Transcription: 0010 - David Stout

Released: December 15, 2013

Darwin: Okay, this week, we're going to be talking with David Stout. David Stout works at UNT is also a performing artist with the group Noisefold. I ran into them a few years ago and was pretty stunned by what they had put together in terms of real time performance of both visuals and audio, really innovative stuff. And there's a lot for us to talk about. So rather than getting wrapped up in my vision of it, let's talk to David. Hi, David, how are you?

David Stout: I'm doing good. Darwin.

Darwin: Let me kick this off by having you give us a little bit of your background.

David: Okay. Well, I can start with just the overview of my formal studies because I began as a painting major. But fairly early on in my studies, I became really interested in the possibilities of multiple disciplines interacting with each other. So from there, I started working in music and in contemporary dance and also creative writing - while still maintaining my interest in the visual arts. And this was prior to any kind of work in technology other than electronic music - electronic music being a really a key component of that. And all of that led into video and which ultimately, with it being sort of the very end of the analog era as we were transforming into digital. So, analog thinking really has a lot to do with my approach, as it does this idea of the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary.

Darwin: Right. That makes sense. It's really interesting because, it sounds like you sort of decided to embrace things relatively early in your education. I mean...

David: It was definitely, you know, it's the kind of thing that I wouldn't necessarily advise my students to do because it was very radical and it was not really... my professors did not all stand behind it, that's for sure. But oddly, it's really the curriculum that I drafted for myself, and the way that I approached it is really becoming what became the way that we would think about a foundations for anyone studying digital media, because digital media is this hybrid animal that borrows from all of the arts disciplines. And then of course also from other aspects of science and humanities as well.

Darwin: Right. Yeah. It's funny because back in the day, interdisciplinary studies was sort of like the way that they would package up what you'd, all the classes you'd already taken, just so they could get you out of school.

David: Oh yeah. And I would definitely have to deal with that on both ends of either being a student and also being a professor, promoting this kind of work because there is what, from my vantage point, I often see the sort of visionary high achievers are sort of in one camp. And then there are the people that are skating in the other and oftentimes they're both trying to get an interdisciplinary degree.

Darwin: Right. So, after your studies, some period of time occurred and then you ended up down in Santa Fe. Did you come right out of school and get into teaching, or did you have some period of time that you were doing something else?

David: You know, it's funny because I now am an academic or at least an artistic academic. But that was not a focus. I mean, I see that much more with students now who figure that out and aim at that direction. I actually had this crazy idea that I was going to be an artist and that I was going to stick to that path. But in the process, first of all, we all know that that's difficult. There are paths that we can take. Some of them are maybe more in a populist domain or a commercial vein. And even if you're going to go into the most experimental kind of work, it's its own sort of set of hoops you have to jump through and it has a business aspect as well. So I think I was always really interested in the research aspect and found that I was good at teaching, but after I got my MFA, which was like at Cal Arts for a while, I was doing multiple things, I was working freelance, doing music.

I was doing video, working on commercial projects. I mean, I even wrote a big rap tune for Apple computers, anything I could do, right? But I was also, teaching, an interdisciplinary class called the Inner Arts Workshop Cal Arts. And then I started teaching some other stuff and found that I not only enjoyed it, but that I was good at it. At least certain aspects of these sort of creative laboratory cross-disciplinary classes in particular, which would often have a technical component to them that weren't purely just a technique. So at some point I decided that this might be the actual [thing], this maybe made sense for me because I wanted to continue to do my work. And a lot of the people I knew who were working in Hollywood or doing freelance work were so burned out by the 14-plus hour days, but they weren't doing their work. So it seemed like a valuable way... this was also at that period of time. Like, I was very fortunate when I first graduated, I walked right into a very large NEA grant. And then we of course had the famous moment with Piss Christ and etc.

It all came crashing down and then everybody wanted a teaching job. So I was just slightly ahead of that while I was kind of like in the middle of that moment when I decided that I would teach. So,

Darwin: That was the Institute in Santa Fe that you were teaching at?

David: I was at the college of Santa Fe. And I was specifically in the film video program there, but I was very fortunate to work with some very progressive people and was able to found a new media track and a collaborative. It was kind of a collaborative arts meets new media track within a film program. And we were very entrepreneurial and very well equipped. So the tech base for us was really quite good.

Darwin: Well, that's cool. And while you were there, that when you developed the idea for the Noisefold performing group, correct?

