What seems to be escaping is an artistic, metaphoric and content-based consideration of the thing being computized within a performance work…

Hello community – I don’t know if I have articulated myself well or if this is even a provocation, but I throw these thoughts and questions out for your consideration. There are nuances I wish I could clarify but I leave it to you to unpack. And I sure wish I could be there for the discussion!

What seems to be escaping is an artistic, metaphoric and content-based consideration of the thing being computized within a performance work. Matching the choice of sensing tool/system/instrument to the content of any given work that wants a sensing tool/system/instrument in it. Giving deep thought to the kind of sensing tool/system/instrument and how it will play on the content AND meaning AND experience AND its necessity in the making. BECAUSE each sensing tool/system/instrument will impose a kind of choreography on the maker. BECAUSE the sensing tool/system/instrument is the conduit between the input (the kind of sensing that is measured from a body) and the output (the media result in sound/image/etc). Why does an artist choose to express a work with a guitar over a piano, a paint brush over clay, a Kinect camera over a costume measuring flexion/extension…the method of the sensing SHOULD be chosen to match the nature/quality of the work that wants to be made with/for it. Is that happening? How are movement artists choosing the systems they are working with/for? If you are the body/dancer/choreographer are you choosing your sensing tool/system/instrument or are you being given an “opportunity” by a computer-based artist to make for the tool/system/instrument they devised? Are you being asked to explore a “special sensing machine” that you are unfamiliar with? Are movement artists being handed guitars and asked to make a work with/for it even though they have never played a guitar before? And if so, how well-crafted can the resulting works be? Or are these tool/system/instruments simply controllers with mutable outputs and therefor contain no intrinsic poetic meaning or require any special skill to play – just a joystick used for any game. Discuss.

-Dawn Stoppiello, USC Kaufman School of Dance / Troika Ranch

 

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