[dance-tech] Re: IDAT in the blue sky

  • From: "Birringer, Johannes" <johannes.birringer@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 01:40:30 -0000

Happy New Year to all :

It's always good to start a new year with a little debate, and now Jamie Jewett 
has planted a seed that could be worth pursuing, a discussion not only about 
future meeting points, events, workshops, conferences or festivals, for those 
in the intersecting communities of dance/ performance/ music and art 
technologies and digital media practices, but also perhaps this question 
---whether we need these meetings and where we need them and how we construct 
them---may need to go along with a necessary awareness of the historical 
trajectores that lie behind us, that have emerged and diverged. "IDAT," I 
suppose, was an umbrella name once used (in North America) for important 
gatherings (conference-exhibitions) of the evolving dance technology community 
in the 1990s, several (I believe four or  five altogether) having taken place 
in Canada and the US........  but as Simon Biggs correctly points out, not 
everyone elsewhere knows that name, nor is that name a TM that belongs to 
anyone who at one point or another took it upon themselves to host an 
international dance and technology meeting......   and the more I think about 
it, the less I remember, and i can't find an archive of these "idats."  Which 
is perhaps truly regrettable, although the "proceedings" were properly 
collected in print and edited, the last one dating back to 1999 (held at ASU 
and organized by John Mitchell and his team).


I then looked up the dance and technology zone archive, and could not find many 
references to "Idat" (prior to 1999), and the archive is incomplete and was not 
continued. The dance tech mailist, initially initiated by Scott deLahunta and 
Mark Coniglio  many years ago, and then moderated for a number of years by 
Scott Sutherland (at one point hosted at the OSU server, then migrated), 
stopped operating in March-April 2005, and we were left with uncertainty as to 
what that meant, or whether it had died or would be rejuvenated. 

As far as it concerned me at Nottingham, in the (then) final stages of 
preperation for the December 2005 Digital Cultures Lab, the communication 
breakdown was a very negative experience, which could only be compensated by 
the already grown, existing, and expanding networks that we are all part of.  
In the fall we then started this new list.  At some point, it also became 
obvious to me that it was time to move forward to raise new questions and make 
other connections, our performance field (and the research that feeds into it), 
has grown quite complex and hybrid, and there is a constant and expanding 
influx of younger generations of artists (and also students)...... but as Jamie 
points out, if some of you are engaged in teaching dance/performance and new 
media practices, new theories of collaboration, new interdisciplinary methods 
of working, or in moving towards a PhD or shifting the educational patterns in 
your departments or companies, then these histories of the field (and our 
lovely bibliographies) may of course be of some relevance, even though I'd 
suggest the existing ones

and many others that might exist on various blogs or dance websites (I do not 
have a complete listing, sorry) , may often be out of date or abandoned or 
sleeping.  Blogs tend to be fresher, but how many blogs can one read in one 

As to creating an organizational structure for an "Idat" organization, yes, 
that was attempted some time in 2002-03, there were elections, a board was 
formed, but the Board disbanded, like rock groups sometimes do, after finding 
it impossible to move forward and agree on how to move forward, and there was 
no funding to underwrite the organisational formation, nor was there a 
widespread agreement, in the first place, about the need for a formal 
organisation.    Dancetechnology.com and .org sites say 'coming soon'  in front 
of a blue sky, just as we have it here in Texas. As you all know, it takes 
tremendous commitment anbd idealism to run a non-profit venture. 

So i think, apart from the name "IDAT" which is used by other existing 
organisations, and apart from what IDAT meant and once was,  this may be a good 
time to look forward, find out about yours and others'  plans and objectives, 
projects worldwide but also in smaller locations and not just the metropoles ( 
bibliographies and their implicit histories,  see above, are  often quite 
euro-american and  do not reflect the artistic work and the thinking being done 
elsewhere), educational changes, curatorial challenges, research 
implications....... , also reflecting on the cross-cultural emphasis and the 
questions regarding dance and science which were featured at the Digital 
Cultures Lab (http://www.digitalcultures.org).  

I would be pleased to hear more responses, productive criticism (of our 
existing platforms), and suggestions regarding the planning and implementation 
of larger and/or smaller meetings, conferences and international workshops.  
There is no central administration, and thus it will be hard to avoid overlaps 
or scheduling conflicts.  Our new dance tech list needs to grow as well, so 
that messages can reach into all parts of the world. I heard at the DC Lab 
gathering that a number of initiatives in our field are under way, -- in 
Turkey, in Brasil, in Portugal, in France, then there is the MDF (Monaco Dance 
Forum) looming in December 2006, there are other festivals and screenings 
planned (as we heard from Doug), and it might be of a certain advantage if we 
create a "platform" for a calendar of events.

More interesting, of course, are the ideas that drive such events, the new 
artwork that is being created, the new sottware and the new 
inter-collaborations that we see  in such astonishing and manifold ways.

Johannes Birringer
Mother Dog Studios
Houston, TX

-----Original Message-----
From: dance-tech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of jamie jewett
Sent: Tue 1/3/2006 4:10 PM
To: dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [dance-tech] IDAT?
Greetings All!

I am wondering what the current status is of IDAT -

I know that a while back the old dance-tech/IDAT situation was dissolved or 
morphed into something new - and perhaps this is a process still in progress - 
as the dancetechnology.com and .org sites say 'coming soon'

We were interested in beginning to explore hosting some version of IDAT or 
something similar and as such I was trying to get in touch with people who have 
been involved at the organizational/board level.

Obviously we are all benefiting from Johannes continuing to offer sites for 
international discussion/exploration - such as the festivals he hosted at OSU 
and just recently the Digital Culture Lab - are there other movements afoot?

trying to get in the loop -or start one..

Jamie Jewett
Brown University

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