Consider the use of gesture recognition in interactive performance as a form of temporal linkage between the shifting intentions and actions of performers across time…

Video credits: Tools that Propel by Sarah Levinsky (first dancer: Maria Evans; other dancers: see youtube description)

Consider the use of gesture recognition in interactive performance as a form of temporal linkage between the shifting intentions and actions of performers across time. Following Bergson, let us think of what is being linked here (past and present) as not static or point-like, but as a multiplicity of unfolding movements.

Formalising such links requires ‘chopping up’ complex interpenetrating movements which are distributed between people in space and time. But what then are these pieces we chop ourselves and others into? Generally we might refer to them as ‘intervals’ which record some part or aspect of a larger movement, both through temporal boundaries and selection of features. But if we think of these intervals as traces or echoes of lived movement, then we can think of their links too as partial, reductive traces of a larger multiplicity of potential or virtual linkage.

In this sense we can think of a concrete graph of recognised similarity relations over concretely defined intervals as a partial subset of a much, MUCH larger abstract graph that relates all possible intervals at all scales with all other possible intervals. So we might begin to rethink Bergson’s claims for the role of his ‘memory image’ in perception as describing a virtual space in which computable functions between time intervals form only a negligible subset.

Adam Russell, Leelatrope (Cornwall, UK)

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