[dance-tech] Re: post / choreographic

  • From: "Matt Gough" <mpgough@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "nathaniel stern" <nathaniel.stern@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 21:39:38 +0100


firstly a correction (typo) it should be "causal" (cause and
effect/affect) rather than "casual":

"this leaves the performers with causal and patterned responses"

greetings to nathaniel, our previous dialogue seems relevant here;
hence the "effect/affect". i don't find massumi's concepts apply well
to (contact)improvisation ... 'effect/affect' still seems open to

perhaps we can talk about effect/affect and interaction via a simple,
real world example:

- physical touch and a track pad.

we all familiar with this interface, and members of the list have
performed / critiqued it. lets assume a single finger, and single
point tracking ... everything else 'is game'.


trackpads 'read' the capacitance (stored electrical charge) of the
surface. this is read through a matrix (gird) or field at 20-400 kHz
(approx.). the derived coordinates (and inferred motion) can be
mapped/used in a variety of ways.

human touch is 'read' via signals (chemical/electrical) from sensory
receptors and neurons. the frequency of the signals increases with the
strength of the stimuli. the amplitude (strength) of the signal
remains constant.


the basic perception/actions of touch i work with are:

- sensation (experience)
- communication (intention)

i'm not going to describe the experiential here, you can do that for
yourself. the framework for sensate touch is:

- absence of touch
- accidental touch
- receiving touch
- for self (but not other)
- for other (but not self)
- shared synchronous (same sensation)
- shared asynchronous (different sensations)

this comes from (contact)improvisation work, but seems to apply to all
touch. one example of 'touch for self (but not other)' would be using
your fingernail on the trackpad. the fingernail offers no capacitance
and thus will not 'register'. it is an unsubtle example, but useful
none the less.

communicative touch can be used to:

- asses your intention/interaction
- to convey intention (to others)
- to respond to intention (from others)

with regards to communication / intention we can:

- ignore
- yield
- resist
- redirect
- return

i can explain these if required, but i'd rather move on for now.

there is a (structural) complexity to the perception of touch. this is
before we start thinking about the  'effect/affect'. these modes of
perception inform the real-time reading and composition. they can
disrupt causal/patterned responses.

a single 'sensation' has many readings/responses

readings/responses to interactions/obejects can be framed as:

- representation (mapping)
- interpretation (abstraction)

of course, the trackpad cannot read all the subtleties of theses
perceptual modes. is doesn't need to. two discrete systems interacting
can lead to a 'combined' system with emergent properties.

so, who want to offer the 'perceptual' modes we can 'read' the
track-pad data through? nathan, tony? and perhaps we can have some
commentary on the 'experience' of the modes of touch i have described?

or simply critique.

we can on expand (and implement?) this simple test case to explore the




ps can i propose a 500 word limit per post? to keep everything flowing
and (relatively) quick to read?

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