David: Yeah. I mean, that of course has its own its own kind of really interesting story. I guess the first thing that happened, relative to working with Cory Metcalf was, I was working with Stenia Vasulka and she and I had known each other before I moved to Santa Fe and she, and of course she and Woody live in Santa Fe and she had been developing Imagine at Stein, which was really one of the very first in which - it's an arguable point, but we can say the first digital program to model a kind of modular, analog video environment. Let's see, that program had been in use by her pretty much for about a year. And so she and I put together a class doing interactive video and it could well have been one of the very first classes, ever in that particular topic.

And it happened to be that Cory was in that class and we started working together while he was still a student there. And I had went on to do a kind of a big live project with another musician. We were touring Europe with it and Cory was mixing, he was actually mixing sound. And we really discovered that was he and I, that worked well together. And, and so we're all for a moment. He was sort of assisting me, but in the process I got a fellowship at, Harvestworks, where we met Luke DuBois and I was working on this live installation project and Cory and I are both working there and it just became really clear. It's like, well, we should work together. And so, from that point on is when we put together Noisefold, really focused more on performance, but we've been doing a lot of installations as well.

Darwin: Right, now why don't you tell us a little bit about some of the things that Noisefold been doing recently?

David: Okay. Our most recent work is really focused on bringing other collaborators in and specifically those collaborators have been acoustic instrumentalists that not really electronic people, per se, typically coming out of a more of a classical background, but sort of really adventurous improvisers. So we work with Francis Marie Uitti, the cellist who lives in Amsterdam on one project.

Darwin: I actually got to see that. And that was really a beautiful show that w that you guys put together.

David: Yeah. And Francis has just, she's just sort of the perfect collaborator for the kinds of the ways that we think about sound and the way that she coaxes sound out of her cello. And then of course she, she has sort of a monumental technique. So she's up for the challenge of sort of equaling, or even bettering, the kinds of kinds of density of timbre and stuff that we use, or just intensity of experience. And then from there we are, I mean, that collaboration is an ongoing thing, but we've then started working with another group called, Trio Caza and they're from, originally from Germany, but they live in different cities. So Berlin, Cologne and Amsterdam, and they are an interesting group because they are contemporary music group, but they also play early music and they play recorders of every shape and size, and they are also having amazing extended techniques.

And so that project is a little bit more lyrical, and I would say it's a little more lyrical, but even in its self, I wouldn't characterize it totally that way, but it sort of, it change, it really changes the dynamic because there are of course, three of them. And then, and then Cory and I, and so we, with that project, we've adopted a very different kind of image environment because our [we decided] that we would perform on two side-by-side screens as a form of a duet where we each had responsibility for our own screen and our own sound. But oftentimes we were playing very similar material and in the system is networked, so we can play each other screens, but the image was from one screen and never really moved into the other person's screen.

And the last, we did certain kinds of design tricks, which we did all the time where we would mirror different aspects of what we were doing on one screen and send out and duplicate it on another screen, but in a new environment, we are actually using HD video mixer and we're composite doing live compositing, of various sorts. And so we're both occupying the thing's screen space, which is actually much more difficult. You have to really be sensitive to happen to how that works. So orchestrating the visual is more intense and just the performance sensitivity is more demanding. But we were ready. I mean, after, you know, eight, eight years of doing this together, we are definitely ready for that sort of the next level. So for that project we've reviewed a few studies, but we're planning to tour it in 2015.

Darwin: Okay. Now, one of the questions I have in, even in the collaboration between you and Cory, but especially when you start working with acoustic musicians is sort of the conundrum of the, of the modern, electronic, or digital musician or video artist, which is you have the capability of completely saturating the audible space with the proper visuals, you have the ability of completely saturating the visual space. And obviously you have to pull back some when you do collaboration, but to certain extent, sometimes our, or maybe often, our sense of what one of the things that makes electronic music and, sort of lives cinema sort of exciting and interesting isthe fact that it does occupy a large amount of space. How do you make decisions about, the given take the ebb and flow of working with a collaborator without losing the edge that comes with doing a live live media work and, live sound basically Live real time sound design.

David: Yes, I suppose it should. I should mention that the unique aspect of what we do is that we thought the things out of it that determines or drive the visual experience is the same data that you hear. So all of the decisions that we're making all the time about the material as we're creating it, does this make sense sonically and majestically both together and then individually, and it's somehow it doesn't, maybe it's like awesome visually, but the sound just cannot be coaxed out of it. Then we start to go, well, that's great, but we'll use it for something else. We can't use it for this...

