[dance-tech] Re: movement & environment

  • From: "Johannes Birringer" <Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 23:36:43 +0100

hi all,

yes indeed, a wonderful conversation about movement and "taking instructions" 
from the environment  and re-organizing/self-reorganizing though sensual 

It would be interesting to review this interview in light also of what Jaime 

This complex feedback, reflexivity, interrelation of forces is what I call a
metaformative process. It dosen't exclude performativity, it rather includes
it, but it exceeds it as well. It is a process in which the very structures
thorugh which we "articulate" and "understand" emerge together with the
realities we attempt to apprehend: it is the movement of thought itself, the
self, that emerges in the process.

Now we can understand this in the context of such theories of mirror
neurons, enactive cognition and proprioception, perhaps, since everytime I
see a movement of yours, I mirror it and embody it, and then it has become
something else, If I attempt to reproduce it I cannot but  generate
something different, in the specificity of this body, your gesture is
transduced to my field of forces, my register of associations, my open
coordinates of interaction. The mirrorings that constitute embodiment have
always fragmentary and deforming effects in the forces that are reflected.

On the issue of the generative, and the evolving, i want to mention the 
premiere of ENTITY by Random Dance Co, at Sadlers' Wells last weekend (in 
London), and before the Friday show Wayne McGregor and Scott deLahunta invited 
interested folks to a research meeting with the team that has worked on ENTITY. 
 I think it would interest all of you, to draw a bit on their dicussion of the 
post-choreographic and choreographic, and I'm not sure whether Scott wouldn't 
want to do that himself at some point, right now I should perhaps give you the 
link to the website brief on the seminar:


"The specific aims of the ENTITY research project are: to develop adaptive 
software agents that can generate unique solutions to choreographic problems; 
and to continue to work towards establishing principles of choreographic and 
physical thinking (distributed and embodied). The seminar comprises a series of 
short presentations from members of the research team including Phil Barnard 
(MRC Cognition and Brain Studies Unit, Cambridge), Scott deLahunta (R-Research 
Coordinator), Nick Rothwell (independent composer and software programmer) and 
Anil Seth (Informatics, University of Sussex). These will focus on background 
and current developments of the project and be followed by a short discussion."

What I found fascinating was the discussion on the vision not only of these 
metaformative processes that Jaime addresses, but also their autonomous 
software partners (adaptive agents that learn and evolve) -- and one should not 
forget the environment and what Lisa Nelson refers to in her interview (the 
sensed world and the sensing of the world, the information the environment 
sends to us at all times to affect us)  The discussion last weekend seemed to 
pair evolutionary biology (selection) with creativity (physical creativity), 
and then we heard about , AI (the modeling), emergence and complexity /systems 
theory in rather interesting, sometimes also frustrating ways  (many the visual 
examples were drawn from robotics and auto-locomotion, interestingly).

the adaptive agents or the evolved articulations of the digital (in the wired 
/projected environment) is a level of the (post)choreographic that we have not 
fully addressed either, as presumably, at least in regard to dance, the aura of 
the choregrapher (experienced at Sadlers Wells for sure, last week) is still 
alive and well and the notion of the choreographic refers to problems that 
humans solve?   I think the cybernetic and AI discussion, however, also points 
to other co-evolutions and wild arrays of real and virtual formations, 
mutations, and gestations.

"Environmental Sensualities undergird all discussions of wired sustainability" 
someone wrote today on the Empyre discussion list.    

Jaime,  do you see dance as primarily a form of "non-verbal communication"  ?   
but surely in interactive and emergent virtual scenarios how do you separate 
the dancer from the dance, and what is the "choreographic" in the extended 
sense of sensorial flows and projected flows we sought to imagine? 

is the "choreographic" not the kind of "object" you deconstructed, Jaime?  (the 
"work" is that very process which is also your "self" and becoming, there is no 
exteriority to the process or to the work, but an interdependence of forces in 
the relation of which both the self and the work emerge, but never sedimenting 
into something complete and fixed),  a non object, a non structure, an 
already-reproducible mutation.

Finally, a comment on earlier references to Artaud and the "body without 

I like what Zizek wrote about the melancholia of the choreographers.   We are 
not too sure about the virtualization of reality,  and Zizek says it's  
?crucial to maintain open the radical ambiguity of how cyberspace will affect 
our lives: this does not depend on technology as such but on the mode of its 
social inscription. Immersion into cyberspace can intensify our bodily 
experience (new sensuality, new body with more organs, new sexes ?), but it 
also opens up the possibility for the one who manipulates the machinery which 
runs the cyberspace literally to steal our own (virtual) body, depriving us of 
the control over it, so that one no longer relates to one?s body as to ?one?s 
own.? What one encounters here is the constitutive ambiguity of the notion of 
mediatization.? The theft of the body may present a very likely trauma to 
contemporary dance.  

Johannes Birringer

Thanks for this video. we need more of these - with artists talking so 
eloquently of their work and process. i really enjoyed the added dance 
workshop footage this time. it fleshed out the ideas put forward and made 
our discussions online more concrete than abstract - straight from the 
horses mouth, so to speak...a perceptible change of my organisation in 
connection with this technological gaze was most enlightening.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Marlon Barrios-Solano
To: jaimedelval@xxxxxxxxxxx ; dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2008 6:06 PM
Subject: [dance-tech] interview with Lisa Nelson at dance-tech.net

hello list,
An interview with dance improvisation artist, lecturer and researcher on 
improvisation and perception  (Tunning Scores) as one of the "Embodied 
Techne Series". She takes us across her experiences with dance, movement 
studies, psychology of perception and her experience  with video. Her 
perspective might add to current and  recent discussions on real-time 
composition and embodiment.
In dance-tech.net
In blip.TV
Thank you and comments welcome,
PS: editing courtesy  of Ashley A. Friend
(please let me know if you want to collaborate with dance-tech.net podcasts. 
I have  very cool raw material...)

Marlon Barrios Solano
social media projects
New York City

A dance and technology social network that aggregates and facilitates the 
flow of information and the distributed intelligence among movement, new 
media artist and theorists working in the confluence of embodied performance 
practices and new media.

Dance New Amsterdam
New Media Specialist

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