that one can receive data describing a movement or gesture in some way almost immediately, but only actually 'see' the movement (through video) 8 seconds later. I think this could be used as a construct in making work. (Jo Hyde)

Answer #3: "Transmitting data" gives a sense of realtime, but it's never "real-time" There is always a "delay" involved. But in relation to "sending video" there is a difference. To send video which is still analog, you need "compression" time to send it, which causes the delay. So I would say "sending video" to "sending data" is in a similar relation as digitised (transformed from analog) video to DVstream. One is a digital stream (data and video), which is just connected to another host - in realtime, the other is a converted media, which needs to be interpreted. So I think the future is in sending data between digital hosts rather than than converting different media to make them "compatible". (Christian Ziegler)