Darwin: A good idea that goes on a shelf.

David: Yeah. So we're always sort of juggling that even within our own system. And then when we bring others into it, it's easy. I can say that it's definitely significantly easier when we're working with one collaborator versus three, because then the possibilities are, I mean, they just seem to be kind of endless at that point. So the other, I guess the other thing I should say is that Noisefold really likes to work in a long format. We have a commission right now for a 15 minute piece, but typically we really think of about a 45 to an hour and a half kind of timeframe. And it has to do with certain, to use an overused and somewhat devalued word, we work in a kind of trance-like mode, that requires longer spans of time for the work to make even makes sense.

And I think that's important in terms of this idea of give and take, because it means that we do have moments where we really can build it up and can be dense in terms of both electronic sound and different aspects of the acoustic performance. But we always try to balance that off with quiet moments or still moments of various sorts or letting the acoustic trio come to the fore and that we can kind of retreat or vice versa. And so one thing that's becoming much more apparent in the new work is this idea of different people taking solos, and various duets, trios and, and then moments where it suddenly [is a] trio. Because then Noisefold become this quintet - suddenly, we're sort of all performing together. So, you know, you see these kinds of things in the classic symphonic forms where all kinds of different relationships are explored so that we just bear that in mind when we're designing something.

Darwin: Okay. That's cool. Now my, my one question: I have seen a number of your performances. How much of it is composed, how much of it is improvised, or how much do you live sort of like in the center line between those two?

David: Yeah, that's that's kind of a hard - I mean, I know the answer to that, but it's hard to communicate. It is very, very composed, from the sense that we know the order of events, we were able to replicate those spaces, worlds, or movements or sections - however you want to think about them, because they're saved as presets within the computer, we're able to call them them up. But within those, we, the programming, there's a certain amount of feedbacks of nonlinear behavior and, and different aspects of just the way the sensors are controlling things that are always going to be slightly different as is the, so, so we usually have kind of, I would say a goal within any given movement that we will move through certain terrain, or we will, you know, the material will climax in a certain way or they'll take this dynamic shape.

It may actually be inverse of a climax and it actually may start out sort of coherent and fall apart, whatever it is that we're trying to do, we can replicate however it is. It's not quite like we are working from a score where we're trying to hit every note exactly the same every night. And we might actually go, well, you know, "This audience is going to be a little more of a quiet audience. So let's expand this section and shorten this section...", or we might go, "This is going to be a little bit more of a high energy edgy audience for why don't we pull out this more noisy stuff here...", so we can vary it and we can alter the length of things, but we always pretty much always keep the same order of the piece with the same objectives that we compose. So it really is both, we are improvising within a highly structured framework.

Darwin: Right. I think it's really interesting that you talk about actually having some sensitivity towards the audience, which is something it's a kind of freedom that you get when you have that improvisational aspect to your work. But, you also earlier said that data is being used to sort of drive both the visuals and the audio. First of all, where where's that data coming from?

David: Well, so, Cory and I have been developing, we developed one system, and then now we've rewritten it into a modular format so that we can literally sort of instantiate and move around modules, processing modules, the various sorts, and this comes out of the history of modular synthesis - both the more common one we know about which is audio, but of course there were all these pioneers working in with video systems that develop video synthesizers of various sorts. So we have a combined the virtual system, that's both audio and visual, but in a lot of ways, we can also think of it as a data synthesizer. And even though we haven't written these modules yet, I mean, if we want to scrub data from the internet or use various tables of data, that our data sets from science, and or science and engineering, et cetera, we will be able to do that.

So that's something that we're looking at in the future. Cause we have also some collaborations that are stepping outside the arts slightly. And so within this synthesis environment, for instance, we have a database of 3D models that we've designed ourselves and then we have more mathematics stuff that's based more on procedural mathematics. And so we have that. We have an ongoing database of video. We do have prerecorded elements, but they serve basically video files that are used to cover three-dimensional surfaces. And or we actually extract data or, we do a lot of chromo and luminance processing and take the data from that to drive different aspects of sound. And it's really kind of interesting how we use video because, you know, a lot of life cinema is just 2D video being mixed live. We actually use a lot of little video clips and use them as alpha channel, we actually use them as the alpha channel between 3Dimensional models to create all kinds of typologies, 3D visual typologies at the same time we're using the movie to drive down. And you never actually really see the movie. You just see the movie acting as a kind of score of its own extruding 3D space and and triggering sounds.

