Paris 2 June: Uncles & Angels by Nelisiwe Xaba & Mocke J van Veuren

  • Hi all

    If anyone here is in Paris on June 2, we are flying up to France from South Africa to perform Uncles & Angels as part of the Cabaret Organique festival, 16 passage Choiseul – Paris 2ème. The work is a combination of choreography/performance and experimental video, using Isadora to create live, interactive video feedback loops that interact onstage with choreographer/performer Nelisiwe Xaba. The projection technique also uses an optical video feedback cancellation system I developed for the show. For more info, see []( Please respond to this post if you would like more details from my side. Some pics from the show at ...
    Mocke J van Veuren, Johannesburg, South Africa

  • The pictures look wonderful. Good luck with the performance!

    Best Wishes,

  • Thanks! We performed in Tunis earlier this month... a bit of a nightmare as our equipment arrived 3 hours before showtime, and set-up is hellishly technical. Nelisiwe has nerves of steel, any amount of things could have gone wrong... but we sailed through it. One issue in the show which is always a nail-biter is that I have to switch back and forth between 2 firevire DV sources... as far as I understand there is a particular limitation with OSX around this issue, and running 2 DV channels has never worked on our Mac. So I do it the guerilla way and run both simultaneously on the same channel. Oddly enough, the one cam always "trumps" the other, and takes over when both are on. When I cut the power to that cam, the second one comes through, 9 out of 10 times without any glitches. 1 out of 10 times the input freezes and I have to stop and start the video input... thats where I sweat in buckets!

    In any case, Isadora has been a pleasure to work with, and I always feel that I am just scratching the surface... 
    There is a chance we may bring the show to the States later on, will keep you posted if that happens.
  • Beta Platinum

    Looks great!

    I'd defiantly like to know more about the optical video feedback cancellation system!

  • Thanks Skulpture. Regarding the feedback cancellation, it's really a very simple process that allows me to point the camera directly at the performer in front of the screen, and get a "clean" signal of the performer without any of the projected image behind. Will contact you directly with more details... m

  • Beta Platinum

    Great, sounds like the same technique used with IR cameras. Please contact me as id like to more about your method.


  • Looks really nice! Would also be interested in how you did this.

  • Here are some more pics illustrating the feedback cancellation technique:

    I can't go into too much detail here as there is a patent being registered on the process, but if you like I will send you the contacts of the office at my university that is dealing with this... I am new to this whole patent business, and hoping that it will not be a hindrance to the use of the idea. 
    Some more info on the show: The subject matter is a bit controversial, as we deal with the traditional Zulu and Swazi practices of virginity testing for girls before they take part in the annual Reed Dance. The show has been misinterpreted as an attack on those Southern African traditions, while in fact it is a much broader look at how developing feminine sexuality is co-opted in patriarchal cultures. There is a very risky line in the piece about going to Tunisia to get stitched back up if your virginity is lost, which was actually very well received when we performed in Tunis...
    My use of Isadora is probably a little clumsy as I am not a code warrior myself (but isn't that what makes Isadora great!), using mainly sprites, time delays and multimixes controlled through math operators... All of the projections (except for one still graphic) during the show are created live or with capture to disk in the course of the show, meaning no pre-recorded footage. High risk, but it keeps the show alive and adds some kind of extra spark, which I think the audience also feels.
    I have worked with Nelisiwe extensively before, but as a sound designer for her performances. This is our first full collaboration, and we created the piece through a lot of play, even though the subject matter can be quite heavy. We are also working on a short film version of this performance, as well as another solo of hers ("They Look At Me And That's All They Think"), which will both be produced stereoscopically.
    Thanks for the comments, looking forward to setting up in Paris, with a whole lot of other challenges as we will be in a gallery space...
  • Beta Platinum

    Wow sounds great!

    I understand your 'complications' so to speak in regards to the process and I got your email also.

  • Arrived in Paris, looking forward to Saturday... The venue is tiny, so if anyone can make it it could be a good idea to be early!
    Some more info:


  • Here we go! showtime.... thanks @ keftaparty and @ Paulo_Rosa for last-minute advice!