Children’s theatre project (2001)

The Concept
‘Olio’ was an interactive creature – something between a set decoration and a living actor. It was created to a childrens’ play tourneed by Espoo-based Totem-theatre. The profile of the theatre emphasized the importance of the touch from the very beginning.

‘Olio’ was a physical attempt to combine drama and interaction on the stage.

The Production
‘Olio’ was a movable, approximately 1,5 metres high plywood-steel-contruction. It looked like an upright cylinder-halve. But that was just the ‘body’: on the surface of the plywood was Olio’s skin, the interface. The skin was made of electromagnetic ‘EMFi-film’, and reacts to the changes of pressure (even air pressure if needed). The film was divided into different cells, so that different areas can act individually. The messages of the film went to a Mac powerbook via an amplifier/signal processing box and a RS232-USB connection. The programming was made with Cycling 74’s MAX/MSP -software.
The Crew
Design and planning:
Katriina Lahtinen, Satu Lavinen, Riikka Puustinen, Totem-theatre
Programming: Katriina Lahtinen, Satu Lavinen, Jukka Ylitalo
Electronics, tech. support: EMFiTECH Oy
Sound designer: Jonte Ramsten

Below: Images of Olio during different stages. Images 3 and 5 © Katriina Lahtinen.