[dance-tech] Re: March-April Discussion forum on dance/performance and participation

  • From: "Thomas F. DeFrantz" <t.defrantz@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:10:03 +0000

nicely drawn all around Johannes. I would think mostly that the vigorous
divide you propose between 'performers' and 'audience' ... and then
student/engineers and developers ... could be evacuated for its relevancy. if
that divide could be moved out of the discussion, then the rules of the players
are also the rules of the performers and developers/artists, and
systems/concerns that effect one effect all. inspiring awe is surely a
simplification of any creative act that ignites reflection; that part of
sharing performance/objects we all might agree upon.

the 'how' part of this particular course offering circles around 'critical
design' - the students are introduced to the materials available for our work
together to create the objects (and for the purposes of the class assignments,
they are to create objects); then they are challenged to design toward their
interests as they are shaped by critical reflection.

today and next week final presentations; I'll have more to consider as I get to
reflect on the creations of the students....

in motion, tommy

Thomas F. DeFrantz
Chair, DUKE African and African American Studies
Professor, DUKE DANCE, Theater Studies
Director, SLIPPAGE:Performance|Culture|Technology
Founding Director, Collegium for African Diaspora Dance

-----Original Message-----
From: Johannes Birringer [mailto:Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2015 5:09 PM
To: dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: remove; Thomas F. DeFrantz
Subject: RE: [dance-tech] Re: March-April Discussion forum on dance/performance
and participation

thanks for sharing the workshop with Jaime del Val with us here -- and of
course you are quite right, creation and teaching are deeply interconnected,
and we have artists and teachers on our forum and by no means did we neglect
the need for encouraging younger/emerging researchers/engineers/artists toward
creation and inquiry, on the contrary, I think Nilüfer and others here -- I
spoke repeatedly of my MetaSeminar working on the kimospheres, and there were
about ten to fifteen peers and students involved - mentioned that they are
teaching or using praxis methods (fieldwork, gathering) for collecting
materials for their "choreographic objects" -- and what you describe is quite
fascinating and could yield further, lively discussion (e.g. on the game/play
parameters and frameworks) and what you can do to invite "players" and to
inspire "awe"- how do you do the latter? what kind of awe (induced by
technologies or aesthetics? or its hybrid potentialties........ a current
exhibition in Kassel at the Fridericianum titles the show "Inhuman" and, i
gather, deals with the post-audience: the audience after us).......

Implicating audiences ---- yes, and how is "play" ("toys," "possibilities,"
"creating awareness" of what?) purposed to storytelling and how do the
technical feats ("3-d printing, arduinos, wii-motes, Isadora patches, Kinect
interface, and prepared media") affect the performers (do you use performers,
as for example Michèle Danjoux implied in her post on designing wearables or
sonic/tactile occurences that may involve deep or intimate listening on part of
the audience but also influence the dancer/actor/musician on the mode of
performing) and / or the audiences and co-players? is there a difference? do
you care to affect performers and performer techniques, as Michèle and I do in
the DAP-Lab, or do you focus on audiences that are students but also non

How do we invite audiences that are not students? to study, enact or carry out
instructions, follow procedures, do tasks, become happenings? lean forward
with their apps as Jeannette suggested?

are there not always rules (as there are in games, too) for improvisation, for
reaction and participation (say, in installations)?

How do we think about our rules?

Someone recently repeated an obvious truth about games (I think it was Brenda
Laurel) :

games are also rule-based systems and to some degree the scope of what can
take place is somewhat circumscribed by the limitations of those rules>>

Exactly a pretty good definition of interactivity, too.

Tthat scope interests me regarding social choreography!

warm regards
Johannes Birringer

[Tommy schreibt]
Jaime did terrific work at Duke with our students here. We have undergraduate
and graduate students interested in these areas of exploration. I become
frustrated on our list that so much of the discourse centers on creative work
and research, and so little seems to be concerned with teaching and encouraging
younger/emerging researchers/engineers/artists toward these areas of inquiry.
Surely most of our "audiences" are actually students of some sort (this would
be true in the USA at least), and a divide between creative craft and pedagogy
might be disingenuous.

In any case, the undergraduate students that Jaime lectured to/witnessed while
he was here build 'choreographic objects' that are purposed toward
storytelling, in this year's case, about environmental injustice and social
relationships to 'the natural.' the students work in groups to build an
Arduino-driven flower that responds to human interaction. now, for their final
project, they incorporate Kinect sensing with a patch written through the
Microsoft SDK to create a short performance that implicates the 'audience' in
the object and its motion. their final project involves 3-d printing,
arduinos, wii-motes, Isadora patches, Kinect interface, and prepared media. we
will create a video document of these, and I'll happily share it when it is
finished in a month or so.

for these students, the imperative to implicate passers-by or their peers into
the creation of these objects comes with the assignment. so here is a
generation of engineer-artists always already thinking about design in
relationship to use/interaction even as they create performance.

I wonder if assuming that social performance and interactive objects are the
beginning of possibilities, rather than an end, changes the discussion a bit.
these students think of choreographic objects as toys, of a sort, to be played
with toward the purpose of creating social awareness, and inspiring 'awe.'

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