Helena Schniewind: Portfolio
Live Camera in Interdisciplinary Improvisational Performance

1. Electrovideomove
2. Immersions
3. Pamela Martinez and Teletextile
4. Adam Matta
5. Spring Fling Dance Jam

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Philly Fringe Festival
Philadelphia, PA
11 Sept 2004
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Quicktime  |  YouTube Quicktime  |  YouTube

Electrovideomove was comprised of a core group of 9 dancers, DJs and video artists who conducted improv-based performances 1-2 per month in Boston, New York and Philadelphia during 2004. The format generally had predetermined groups of dancers, one DJ and one video artist performing alternating 15-20 minutes sets. My work with this group was instrumental in the direction that my practice has taken.

These three clips demonstrate the three phases I created with the dancers during my video solo: abstract black and white, fractal feedback, and abstract color. All effects were created in-camera.

Dancers: Joe Burgio, Teresa Czespiel, Heather McQuiston
DJ: Vers

119 Gallery
Lowell MA
28 July 2006
1. 2. 3. 4.
Quicktime  |  YouTube Quicktime  |  YouTube Quicktime  |  YouTube

Immersions is a monthly intermedia improvisation series with 3 core members who invite musicians, dancers and visual artists (mainly video) to join them. I’ve been a regular guest performer since the fall of 2005.

My camera work for these events is shot with minimal effects because the main video artist, Emile Tobenfeld, always mixes my camera feed into his psychedellic video mix. These 4 clips demonstrate different ways that a dancer can interact with a video projection and also a spectrum of how a live video artist can weave together pre-recorded material with dynamic live camera material.

Clip 1: establishing the context of the performance space. Even balance between camera and pre-recorded material.
Clip 2: the dancer interrupts projector’s light stream and becomes the primary projection surface
Clip 3: a total immersion of dancer, live camera and pre-recorded material
Clip 4: a longer clip where the camera feed is the primary source of the video mix

Dancer: Clare Barratt
Musicians: Ramona Herboldsheimer, hammered dulcimer; Bob McCloskey, reeds and percussion; Dean Stiglitz, electro flute
Video mixing: Emile Tobenfeld aka ‘Dr. T.’

Pamela Martinez and Teletextile
The Enormous Room
Cambridge MA
02 August 2006
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Quicktime  |  YouTube

This was a traditional band performance in a night club. The dancers and band were sandwiched in a corner and the screen was halfway down the room removed from the rest of the performance. I was solo on video all night and decided to experiment with some props to add another option for me to work with while shooting. All dance and camera work was improvised, the songs were all rehearsed ahead of time. This was the first time that I had worked with this group. All effects are in-camera and this was projected in real-time, as with all my other performances.

Clip 1: I had brought along some bubble wrap that I had been using as a landscape for some plastic
farm animals and decided to use it as a filter to film this dance solo through.

Clip 2: This is a toy peanut butter and jelly sandwich that has a piece of fabric that you can run through
a small window with your fingers that changes the appearance of the sandwich.

Adam Matta
R3volt Festival
Lowell, MA
2-3 September 2005

Freestyle rap is a more familiar style of contemporary improvisation. I found that adjusting the frame rate in real-time complimented the style of the music and was reminiscent of record scratching that a DJ might do in this context. All effects are in-camera.

Musicians: Adam Matta, human beatbox; MC Shadow, rapper

Spring Fling Dance Jam
Evos Arts Centre
Lowell, MA
April 2004

An open dance and music jam during an art opening at a now-defunct art space in Lowell, MA. There were about a dozen dancers at this event who were mostly just having a good time dancing with each other. I had been taping them and creating nice effects on the screen behind them for about 30 minutes when this one dancer noticed that I have focused more clearly on the dancers and her focus suddenly shifted from simply dancing with the other dancers to interacting with the camera. It completely shifted the tone of how the dancers moved for the rest of the night. All effects rendered in-camera.