Darwin: That's interesting that you bring that out because I know a lot about the kinds of technologies that you're using in the background, but there were certain kind of - there's certain kinds of activities that I had seen particularly seen the 3D models do that I was like, wow, to program that functionally, seems a little mind-boggling, but when you think of using a video clip as sort of a data driver for geometry, all of a sudden I can now see how some of that would be more doable. It's a really interesting concept.

David: Yeah. So we're doing that. And then of course, we're also using a lot of feedback within the 3D environment. So it borrows from the pioneers of early electronic video processing that thread within video art, but applied it to a 3D world. And it's pretty fantastic. The kinds of specifically kinetic - like the organic kinds of visual behaviors that, in terms of motion, happen. And some of that is the most fun to perform because while it's unpredictable, and if it doesn't one of the things Cory and I often do, especially with the earlier, the first work we were doing really had more to do with us trying to tame the system as a form of performance than actually coax it to do something. Now we kind of know how to do both. And so, we would go back and forth, but the next projects that we're going to be working on, we're actually looking forward to doing some work just the two of us again. And we're going to go back into some of the feedback stuff and some of the noise of your edgier things, and sort of try to take that to a new level. Cause we had put that a little bit on the back burner in the last few years.

Darwin: Right. Well, working with feedback is always kind of some version of white-knuckling anyways. So that's, again, I can see why it's enjoyable performance, but let's talk a little bit about the aspects of performance. When you talk about your history, you actually talk about a lot of kinds of artwork that are not performative or not naturally performative, but, the expression of the Noisefold work that I'm most familiar with. And I think something that has got garnered you a fair amount of attention has been the fact that you're taking these art forms and making them performative in some variety of ways. What for you, did you have to draw inspiration in order to take things and make them performative? And how do you design the arc of a performance, when you have so many different media types and so many different tools at hand?

David: Yeah, so I definitely have spent a long time, really when I was younger with things that weren't performative, drawing and painting to be... I mean, it actually goes back to my very earliest childhood because I had a rather remarkable art teacher who would do finger paintings to music and these finger paintings that she would do. She worked sort of involved her whole body. Like she would use her elbows wrists, her knuckles, various, textural things. And she would do these things really fast, kind of like as then approach where an image would just sort of emerge within like four or five minutes. And she did it to music and it was like, this is something that only recently I started thinking, 'Oh my God, this thing that I experienced when I was like eight years old, left an indelible mark in my mind about the fact that the visual form could actually be a kind of musical gestural form.'

So, it goes way back. But my own work at first was really, you know, drawing and painting, writing. And even when it got into electronic music, the approach was electronic music is like - it's this plastic form, like ceramics or painting because you work on a tape... originally a tape, so I wrote a lot of songs and a lot of abstract sound pieces and all that kind of thing, very focused on the object. So I always enjoyed performing and I studied dance quite seriously, but seriously, more from the perspective of looking at the stage as a total experience. And a lot of what I was doing that dance was multiple projection environments with dancers, and sounds, so it's really looking at that total thing, but I worked a lot. The experience of working with dancers is also very improvisational.

You try a lot of things with, you know, the physical body with multiple people and all of that. So performance is always in there, but it was always kind of the performance of a giant picture, if you will. There's always thinking of it as this kind of image-istic space. And I know Cory's background, like likewise is very much in theater and he's... I can't say enough about what an amazing performer Cory is. Like, it's his real artistic strengths. And I've worked with a few dancers, very few that sort of innately got how to interact with virtual material. It isn't like everyone can do it, but some people that can really do it. It's kind of a mystery. Why are they so good at it? It's sort of innate.

And so I would definitely say Cory has that quality. And so I don't know, I have a love/hate relationship somewhat with the idea, now, cause I've made a lot of video pieces that are, you know, fixed media pieces. And that was a real focus for me for a while, but now committing to a fixed piece, I there's something about performance that just is extremely exciting, really demanding, and also freeing. And, it's like, I can't imagine not doing performance work, but with the new system hardware stuff that we're using these days, it is really easy for us to make HD recordings of our performances and also of our sketches. So I have a feeling that you're going to see some fixed media work coming out from us again, even though it's going to be a little bit more... I mean, music - that is really the best model I can work at, because as performers that seems to come first and anything that we do, that's going to be recorded is going to have a performative element when it's captured, as opposed to, you know, storyboarded out really precisely and then edit it piece by piece together that isn't really the approach that we take.

