The Artists on Art guest for April 27, 2010 was Topher Maraffi. He is the last in our series of Digital Arts and New Media pending graduates exhibiting at the new Digital Arts Research Center that is having its grand opening (ribbon-cutting ceremony) Thursday April 29, 2010 at 3:15. Since March, I’ve interviewed Kathleen Kralowec, Jessica Hayden and Chris Molla, and last week, Nick Lally.
The name of his overall performance is Mimesis & Mocap with two performances, the Avatar Dance and Magic Mirror Game (inspired by the Marx Brothers Mirror Scene). These performance are a cross-disciplinary study in creating believable real-time interaction between human performers and 3D characters within a theatrical environment. His two performances, and The Magic Mirror Game, envision future methods of re-creating classic dance and pantomime movements with a digital double. There will be at three more performances that he will do during the show DANM MFA 2010 Exhibition Everything is Possible (running April 30th-May 9th with the reception on May 7th at 5:30pm).
DANM Building Dedication, Thursday April 29th @ 3:45pm
Saturday May 1st @ 2:00pm
Tuesday May 4th @ 3:45pm
Show Reception Friday, May 7th @ 7:00pm
Additional evening and matinee times may be announced for the 8th & 9th. Check back on his website for details.
Topher came to the KZSC studio a few months ago (March 2, 2010) for only part of the Artists on Art show. I wanted him to come on the show to talk about the DANM and Theater Arts co-production Stop the Press, an audience-interactive production about the demise of print and the rise of digital media. I had already booked with the Queer Queen of Comedy Poppy Champlin when I heard about this successful and acclaimed. One person that has their finger on the pulse of Santa Cruz and has for decades said it was one of the best student productions in years.
I wanted him back for a full show and better explanation of his studies and work as a performance artist, technical animator, educator (dance SWANGO and 3d animation along with other subjects) and author. Prior to joining the DANM program in Fall of 2008, he taught on the topic of 3D character creation and wrote three books on the subject such as MEL Scripting a Character Rig in Maya.
We started the show with a quick download of all the upcoming exhibitors in Everything is Possible. The Artists are: Karl Baumann, Lyès Belhocine, Drew Detweiler, Christoph Girard, Nik Hanselmann, Jessica Faith Hayden, Antoine A. Jaoude, Kathleen M. Kralowec, Nick Lally, Chris(Topher) Maraffi, Kyle McKinley, Christopher Molla, Elizabeth Travelslight, and Alex Walter.
If you missed the live broadcast, you can listen to our show in entirety by clicking on the triangle below.[audio: http://www.miljkovic.org/old_public_html/nada/aoa42710.mp3].
This is a TwitVid we did right before the show on Tuesday of Topher dancing.
I’m hoping he’ll be back on the show sometime in the future. In the fall 2010, Topher will start as a PhD student in the UCSC Computer Science program. He plans to continue in collaboration with Theater Arts and to develop expressive and improvisational real-time synthespians.