if you can’t see this video try here.
what is it i bare, and why … muscles moving seductive and sinuous. for the maker, myself or the audience?
i’m not sure i care anymore … when its empty its clear, and when it has meaning /purpose it’s the last thing on your mind.
they are there to look, i am there to been seen. see what you will, its only a performance – it’s only skin.
scrape your knee; it is only skin
makes the sound of violins
– joanna newsom
it’s typical; i start work on a networked performance project and loose my network connection. i hope this isn’t a bad omen.
until now, my experience of performing in networked choreographies has been video based. and those which i have enjoyed most have involved some perception / feedback of the audience. dancing in a box 2.5 square meter box, with camera relaying the outside to the inside, and the inside to the outside in a dislocated space was … odd.
in this work the audience were purposely lead to believe i was co-located in the gallery space, when actually i was in the storage room of the building. the identical boxes (one in the gallery, one in storage) were solidly constructed and surrounded by do not touch signs. you couldn’t hear me moving about inside even with your ear to the side. however, the box in the gallery space was fitted with contact microphones, so i could listen to the physical-auditory actions / effects of the gallery spectators.
the movement architect‘s (choreographers) concept was to examine the nature of presence within the mediated performance. so whilst the signs read ‘do not touch’, they were an invitation to touch. no gallery staff were posted in the room and the finger and hand prints of people who had already touched the white boxes were visible.
so how intimate was that, mediated dislocated space?, well for me no more or less intimate that a telephone call, and at time just as intrusive. i rarely get any form of system control in dance technology works, and this was no exception. it’s not so much that i objected to being on show all the time, but that some ability to filter my presence would have been nice. there were people i hid from, people i wanted to get closer too, and deprived of any other contact there were feelings of intimacy.
as dancers we are conditioned to find and nurture intimacy even in the most difficult / public of situations. it is easy to assume, perceive and invent deep connections from superficial contact. but reading, and listening to feedback from the audience it becomes clear that contemporary spectators can perceive presence and intimacy in both networked and distributed performances.
it’s not just my training / bias, people want to believe and connect … and more than that they are used to intimate moments being mediated by a range of technologies. reaching to technology to reach out and touch someone is not so new, or unfamiliar.
being on tour means that i can’t always get online when i want to, or need to. if i’m a little slow in responding to your emails or approving comments etc. please accept my apologies.
i think its clear to anyone that tony’s attempts to ridicule what i have said are a little childish. it is sad that someone who lectures at a university cannot respond maturely to criticism of his work.
address my critique directly tony, don’t avoid it or play games … share more about your work, give better explanations if you really think i am missing something. share more of your data, code and output.
your belief in astrology may make you feel better, but it certainly does not improve the quality of your work. and, if you are going to start a critiquing others work (i.e. andre lepecki) you should be prepared to have you own work examined in a similar manner.