It's going to be performative with a certain amount of post-production. So it's much more like how one would perform making an LP, probably. So I do see us doing that. Anyway. You had another question about more about the design of everything.

Darwin: Well, just, yeah, all of these things in your work, all of these things start to blur. First of all, you know, in addition to doing performance, you sort of design the performance thing. And we talked a little bit before about how you design the movements and, you have these structures that you work within for your performance and you design that, but there's also another element to design this really important for your work. And that is the graphic design. I feel like we're still at an age where people have a tendency to, to preference the technology over the art. So that it's very exciting if you're using cool tech, even if it doesn't have a very deep artistic nature to it. And I suffer from this as much as anyone else, sometimes in the heat of preparing for a performance or for an installation you're so focused on even making the technology work, that there's a celebration for the fact that the technology made it, you know, but for this to be artwork, there needs to be sort of the artful side of it as well.

And I think that you guys take this on from a number of ways. First of all, I know that you've worked with a lot of sort of detailed models, whether it's predator-prey models, or whatever, as sort of a starting point for some of the work that you've done, which kind of adds to the organic movement and styles that are brought to bear. But also the graphic design that is applied on the models. What you use for surface textures and stuff are impeccable and, your use of color palettes and the changing color palette over the course of a performance. And some of these things: they're quite unique within this space because you have very aggressive technology, but you also are very aggressive about the art design. Can you talk a little bit about how you decide to do that? And, I mean, it's probably just saying, "I decided!", but how you actually sort of enforce that for yourself - so you don't get so wrapped up in the technology side of it that the art goes goes void.

David: Yeah, well, you know, anecdotally, oftentimes when we're doing Q&A kind of stuff, there are many more questions about the tech than anything else. And over and over again, there is this kind of undercurrent - sometimes it's an undercurrent. Sometimes it's just very, very blatant, that people want to know what the software is because they honestly believe it's the software. If you have the right software, then the art makes itself. And it's fun, it's laughable and funny, but of course you do in the case of what we're doing, because we've needed to put together the right compliment of software. There's no doubt about it, but that's no guarantee of anything, of course. And it's always in service, typically that we have like an idea that we want to explore and putting together a new module in software is going to allow us to explore that idea.

So it's always really driven, usually, by concepts - like you're talking about, with the one exception that I will say, and it's the sort of reason to work in a modular synthesis environment: that we really are at the same time, creating a field of possibilities to explore in. And so Cory is the programmer amongst us. And so he, I still work on stuff and then we'll put it together and we'll look at it. And it will in and of itself suggest ways of approaching image and sound. And then I'll go into those environments and just work at them. And I do really very much compare it to sort of two activities, one would be painting and the other would be music composition, I mean, specifically postmodern music composition.

David: So it's sort of all those things as a hybrid at the same time. So there's a lot of exploration and a lot of sketching, like for any given performance that we do that - let's say it has nine movements or something like that. There may have been 25 movements with a bunch of sub-presets and stuff, sections that never got used. And that idea really comes from filmmaking and video editing where you have your footage and you throw away most of it. So there's that aspect of it. And then there's the other aspect, which I think it really comes out of my painting background. So that's where the sensitivity to color - a lot of Noisefold stuff, that early stuff, used almost only video noise textures that were either blue and white or black and white. So we started with a really limited color palette. And we've got increasingly more, I say richer that way, but then we always kind of pull back from that too. So we do a lot of black and white stuff.

Darwin: Do you do that because you're trying to avoid sort of like the Disney "Wow" factor

David: I'm talking about all these things I do, but the one thing I haven't said is I never trained as a 3D animator. I'm really coming at this from video, from live action video and music. And I think Cory agrees with me on this a little bit, that a lot of the 3d CGI world that we've grown up on, it's gotten increasingly more amazing in terms of trying to render a reality, but a lot of it uses like these rainbow color palettes or everything is just pushed over the top. And I think by pulling back, one of the exciting things that happens when you pull back from a couple of really like rich and bright colors into more muted colors, or, pulling back, in terms of the complexity of a visual form, so that you allow its motion to actually come to the fore by pulling back on certain things other things can be made.

