[dance-tech] Re: post / choreographic

dear jeannette,   list:

your post on April 2  was really beautiful, Jeannette,  i enjoyed reading it a 
lot, 
and it was also good to hear response from others (Nathaniel, Harmony, Marko,  
Jaime,  etc),  

I think Jaime started a kind of "postcolonial" seminar/debate here which we've 
never had on this list, it;'s great,   so I'll be curious to see how discussion 
ensues or whether  such delineations or academic tropings, from 
poststructuralisms to queer performativities, return us to the problems that 
were mentioned by Marlon when he addressed the politics of language..... 
Harmony is quite right in commenting on the politics of language at stake.... . 
 

I'm still thinking further along the lines of  how performance practitioners,   
regarding dance and real time composition / improvisation,  can articulate the 
kinds of experience and enactments Jeannette describes. 

2 things i wanted to dwell on.

(a) the multiple performer selves  in this fluid real-time environment  --this 
i found particularly interesting and beautifully expressed.

>>as  if there is a constant dialogue within the performer between 
the different 'performative selves' - one is aware of the structure and 
responds accordingly, one is aware of the shifts and slight differences that 
occur at each performance, so cause and effect vary slightly at each 
performance, one is aware of mistakes and therefore new ideas and 
possibilities, one that is aware of audience and the desire to evoke an 
empathetic response in them, (if only they were you) making them as 
kinetically or emotionally engaged and in an excited/aware state, in that 
moment of connection....

...
is synaptic space, no longer an empty space but a place of 
transition. an-other place. it is not an empty gap that must be leapt over, 
as in the underground from train to platform, but a substantial place filled 
and alive with history, memory, energy, electricity, spontaneity and a new 
life form. the space between is no longer 'between' but a place, an 
environment to be. >>>

and to reply to your questions, 
>> can the dancer give another response to alter an encoded response? can it 
challenge the machine with unexpected input, rather than "causal and 
patterned" responses?>>.

I'd suggest that this is exactly the crux we were talking about in the 
discussion on the post-choreographic.  In the sensorally experienced and 
enacted environment, the synaptic space you evoke, there will most likely 
always be an indetermined spontaneous and intuitive enaction on the one hand, 
depending on whether the dancer is not constricting herself to seeking to 
elicit a particular (repeatable) reaction from the system, be it audio or video 
or light or particular aspects of the sonic and the 2d or 3d environment..... , 
  and there might be intentionality and a particular attitude towards the 
"choreographic" material and real time relationality on the other which could 
mean that the dancer carefully explores and seeks traces .... here i like what 
Nathaniel wrote --- "ludic interfaces, and the per-formed, " and .."carefully 
stutter or quiver between texts." 


the other
(b) >>it begs the question - for whom and what is this work for? at the moment 
of 
co-authorship, it seems to be intensely personal, not for the consumption of 
an audience,>>


well,  this is true,  it seems as if we are no longer speaking of spectacle, 
right?    Away from performances for audiences,  our attention would then 
naturally shift more towards interactive or immersive installations and how the 
kind of ludic interfaces or complex sensorial and cross-modal embodiments can 
be "arranged" for participants, in which case again i had assumed, perhaps 
prematurely, that one would not speak of choreographing the visitor or user. 


In remember a conversation with Yacov Sharir on his immersive journey inside 
Gromola's projected body:  


          What artistic, intellectual, kinesthetic, and emotional issues could 
be addressed using this  
          technology? ? virtual technologies allow us to manipulate, extend, 
distort, and deform 
          information as well as experience of the body. They are vehicles that 
enable us to extend and color 
          work in many ways, some of which may not be possible in the physical 
realm and/or by traditional 
          means. They offer a way to augment and extend possibilities 
creatively, experientially, spatially, 
          visually, sonically, and cognitively.  (this is drawn from his work 
at Banff in the mid 90s)


The augmented interface he recounts ("Dancing with the Virtual Dervish")is a 
conflation of inter-action and immersive experience within a real-time, 3-D 
graphic and aural environment generated by computers. Sharir refers to it as a 
?distributed performance environment? which he entered and inhabited with a 
head-mounted display and dataglove. The three-dimensional world, created by 
Gromola, projected on an enormous scale the torso and inner organs of her body 
built from X-ray and MRI data. Sharir said that when moving through the virtual 
torso he also encountered digitized images of himself dancing, which diffused 
and multiplied his sense of being inside an other body. 

