Double Agent

2018. Interactive performance installation artwork by visual artist Simon Biggs.
Commissioned by the Museum of Discovery, University of South Australia, Adelaide for MOD.IFY - the inaugural exhibition.
Choreography & performance: Sue Hawksley and Tammy Arjona. Machine-learning: Samya Bagchi. Scientific advisor: Mark McDonnell.


Double Agent is an interactive performance environment by visual artist Simon Biggs. Performers and/or viewers interact with a projected virtual 'entity' in a three-dimensional space, which is both drawn to and repelled by their presence. Dance artists Sue Hawksley and Tammy Arjona explored this tensional polarity and the sense of physical extension it allows, to create a performance score, and many hours of recorded movement data. Using a machine-learning algorithm - in collaboration with computer scientists Mark McDonnell and Samya Bagchi - this data was used to generate a virtual co-interactor and teach it to 'dance'. This digital entity developed the capacity to move in similar ways to real dancers,and to improvise in response to viewers. The installation comprises two large scale projections; the upper screen displays the interactions of the learning agent, and the lower shows the direct interactions of performers or viewers.

Performance at the Museum of Discovery, University of South Australia, for the museum opening event, 2018
Lecture demonstration at Panpapanpalya 2018, the 2nd Joint Congress of World Dance Alliance and Dance and the Child International (DaCI), Adelaide, 2018

Presentation of 'Dancer in the Machine', a joint-authored paper by Simon Biggs, Sue Hawksley, Samya Bagchi and Mark D. McDonnell, exploring some of the processes and research insights involved in creating Double Agent. ISCMA 2019: Art Machines: International Symposium on Computational Media Art, City University of Hong Kong, 2019.

► VIDEO DOCUMENTATION

Performance at Museum of Discovery, University of Australia, Adelaide, July 2018


2020 Sue Hawksley