[dance-tech] Re: Forum Dancetech-Ning on "How has the internet changed dance"

  • From: "Johannes Birringer" <Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 02:00:14 -0000

hello all:

(not being sure how many of you also read or visit the 
http://dancetech.ning.com  discussion forum, I thought I'd follow my recent 
brief remark about the New York Times article [on dance and the web] with 
another post, to share some further thoughts ot stimulate debate here as well.

Comments are part of the debate on "How has the internet changed dance"... that 
was started by Julie Cruse last month.  There was some dialogue, which surely 
would interest these lists, and please allow me to re-link y'all to :


Marlon Barrios Solano responded last night to a commentary i made, suggesting 
that the new web-based hypertext multimedia writing (encyclopedia entries in 
Wikipedia and similar collective constructions of knowledge/information and 
history) provides a new avenues (and new literacies) for our international 
community of dance technology artists and researchers, and that the dancetech 
website and its various blogs and forum discussions also builds , or could 
build an "aggregate" of critical frameworks for our productions, the teaching, 
training, and dissemination and reception of digital performance and dance. 

>>Marlon wrote>>
I agree  with Johannes that as practitioners and researchers we must contribute 
to the development of the knowledge of the field making a methodological and 
systematic effort to leave "digital traces" of the many diverse processes that 
constitute the complex practices of this field (a filed that is actually also 
moving its boundaries).
 We are using many on-line technologies to document and market our processes 
and products such as blogs, project websites, etc. This site is available as an 
important aggregation and SHARING.

 In addition to this, I suggest that have to embrace a more "crowdsourcing" 
approach: take advantage of the internet to (with a bottom-up approach) 
progressively and collectively generate the critical knowledge. It won't feel 
linear or "book like" or traditional academic ways of centralizing knowledge. 
Most of the times will be hints, cues, new names, more and more images, videos 
and video games and less text because "literacy" is changing also. Innovation 
will come from the periphery, because there not a unique center...so is a 
different dance...more improvisational...

 I added most of the Johannes links to a wikipedia page in dance technology. I 
suggest that page as an aggregator or a more linear information about dance 
technology that is totally open and easy to find by the searchbots.

 The only way of having a better picture of the elephant is to have access to 
the impressions of the many blind people touching different parts.
 So, it is a collective effort of adding and editing...we have the technology 
for it and it might demand a more optimistic and open attitude about our our 
projects and ideas.
 Wiki technology and wikipedia in my opinion will help to generate and compile 
our digital traces.
 what do you think?>>>>

I conclude with a response here.

hallo Marlon and all

 thanks for this reply and action taken. you raise a question that is is not 
easy to answer without, perhaps, discussing what we understand knowledge to 
mean, or learning (whether practice or theory), contextualization (the terrm 
for frameworking that Matt Gough used), and "crowdsourcing" -- i gather you are 
advocating the collaborative/community./bottom up mode of building a common 
encyclopedia on the internet (hypertexted), and you refer us to WIKPEDIA and 
the mode of "collaborative writing."

 I would like to solicit responses on this......

 "collective effort of adding and editing" -- yes, Wikipedia is a fascinating 
phenomenon, and yet it has its own drawbacks. Anyone can start an encyclopedic 
entry, whether on dance technology, ant lions, Malcolm X, or Scientology, and 
so others can edit/add/adopt/extend & utilize, in the manner in which Matt was 
addressing dance/technology training. We may not always know the bias or the 
ideological agenda that goes into such entries and crowdsourcing, and we may 
not be aware of the subjective lens and the errors that creep in and then get 
extended. perhaps there is also a mechanisms of correction/revision which is 
interesting if one had time to observe/follow the manner of such 
"revisions"/revisionary history.

