[dance-tech] ?: history of dance & technology

  • From: "Yukihiko YOSHIDA" <yukihiko@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <johannes.birringer@xxxxxxxxx>, <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2006 12:15:28 +0900

Dear list,

We should not forget the achievement of Scott Fisher in 80's in MIT Media
He used motion capture system to dancers from Jeffery Ballet and figure out
the motions of every dancers  are
almost same.

BTW, in TOKYO, the fields, Robotics and Space Development are getting close
to Dance.
Some Japanese choreographers try to choreograph dancer's body in spance.
Some robot designers try to apply dancer's movement to Japanese cyborgs.

Warmest Regars,
Yukihiko YOSHIDA

International Advisory Committee(Digital Community), Prix Ars Electronica
Liaison,Digital Culture Lab 2005,International Dance Technology - Lab 2005
Poject Xanadu(the assistant of Ted Nelson and Project Xanadu)
Research and Documentation Network,World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific 

???: dance-tech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:dance-tech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] ??? Birringer, Johannes
????: 2006?1?20? 9:19
??: dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
??: [dance-tech] history of dance & technology

This discussion on the history ...  is quite exciting to me, for various
reasons (one of them being that I am finishing a book on "Dance
Technologies", which was meant to look at the present and at how we work
now, what ideas and practices are emerging, how do we understand these
notions of the digital, the interactive, augmented reality, etc,  it was not
meant to delve too much into the history of the ""Periodic
Convergences: Dance and Computers"  sketched, for example,  by Scott
deLahunta,   but after these comments we have received, and Simon's, Kirk's
and Philippe's statements, I begin to wonder whether an introductory outline
or reflection on these strands and convergences (even prior to the more
recent emergence of what Lev Manovich called the "language of new media",
the digital, art made from data bases, etc) might not be really useful, even
essential to grasp the evolution of dance and technology experiments.

Before i come back to the subject, a brief comment on Simon Biggs' post
regarding the  Sydney/Macquarie University - Workshop on Interactive Systems
in Performance.

Of course during this aspect of the symposium I was thinking of Scott's work
with Random at Cambridge, with its emphasis on neuropsychology and notation.
The main thing here is that we are not just talking about the hybridisation
of the utility of our practices (that is, the adoption of new tools and
technologies along with some of the methodologies associated with their
origins) but a situation where profoundly distinct disciplines are being
brought together. The outcome of this might eventuate in further new
technologies and approaches, but more importantly there are the likely
questions raised about value and purpose...questions that often demand
fundamental revision of established practices. Personally it is when I feel
challenged in this way that things start to look exciting.>>>>

Quite so.  I really begin to sense  that the rapprochement between dance
research and science is qualitatively different from simple dialogue or
hybridization (or what is often refered to as "interdisciplinary research),
and it raises many questions.

After we published the Yearbook last year (in Germany) on "Tanz im Kopf/
Dance and Cognition," (2005)  i was asked by ballettanz (Berlin) to do a
feature on
this new research and where it is going, and I began to realize that    1) i
don't know enough about the 
methods and objectives of  researchers in neuroscience and the cognitive
science fields,
and    2) I cannot fully ascertain or speculate on the mutual benefits the
joint research will have for the
neuroscientists on the one hand (and the medical field), and creative dance
practices or dance / digital media research (pedagogy, education,
experimentation) on the other.  

When my writing comes out next month, I will provide a link to the essay (we
are also reprinting an excerpt from the book, Corinne Jola & Fred W. Mast
"Dance Images Mental Imagery Processes in Dance",  and just recently the
latest research from this field was published: Steven Brown/Michael J.
Martinez/ Lawrence M. Parsons: "The Neural Basis of Human Dance", Cerebral
Cortex (doi:10.1093/cercor/bhj057, 2005), 

and reading Brown/Martinez/Parsons was a complicated task, as I am not
familiar with the assumptions that guide the questions of the experiment
(not to mention the PET scan methodology and how to "read" the scans of the
brain activity during the subject's enactment of the tango steps) . Looking
at the research findings carefully, however, one can certainly realize the
current interest in motor activities.
Likewise,  William Forsythe and Ivar Hagendoorn convened an international
symposium on "Dance and the Brain" (Frankfurt 2004) which revealed the
extent to which neuroscientific investigation, for example of the motor
repertoire and the recognition of possible or "impossible movement" (Julie
Grèzes) is based on neuroimaging technologies (PET, fMRI) which historically
seem to evolve alongside very sophisticated digital tools and
scanning/capturing techniques choreographers recently began to use for
sensory "measuring" of action and qualities of gesture. 
And here the fields do meet in a productive exchange, and one, as Simon
points out, that gives us much to think about as we continue, perhaps, to
use a more multi-sensory/multimodal (not just perceptual) investigation of
bodies in movement.

Johannes Birringer

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