Category Archives: LAIT News

News of developments within the Laboratory for Audience Interactive Technologies.

LAIT featured in Chicago Tribune

The LAIT app was featured in an article in the Chicago Tribune, just in time to promote our Critical Mass production in April. The article talks about the app and how we are using it to advance the future of performance.

LAIT in Kama Begata Nihilum       Photo by Natalie Fiol

Read  the complete article here:

Interface: Critical Mass workshop showing

The next dance using LAIT is being developed at the University of Illinois. Chad Michael Hall from the University of California-Irvine is once again working with LAIT’s director John Toenjes to make a new dance featuring LAIT. We’re excited to use the nearly-released version 1.2 of LAIT in this dance, which will be shown in its nascent state on April 8-9 at 7 pm in the Krannert Center Playhouse Theater. We hope lots of people will come to check out the latest theatrical use of LAIT in a dance context. Contact us for more information.

Public Figure’s Second Production

The dance Public Figure, featuring LAIT, is having its second production, this time in Lake Tahoe, CA. Leading up to this performance, the dance is being restaged by Chad Hall’s company Multiplex Dance. I (LAIT director John Toenjes) am in California, rehearsing the new version at the Pasadena (CA) Dance Theater. An invited audience workshop performance is being held tonight, Sunday Feb. 28 at 6 pm, with an updated show, and new content for the audience’s smartphones.

Public Figure poster

We had a good rehearsal day on Saturday, Feb. 28,  working from first thing in the morning until 10 at night. The show is now fully formed, and now the phone app content has to be finalized… so we’ll be working a lot on that today. Friday night was all about setting up and working out technical links. Yesterday I had to write a new piece of music and mix it for the space, then get the phones working…and then we went through a couple of runs to see how we should incorporate LAIT into the new version of the show. This morning I’m up early making a new cue list for the phones. We will have a show by 6 tonight—Theater au LAIT must go on!


Featured in Artist Residency

As a part of the University of California artists’ residency program, LAIT is being demonstrated through a participatory mobile device improvisation using the LAIT app. This week-long residency features performances, improvisation, workshop, lectures designed to support the development of LAIT as conceptual frameworks are being identified.

John Toenjes, Associate Professor and Music Director at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Department of Dance, will be a guest artist in dance as part of the Department of Dance’s Monthly Guest Performance Artist Series from October 17-25, 2015.  While here, Toenjes will collaborate with Assistant Professor Chad Michael Hall to create phase one of their collaborative project INTERFACE: Public Figure.  There will be two showings of the work- Friday, October 23 at 7:30 pm and Saturday October 24th at 2:00 pm.  Showtimes and locations available on the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

IrvineJohn Toenjes demonstrated the LAIT (Laboratory for Audience Interactive Technologies) system, and lead workshop participants through a participatory mobile device improvisation using the LAIT app. Afterwards, based upon feedback from participants, we may remake the app and redo the improvisation, to explore possibilities within this innovative art form. Participants are urged to bring Apple or Android smartphones and/or tablets, and to have their batteries fully charged just prior to the workshop. Additionally, Toenjes will guest teach in INTERFACE Ensemble (Hall’s student ensemble), Dance and Video, and will present his LAIT workshop which is free and open to the UCI community in the xMPL Theater on Friday, October 23rd at noon.

LAIT Awarded Seed Grant

The LAIT project has been selected as one of ten proposals to be developed on behalf of the Illinois Learning Sciences Design Initiative (ILSDI). Facilitated by the College of Education, this initiative features the work of emerging technologies being developed on-campus by competing teams of interdisciplinary researchers.

Toenjes describing the deployment of LAIT to fellow researchers. Photo by Sal Nudo

This fall, LAIT collaborators are working on two fronts to make the project more robust. The technical team is increasing the modes of communication between audience and facilitator. The aesthetics team is writing a conceptual reflection of LAIT’s potential, outlining future applications and thematic considerations. In November, the aesethetics and technical team will put forth a proposal for deploying LAIT in educational settings, both in the classroom and beyond.

The goal of ILSDI is to foster collaboration among different departments and make use of Illinois’ outstanding faculty and research facilities. At the kickoff luncheon on September 18, John Toenjes outlined the current status of LAIT’s technical capabilities.


LAIT Day on May Day

Workshop on Research Directions in the Aesthetics of Mobile Devices in the Theater: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives

Friday, May 1, 2015  Krannert Art Museum, Lower Level

The Laboratory for Interactive Audience Technologies (LAIT) is sponsoring a workshop to explore the implications of its new mobile device platform in the theater from a variety of academic perspectives, to foster new collaborations, and to uncover promising research directions.

We are hoping this will open up a can of worms of questions about the aesthetic and ethical questions surrounding mobile devices in the theater and concert hall!

See the LAITday page for more information!

End of Semester Demonstration Meeting

Yesterday evening the two teams developing LAIT met for the first time together to share what they’ve accomplished this semester. First the students demonstrated the applications they’d developed. Afterwards we discussed some particulars of the software, and how we might integrate the two efforts into one product next semester.

First the CS492 students showed a system that accepted accelerometer data from two phones and changed color on each phone based upon the amount of activity in both phones. If one phone was shaking a moderate amount, only half of its screen would turn blue, while the other half remained dark. If both phones were shaking a moderated amount, then both sides of the screen would turn blue, indicating that the other phone was also shaking. The same system turned the phones red if the phones were being shaken more rapidly. Continue reading End of Semester Demonstration Meeting