[dance-tech] Re: repertory worlds and remixing / Glow

  • From: "Johannes Birringer" <Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2008 21:13:34 -0000

hello all 

first of all:  thanks to Marlon for making these video interviews and for 
making them available on the website.


Having just watched Part 2 of the interview with Gideon Obarzanek (Chunky Move 
Co), I am intrigued and need to watch Part 1 still, 

especially since we have a critical response/discussion already, initiated by 
Matt Gough. (see his earlier post from yesterday), and the interview is with a 
choreographer (who collaborated with the engineer/programming artist Frieder 
Weiss on this, and on the use of the graphic projections arising from the 
interactive scenario (Kalypso is the software environment). As Gideon mentions 
already a newer piece, also a collaboration which was premiered in Sydney a few 
weeks go,  called "Mortal Engine"  (involving collaboration with Weiss, a 
composer,  laser artist, and six dancers)  - one can watch the excerpts from 
both "Glow" and "Mortal Engine"  with a certain fascination, framed as the 
videos are by the chat/interview.    

(I am also intruigued that Marlon got the footage from the dances,  i remember 
that when "Glow" came to Hellerau/Dresden in November, we were not allowed to 

I just want to re-trace my steps perhaps, find what i wrote first, post it here 
or at least the link, , and then come back later, to  respond to Matt's 
critique of the notions on "digital expressionism".  I note there is another 
video on the  http://www.dance-tech.net/  website  ---   on the  interactive 
"system" of "Glow",  described by its operator Nick Roux. 
 Performances were at at The Kitchen  February 7 - 10  ---   
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVW92VR8n9M )

so here is the blog commentary from November on Glow, written on the same night 
as the concert:  http://body-bytes.de/02/?p=596&language=en

(just proves my point that one cannot always be trusted, blogging). 

I now look very much forward to a more incisive discussion of the 
"choreographic essay,"  as Gideon calls it (why?  he says it was one idea,  
tried out, not quite completed, but that is what we've got, and he is now happy 
with it),  here, with others, surely many have seen this 26 minute piece by 
now, it is traveling widely,  Frieder Weiss mentioned it traveled more and was 
shown more than he ever imagined. 

Johannes Birringer

Matt wrote:
"i chose elements that i felt were meaningful, that i could create
some element of expression [with,] beyond just the visual effect"

the use of real-time tracking and graphics is to «free the dancer in
time and space». this is not a «no fixed points in time and space»
freedom (einstein / cunningham), the freedom lies only within the
projected frame:

"the dancer is mostly lying down so she kinda floats in the frame
rather than having a bottom and a top [.]"

"[i wanted] to free the body in the frame, it was an easy thing to lay
the frame on the floor so that the body is free to move around."

«glow» indicates a return to the renaissance perspective. works that
use single camera tracking and projection often exhibit this classical
presentation. the result is that space and time have a fixed point.

symbolic and figurative expressionism, authoring meaning via
metaphors, a fixed front . these principles / features are not reliant
on technology. they are contexualised and implemented by technology.

"[I] wanted to work with video projection mostly as a form of lighting
and actually using it from the top looking down"

«glow» uses performance technologies to contextualise (post)modernist
concerns. it is not the use of technologies as concept or for their
own sake.

the projection allows gideon to «keep [the] human form» but also show
the «otherness of ones self». this is not a tension between body and
technology, the tech is simply a tool for representation.

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