Sharir?s experience of the distributed self (selves) refers us back to the 
motivations for such performance / dance research in the first place. He is 
clearly stating a desire to provoke questions about human beings, subjectivity, 
perceptual systems, and how we re-envision and re-configure ourselves through 
technology. On the computational and formal level of making work, he seems 
largely content to explore ?possibilities? for a new spatiotemporal aesthetics, 
asking where one can locate his performance, in the real space, or the virtual 
world.  

A concern about choreography is not apparent, not do i detect it in Jeannette's 
or Nathaniel's writing, or Jaime's writings.  I think there are clear reasons 
for this, no?  am i mistaken?

regards
Johannes Birringer
DAP Lab, London




Jeannette Ginslov wrote
Wed 4/2/2008 
>>>

in my experience during performance with interactive sites, a heightened & 
amplified sense of focus, perception and seeing, is perhaps what occurs for 
me at the moment, the gap, or place of interaction.

the irony is that the more one narrows and quietens the focus on that locus 
of interaction, the more it amplifies the sense of awareness of perception - 
the five senses and awareness of self, become heightened and allows for a 
discursive interaction within the self, between the many selves, feelings 
and ideas, that come alive during performance. it gets a bit 'noisy' at 
times if you do not concentrate, as they tend to happen simultaneously.

for this to come alive during such performances, a sense of quietness is 
necessary for intense focus and listening to occur at these loci of 
interactivity. it is as if you have to walk through a door, squeeze and 
squash the mind/body binary together, so they merge, and then you are 
through the door into another sense of perceiving the present, real-time, 
perceiving and acknowledging it, all at the same time, in your entire body 
and being.

then during performance i am amazed at how my senses are awakened and how my 
body memory, that includes habit and the questioning of it, comes forward in 
my consciousness for the moment of negotiation or choice, to respond. as 
part author, should i use this or that? milliseconds float by.

an added advantage of being the performer/"enfleshed machine" immersed in 
the constellation of possible interactions, whether they are causal or not, 
is that we have an added awareness of audience. the real 'electronic' 
machine does not.

the "enfleshed machine" is aware of mind and perceptual flow, seeing in 
real-time but also seeing shifts in perceptual flow and shifts in 
perspective, as if there is a constant dialogue within the performer between 
the different 'performative selves' - one is aware of the structure and 
responds accordingly, one is aware of the shifts and slight differences that 
occur at each performance, so cause and effect vary slightly at each 
performance, one is aware of mistakes and therefore new ideas and 
possibilities, one that is aware of audience and the desire to evoke an 
empathetic response in them, (if only they were you) making them as 
kinetically or emotionally engaged and in an excited/aware state, in that 
moment of connection, one that is always judging the performance as a whole 
within a cultural context aware of place in time and history, one that is 
the personal - body aches, pains, tiredness, energy levels etc, one that is 
aware of other interferences - extraneous noises etc

it begs the question - for whom and what is this work for? at the moment of 
co-authorship, it seems to be intensely personal, not for the consumption of 
an audience, that seems extraneous, outside of 'the moment of choice', 
unless the result is for the more spectacular. specularity then comes into 
play and alters the performer's choices.

the need to share what has actually happened at the interface between the 
highly skilled dancer and the machine, the myriad of different narratives 
that the "enfleshed machine" can elicit is what interests me...perhaps (dare 
i say it), at this synaptic space, no longer an empty space but a place of 
transition. an-other place. it is not an empty gap that must be leapt over, 
as in the underground from train to platform, but a substantial place filled 
and alive with history, memory, energy, electricity, spontaneity and a new 
life form. the space between is no longer 'between' but a place, an 
environment to be.

can we make these places unique? are these places the result of call and 
response? can there be innovation and origination in these places? how can 
the dancer give another response to alter an encoded response? can it 
challenge the machine with unexpected input, rather than "casual and 
patterned" responses?

the "enfleshed machine" has more to offer from its embodied data base, i 
think, than the metallic - how do we access that and what will the 
choreographic structures and outcomes be and will there be more freedom of 
choice, or will it just be the same but more complex?


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