— augmented juggling

2006, 2007 by Till Bovermann, Jonas Groten

Juggling is a complex artistic activity; repeatedly throwing and catching of several (possibly different) objects in an aesthetic manner is quite difficult. Like any other art discipline that involves physical skills, a juggler needs to develop automatisms for movements. This allows her to spend less effort on monitoring single throws; she therefore has more cognitive capacities to focus on the flow of whole juggling patterns and their transitions. In juggling, progressing towards technical perfection therefore literally creates headroom for reflection on the articulated artistic statement. Especially rehearsal situations in which the actor trains herself in new patterns and moves requires to actively monitor the clubs’ movement with several sensory modalities. The feedback is usually mediated via visual and haptic cues: Sight provides information on the clubs’ state during the flight time, whereas haptic feedback can be used when the clubs are thrown and caught. Apart from these, there is also an auditory cue that offers an – albeit rather subliminal – feedback about the identity of the single clubs. The difference in the sounds originates in the variations of the club production process, which results in a unique set of resonances for each club. Catching the clubs during juggling makes them sound. This information, however is not of much interest to the juggler. We therefore assume the juggler’s auditory cue to be the by far least used in training and performance situations. This makes it ideally suited to be used as a modality that can be augmented with additional information for monitoring dynamics and motions of juggling. JugglingSounds utilises this circumstance to provide auditory represented information to the juggler and the audience. The augmented information can be used for:

  • Training – It can help jugglers to improve their juggling skills by increasing their awareness for details in their movements and the clubs’ motions. For example monitoring overall precision or hand-to-hand symmetry can be achieved.
  • Science – It can help to unveil the nature of juggling patterns for scientific, kinesiological research.
  • Support for the visually impaired – It can be used to mediate juggling to visual impaired people (whether as the audience or being the artists).
  • Aesthetics – JugglingSounds can be used as an aesthetic element of the artistic performance on stage.

Contributions Link to heading

Additional Material Link to heading

  • Original Publication (pdf)

  • Till Bovermann: Tangible Auditory Interfaces, PhD Thesis (pp. 152–161)

  • JugglingSounds starterpack (zip archive)

  • A publication:

    	Address = {York},
    	Author = {Bovermann, T. and Groten, J. and de Campo, A. and Eckel, G.},
    	Booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Interactive Sonification},
    	Month = {February},
    	Title = {Juggling Sounds},
    	Year = {2007}}

Till's responsibilities:
concept, development
IEM, Graz.