A multi-site performance is an event where performing arts and technology work hand in hand. In order to connect artists around the globe live and in real time, state-of the-art technology is required.
You could write a book on the technology involved: The proper placement of microphones; problems with codecs; sound mixer consoles; interface cards; LED walls; circumventing firewalls and what not. Without very special audio and video software solutions boasting truly low latency capabilities, and without fast high-performance networks, multi-site performances are simply not doable in real time.
With the emergence of faster and more dependable transmission methods, network latencies as well as jitter could be reduced significantly. Meanwhile, transmissions of audio and visual data over digital networks enjoy a quality that allow for performers to interact in real time, even across great distances.
The low latency technologies we currently use, LOLA and UltraGrid, have been developed in (resp. in cooperation with) the research labs of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs). Both technologies are also deployed for e-learning at art universities, distance teaching of masterclasses etc.
A collection of links and documents with more detailed information can be found in the "media" section.
The transmission of mainly uncompressed audiovisual signals produces a considerable amount of data. To ensure that the signals arrive in the same quality as they were sent, powerful and resilient fibre optic backbone networks are required. This infrastructure also is provided by NRENs.
The previous net:art productions have been realized by the Austrian NREN ACOnet, in cooperation with the respective NRENs of the various venues and many other partners (for more information please see the project documentations under "venues" and "partners").
The main venues of net:art performances need to have high-bandwidth connectivity (1-10 Gbps, at least temporarily). However, sometimes artists are located in places where only low-bandwidth access is available. In such situations, we always try to follow the artists. This approach is also expanding our capabilities.