 But the idea of a collective and, hopefully, international/transcultural 
historical archiving process, including images, videos, scores, press reviews, 
interviews, documentations/archives and literatures on evolutions in 
computational/media performance - that is a great challenge and a daunting one, 
since I would still argue that the Web distributes and dissolves (it spreads to 
an extent that you can't gather; it surely decentralizes, and to the point of 

 I need to think more about this issue of what you call un-centered knowledge 
(do you know the book by Alain Bois and Rosalind Krauss on the "informe" 
[formless]?), new "literacies" (surely I agree, but i would not want to abolish 
older literacies, on the contrary) and how histories are written and then 
taught (where are they written/published?).

 i think again there are quite a few different and parallel modernisms and 
postmodernisms in dance, and improvisation genres and highly coded dance forms 
and each of these forms adapts and extends the use of technologies and, 
primarily, comes also continuously into contact with parallel media/new media 
production forms and social framnworks of reception that change or are modified 
(The inital post here addresses the Internet -- and how the Internet has 
changed the sociality , the environmental psychology in and of dance).

 The notion of an "aggregator" is very interesting, and perhaps, those who 
particpate in THIS network or forum, our the new website, or the older dance 
tech maillist (dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx) and the new dances-screen media list ( 
MEDIA-ARTS-AND-DANCE@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx), can all contribute to it.

 I's suggest that we announce this as a plan in the forum and here.

 (about blogging, i note a new book came out that seems to have a critique at 
hand about the Web, e.g. insisting that most of those opportunities boil down 
to commercial matters, and that ?the Internet?s vision of ?consumers? as 
?producers? has turned inner life into an advanced type of commodity.? Siegel 
provides example after example of how surreptitiously this process of co-option 
works, and how YouTube for example deflects attention from the social 
experience of the artform, furthering what Canadian media philosopher F. Scott 
Taylor has called "social autism". See: Lee Siegel, AGAINST THE MACHINE Being 
Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob
 (Spiegel & Grau, 2007).

 In conjunction, if the dancetech -ning network [http://dancetech.ning.com] has 
a certain number of members, and the other maillists do (altogether, what would 
you reckon, 250 - 300 subscribers?), then we may wish to issue a call or a note 
to all those that can be reached, asking for input on the AGGREGATE. I think 
250 to 300 subscribers scratches the surface, there must be a few thousands 
artists around the world who are doing what we are doing. I recommend that - 
now at the beginning of the new decade (2008- 2118) -- we publish a roll call 
to reach as many interested practitioners and researchers as possible, (this 
ought to be published, ideally, in a number of languages, and perhaps co-issued 
with partners in south / central america, east asia, europe, africa,, middle 
east, australia/nz and north america), informing them about this growing 
network, inviting them, i think it's possible to reach mailing lists from dance 
festivals and dance research organizations, and thus spread the word (another 
form of crowdsourcing).

 The "AGGREGATOR" could also mean building a living archive that 
consolidates/collects and para-synthesizes (hmmm, who will do this on each 
location?...) knowledge drawn from recent laboratoriers and public exhibitions 
 so, let us say, the laboratories & festivals of the last half or so year, 
including :

 -- Moves Screen Choreography Conference (Manchester)
 -- London International Dancefilm Festival
 -- CAPTURE commissions & projects
 -- EMPAC commissions and projects
 -- Reel Dance , Performance Space (Sydney)
 -- ADF (American Dance Festiva)
 -- transmediale festival Berlin [http://www.transmediale.de/site/]
 -- Post Dance (http://postdance.wordpress.com/), Chile
--  Festival de Videodanza y Medios electrónicos. México
--  Danza em Foco festival,  Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
--  Muestra de Video-Danza de Barcelona, Spain
 -- Te-Dance (Lisbon, Portugal)
 -- Movi-Lab, a-m-b-e-b 07 (Istanbul)
 -- Enaction Conference in Grenoble...
 -- ENTITY (London)
 -- Corpora in Si(gh)te, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (Japan)
 -- CYNETart_07encounter
 -- VideoDanzaBA Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires (Argentina)
 -- various networked performance events (see 
http://transition.turbulence.org/blog/) such
    as "Disparate Bodies: A three-way Network Performance" (SARC/Hamburg/Graz)
 -- Opensource:{video-dance} 2007 (20-24 November), Scotland
 -- EMMA Lab (Ohio, USA)
 -- 4º Taller Internacional de las tecnologías des cuerpo:
    Cuerpos Frontera esteticas y politicas en el postmodernmismo" (Madrid, 
 -- Emergent Objects (Leeds (17-19 dec)
 -- LEMUR's ReSiDeNt (USA)
 -- Video Dance Italy 2007 (Moving Virtual Bodies), 10-19 December 2007
 -- X=20.3, x(y()), x.y ? And Other Choreographic Moves (Glasgow, Scotland)
 -- montage video dance & FNB Dance Umbrella 2008 ( Johannesburg, South Africa)
 -- Impuls Tanz events (Vienna, Austria)
 -- ZKM , Panorama Festival & events (Karlsruhe, Germany)
 -- Centre des arts d'Enghien-les-Bains (France) [www.artishoc.com]
 -- INTIMACY: Across Visceral and Digital Performance (London, UK)
 -- CollectingLiveArt Symposium (London, UK)

