Hello Tony & list. Apologies for the delay in reply and to those unfamiliar with Marxist terminology. I've listed the key terms used at the end of the post for reference. Back to your post ... Marxist critiques of dance are normally associated with feminist perspectives, so issues of labour & (dance)technology are usually superseded by gender & (dance)technology. I'm assuming you ask your question in a 'non-gendered' sense so I'll respond accordingly. Q1: Does the relation between dance and technology mirror the relationship between labour and capital? No, because performance is the 'product' of dance-tech, not technology; technologies are the means of production. However, the relationship between means of production and capital mean that dance/technology is a refraction (not a reflection) of labour/capital. This becomes clearer in the response to your second question: Q2: How are relationships between labour and capital replicated in the relationships between dancer and technology? Dance (motion) like labour (and labour power) is 'cheap'; firstly we tend to make interfaces 'anyone' can utilise so 'motion' is as good as 'dancing'. Secondly the 'sensory' capabilities of these interfaces are often limited, significant amounts of labour power are 'lost'. This loss can can be considered surplus value, which leads us back to the first question. Means of production are distinct from capital unless, a) the product is made into capital which become a means of production, or b) labour is exploited for surplus value. Lets consider carol brown's 'sea unsea' (*), although contemporary dance & performance technologies rather than dance-tech 'per se' it is a useful example. Sea unsea is a (relatively) choreographed, conceptual work with scenography generated by AI agents. Although the agents do respond to the dancers movement, the dancers have minimal control over the visual output. We can assume the dancers labour/labour power is employed for 'dance' performance not the scenography, so the transformation of their motion into the scenography is unpaid. This can be calculated as a surplus value (**) and used to asses labour exploitation. Because the audience are also invited to explore the environment (as part of a performance) this additional unpaid labour must be factored in to any assessment. We can also obverse the other capital vs. means of production exception: dancer (labour) -> dance performance (product) -> capital (financial/artistic) -> means of production (technologies) -> scenography (product) -> capital (financial/artistic). Again, these are not exact replications but refractions of Marxist concepts. Q3: What are the power dynamics in this work and how are they problematic? I could go on for some time here, but shorter is preferable. Apart from the dynamics implied in my response to Q2 there is the traditional choreographer/dancer relationship and the HCI user/interface power struggle. From a Marxist perspective they are problematic, from a capitalist perspective - not. From an artistic perspective we can only refer to the ideology of the artists making the works. But, given the current preoccupation with (dis)embodiment and (post)humanism it seems to be a tertiary issue. Searching the archive of both this list and the old list no one has raised your specific question. I can't recall any dance texts that explore that specific space, perhaps someone else knows? The question is dependant on an understanding of the dance/technology which is only just starting to settle. Most dance-tech texts highlight connections rather than looking for answers, so its doubtful you will find critical analysis. As a small aside, I don't consider 'sea unsea' an example of interactive-architecture, its purely reactive scenography. But I guess that deserves a post/review in itself. Thanks for your time matt (*) http://cita.karch.dk/citaproject_seaunsea.html - http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/2006-July/000498.html (**) appropriate surplus value calculations include divisions of: surplus labour (dividend) & necessary labour (divisor), and the values of unpaid (dividend) & paid labour (divisor). Key terms: capital labour labour power means of production surplus labour surplus value unpaid labour On 11/2/06, Tony Schultz <dance_plan@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi list, I have been wondering what our friend Marx would say about dance technology. Does the relation between dance and technology mirror the relationship between labor and capital? How are relationships between labor and capital replicated in the relationships between dancer and technology? What are the power dynamics in this work and how are they problematic? Surely I am not the first person to ask these questions. Perhaps someone could direct me to scholarship or postings on the subject.