Fibonacci and Phi

Free Space 2003

As part of a collaboration between the dance company and the Wake Forest University Computer Science Department, "Fibonacci and Phi: Free Space 2003" combines the realms of art and science into a single performance. Inspired in part by Wake Forest University's 2003-2004 Theme year focus "Fostering Dialog: Civil Discourse in the Academic Community", the performance challenges the notions of apparent conflict between the arts and the sciences.

Of direct relevance to the WFU DEAC Osiris cluster, the performance uses real time generation of fractal images. The dancers trigger particular actions (zoom, move up, move down, etc.) on the stage through laser beam sensors that are converted to MIDI signals. These MIDI signals are capturedon-stage and forwarded to the cluster. A MPI-based Mandelbrot program receives the signals, calculates the fractal image, and ports the X-Windows graphics back to the on-stage system where it is displayed.

Three nightly performances took place from December 4-6, 2003 and one matinee performance was held on December 7, 2003. Following each performance, the members of the production would hold a question and answer session to address issues related to the production, ranging from technical details to guiding themes of the event. In addition, two afternoon forums were held in conjunction with the production to further the dialogue.

In addition to the performances, the scientists (Drs. Jennifer Burg and Timothy Miller) involved in the project presented a paper, "Cluster Computation in Step with Real-Time Dance", to the International Society for Computers and Their Applications 17th International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Computing Systems (PDCS-2004).