So it's a really interesting... I'm taking this the thought a little bit in a different direction, but this idea of reality or being very realistic - Noisefold actually is very surrealistic. And we do things that have these qualities, what I'll just call lifelike or biomimetic qualities to them. But at the same time, they're really very synthetic and very stripped down. And I think that's one of the reasons that when you kind of take one thing that's obviously very fake, if you will, or contrived, but imbue it with aspects of natural world, whether it's texture or emotion, it somehow becomes that much more amazing as a kind of an artificial life form, if you will, precisely because it's not trying to be an animatronic human.

Darwin: Right. That's true. Well, it's, it's interesting because you're right. Most of the time when we see 3D work, it has sort of a Sonic the hedgehog kind of quality to it, which is like bombastic colors, brightness and everything. One of the things that I noticed in your performances is that maybe one of the reasons that I'm so sensitive to the color palette that's used in stuff is because, you use color as sort of a great spice rather than as the main course

David: We do. And I pretty much, I mean, we have moved much more to more vibrant color space in the last three years for sure. But I don't know, I say that, but at the moment, we're kind of pulling back into a lot of black and white stuff. And we really like just the effect that it has, if we do 20 minutes of black and white and suddenly we give you red, the red then becomes this like, "Oh my God, that's red!" It lets it be the something instead of just hitting you over the head with the rainbow. So, we're very conscious of that. And then there's this, I suppose, the other interesting thing about the digital world and that's just the notion that we can think that we are moving towards and, this, this idea that we can simulate anything, you know, whether it's it's hair or lace or gravel or metal or the quality of someone's voice or the quality of someone's gait, it can all be simulated.

And so we're, we're working with this highly simulated realm. And so what I'm looking at, you know, it's not like I sit there and study it it's it happens to be with all those years of studying and looking, is really looking at the history of painting, if you will, and photography. And if we're stimulating anything, it's like we're simulating the restraint that a lot of visual artists had to their materials and we're adopting that same thing. So we're really not even remotely interested in rendering a photographically perfect world where I'm - you know, at any given time, I know one piece we have called "III", which is a three screen installation. It was inspired by a kind of a hypothetical cutout paper sculpture. Like how could we do a virtual, digital space? This one doesn't have sound actually, that looks like fabrics and sort of cut paper. So there is a little tiny bits - it's mostly white with black, with black cuts, I guess if you will, or windows or various creases and things, and a texture, with an occasional sort of a dribble of green or red that almost never there just every once in a while appears,

Darwin: Unfortunately, we've, we've kind of run out of time here. I don't want to waste any more of your time. And I have kids that are going to be screaming for me here shortly. But one of the things I would like to do is, give people an opportunity. We have, I wish I had like five hours to talk to you about this stuff because you're diving into some really important aspects of, the visual arts of live media, live cinema work, live electronic music and visual work, all of these things, you're, you're diving into some really important territory. And I really wish that we could have many more hours to discuss it. And maybe we'll pick this up up again shortly for a part two. I would really like to do that. But in the meantime, for those listeners who haven't had a chance to see you live, or see any of your installation work, where would be the best place for them to go and, catch a little bit of hopefully some visuals on what you've been doing.

David: Well, I think our website, which is, which has a lot of still images, but also the Vimeo links, is a good place to start.

Darwin: All right. Well, that's, that's great. Cause I think that you have a really stimulated some important brain cells, and I hope, the listeners respond, as well as I have. So thank you so much, David, for your time. I really appreciate it. This has been a fascinating discussion.

David: I totally enjoyed it myself.

Darwin: And one last thing, you teach down at UNT, you're in the music department there, right?

David: Actually I started in the music department, but now I have a joint position, which is between Composition and the College of Music, and which is my 60% of my load and 40% in the College of Visual Arts in the New Media program. And I work with a lot of New Media students who also do sound art and, or live cinema or robotics. And then I work with a lot of composers. But I'm a part and a leader of a research cluster called iARTA - Institute for Advanced Research and Technology and Arts, which is really focused on different kinds of collaborations. So, I have not been working as much with dancers lately, but you know, there's another University in Denton, Texas Women's University, which has one of the leading, graduate programs in dance in the US, so I'm now I'm actually combining some of the grad students from the dance program at TWU, with the composers and the New Media artists at UNT

Darwin: Well, that's awesome. I'm going to have to come visit sometime. I'm a failed alum of UNT. And my ex-wife came from TWU, so there you go. It's got all kinds of, scars for me! So I'm surely gonna have to come out to Denton soon. Thanks a lot for your time.

David: I appreciate it. Okay. Thanks Darwin.

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