 (I apologize to all events and event organisers whose events i did not know 

 If we can gather an "AGGREGATE" and get an overview of recent developments, it 
might then also be possible to trace (we can contact the organisers and ask for 
information) the evolution of such organizations and their commitments to 
performance technology platforms, research, education and dissemination.

 It is also worth thinking ahead to all of 2008/2009. As you know, Monaco Dance 
Forum (*and its digital platform*) has ended in 2006 and will not repeat, so 
the biannual rhythm of this major platform for dance technology will have to be 
re-placed, re-situated, perhaps, by a young start up event that can gather 
steam (a mid-December event in 2008 would be great, do you know of plans under 
way?) and bring practitioners from near and far together. (IDAT has a track 
history and its platforms were gathered and published).

 I still think face to face encounters and workshops, in conjunction with 
exhibitions of works (old and new) is an ideal format.

 Finally, the RE-creation of significant older dance works (using particular 
forms of performance computing and interface design) and installations could 
also be a task that digital curators in contemporary Art Centers might want to 
take on, as i believe such exhibitions - with a retrospective dimension -- 
could be very significant

 (e.g. The MIT List Visual Arts Center offered its 2006 exhibition "9 evenings 
reconsidered: art, theatre, and engineering, 1966" as a critical homage to the 
original event, featuring the records of 1966 to focus on a ground breaking 
link in the history of performance, art, and technology)........

 & thank you, Chris Ziegler, for the Xmas present:
 (a dvd about 9EVENINGS:


 I also feel (not being much online but mostly in the studio and on stage), 
that research and experimentation will continue to need material data and 
artefacts to be utilized in training and learning, quite in tandem with in-body 
training and physically embodied technique learning. Physical embodiment is as 
crucial, naturallly, for post-choreography (sorry, I bring this up again, a 
nice term in started to use in 2006, i hope you like it still.....) as it is 
for engineering and designing of physical interfaces and wearable computers. 
When did you last see a collection of interface design artefacts? Thecla 
Schiphorst's/Susan Kozel's "whisper" garment designs, anyone? Pina Bausch's 
rhinozeros costume? or igloo's ghillied mocap dresses? Gretchen Schiller's 
moveable screens? Bob Rauschenberg's scenographic sculptures? kondition 
pluriel's storage bunker? Cena 11's robotic devices from their danceworks or 
Meg Stuart's environments (did she not do one with Ann Hamilton?) --- give us a 
museum and i bet you we could do a stunning dance tech installation..........

 I wonder whether (new) venues such as ICA Boston or EMPAC, ZKM, Tate Modern, 
the Global Performing Arts Consortium [http://www.glopac.org/], 
Trans-Media-Akademie Hellerau, Performance Space, Sydney, Critical Path Sydney 
[http://www.criticalpath.org.au/], Radialsystem Berlin 
[http://www.radialsystem.de/] , DTW New York, Kitchen, IRCAM, STEIM, de Waag, 
Franklin Furnace, Fondation Daniel Langlois in Montréal 
[http://www.fondation-langlois.org/], or others are also helping us to have 
more susbtantial access to good performance libraries and collections (there 
was no archive at MDF, nor at the past IDAT events).

 I certainly plan to make available my personal library (books, magazines, 
journals, notes, video tapes, DVDs, audio cassettes, stage props, costumes, etc 
-- the printed materials are all on performance, dance, video art, media arts, 
technology, anthropology and cultural studies ) accumulated since 1980 as soon 
as i stop teaching in a university, and i could imagine such collections and 
similar ones to be helpful to others in the performance-tech educational sector.


 Johannes Birringer
 c/o Houston, TX

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