splines in space

theorising through (dance) practice


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In Zen they say: If something is boring after two minutes, try it forfour. If still boring, try it for eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and so on. Eventuallyone discovers that it’s not boring at all but very interesting. [Cage]

much to do and re-do, marking time to aid progression ... sometimes i forget myself.

there is a need (for me) to move beyond the experiential and (further) into the technical and functional. there are limits to our cognitive and experiential exploration that can be expanded and stimulated by algorithmic processing. what has become problematic are the contextual (and theoretical) issues of culture.

for much of computer science (CS) the socio-cultural impact of technological advances is relatively unimportant; a moral issue secondary to pure research. yet the affect technologies will have on dance praxis is largely underestimated. for me the key issue is developing technologies that will develop dance practice in new dimensions (physical, cognitive, virtual etc.). April Nunes got to the core of my 'real world' thinking;

I’d be really interested in investigating the effects of the programmeon the thought processes of performers especially in the context of improvisation.To me, it seems that data from this programme could serve as another layer in thecyclical mind-body feedback loop: The performer repeats an image in their mind untilthe body responds -- the performer perceives the body’s form/movement and envisionsthe image seen in the computer programme – the form/movement of the body respondsto this new image -- and so the cycle continues. [Nunes]

this kind of computer-augmented dance praxis is much more subtle that most practitioners and theorists would imagine, and relies (somewhat) on allowing digital dance culture to speak 'for itself' (and possibly) outside our preconceived aesthetic ideals. this is not synthetic stimuli but as valid as any other method we might use to re-visualise and re-imagine our dance practice.

what becomes problematic is how to explore digital culture to develop tools, this is more the realm of individual practice or socio-anthropological study than computer science. i'm not saying that is how it should be, but how 'established' patterns of research are playing out. taking a challenging research stance is not purely the preserve of the arts;

art and science are important for the training they give each practitionerin an ethics grounded on joining the stance of the rebel with the stance of respect.When one has learned to do this, one can participate meaningfully in a community foundedon a shared ethics. In this community each individual is truly free, but each is boundto the community by the respect we feel for those others who are willing to put everythingat risk in every working day, in the knowledge that this is the only way to createsomething worth preserving. [Smolin]

practitioners of all disciplines run the risk of getting lost in a sea of specialisation that becomes a maelstrom of the mundane. rebels are dismissed out of hand even if they do participate positively with the greater community. specialisation should lead us on a journey that interacts with other fields of study.

thus i find myself assuming opposing stances, both embracing and rejecting cultural contexts in order to 'do new'. so for the moement code is 'king' ...

1 responses to “hwæl-weġ”

  1. Blogger Elizabeth 

    hi matt - this is very interesting... now back in my day job i am finishing up a research project i was doing in the UK on programs there in support of art & science collaborations, so anything on the subject catches my eye...thanks

    i can send you pdf of my thesis ...where to?

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