media (25)

Here is the premiere of our wearable tech / contemporary dance piece at the HASTAC conference last week. 

Our clumsy bows aside, we got some good feedback, and I am interested in continuing this line of research where new media technologies can be employed to enrich the affectivity of performative art. 

Would love to get your thoughts on it.

Enjoy. Click!

Watch it at night. If you don't I'll know. :)



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The University of North Texas (UNT) seeks an accomplished visual artist with exceptional technological expertise and experience in interdisciplinary and collaborative research to join the newly formed Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts (iARTA). Research areas may include but are not limited to: robotics/physical computing, wearables, interactive programming and/or performance systems, HCI design and hardware/software development for the control of digital arts media. The applicant is expected to serve in an active collaborative role in iARTA and to foster and contribute to visionary interdisciplinary research between the arts, engineering and the sciences. This is an Open-Rank position; rank and compensation will be commensurate with experience.

Candidates must have a terminal degree in the arts and/or closely related technological field, and an active and distinguished record of creative work and/or research appropriate to rank.A minimum of six years of college or university research/teaching experience is preferred for senior position applicants, though professional practice may be considered in lieu of academic experience.

Preference will also be given to individuals with teaching and research profiles engaging in interdisciplinary and collaborative projects involving the arts and technology. In addition preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate the ability to set up a laboratory for student and/or community engagement in the development of new media interfaces, tools, and systems.


Review of Applications Begins: 01-16-2011


For complete details, visit:

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"Do the Digital"

Follow link below to YouTube Video

UCR does "The Digital"-New Dance Moves

-Cool challenge to anybody: "do an original move"
-Funny to watch folks freestyle to their song:)

I wonder...
my own 'digital dance' = lots of finger movement isolations
...but what's a more full-bodied example of 'digital dance'?
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Zagrebi! Festival, September 10-11, 2010

MAIDA WITHERS DANCE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY performs the multimedia work, Fare Well - The End of the World As We Know It OR Dancing Your Way to Paradise! with Maida Withers, dancer/choreographer; Steve Hilmy, Electronic Music Composer/Musician; Ayo Okunseinde, New Media Artist at the ZAGREBI! FESTIVAL - ZAGREB, CROATIA September 10, 2010.

Fare Well brings insight and vibrant critique to the contemporary issue of end time. Fare Well is as extreme in its moods and absurdities as we might think of “extreme weather.” We watch hypnotized, immobilized, arrogant, innocent, and powerful as the fires rage, volcanoes and oil erupt, the Arctic melts, the earth becomes parched, and the seas rise.

Kneza Mislava 10/1
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +38512455833Fax: +38514855548

Festival Description

ZAGREBI! Ekofestival is a platform where all interested parties of the social, economic and political life in Croatia have the chance to show their projects and achivements in the enviromental protection and sustainable development sphere. Every year the Festival hosts different media authors who question the social engagement of art and eco matureness of our society with their work. The Festival attempts to promote the dialogue and co-operation between the individual and his society, with one goal – to make a healthier soacial and natural enviroment for the future generations. (

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Art.On.Wires Festival Oslo 2010 - day 2

May 11th

As a festival like this, or maybe every festival, it is always a contact-making-connections-pool.

A possibility to get to know other fields of art/artists which could or do collaborate in order to create new art (pieces).
Along those lines the day yesterday ended in an open space introducing the people who give the workshops.
Everyone who was interested in talking a little about their work, their art-approach, projects etc. got a microphone in his/her hand and could give a glimpse into their life to the audience.

Today we(*) started our workshop for interactive environments. Talking about recent projects and showing some video material to expose the listener to some ways of making use of the system/environment.
I was talking about the need of finding a common working-language. Just by trying to understand the other participating project-developer. Which means, everyone creating a performance (for instance) should move a little in the interactive space, should look over the shoulder of the musician, try to comprehend the graphic program or install the camera system. Within this crossing the boarders you bring everyone to a point of equality. There you have a chance of a communication which eventually will lead to an artistic output with hopefully some semantic comprehensible line for the audience.

Across the hall where the festival happens, Alexander Carot ( ) is giving his workshop on a software he developed to enable musicians to rehears and perform together without meeting in real person. Having the problem of delivering the sound with a delay he invented his software “Soundjack” ( ).

Another interesting workshop deals with kids toys. Through soldering components together they create the weirdest sounds. After everything is put together, you just press buttons and the sounds come out of a toy. Very funny one.
( )

After a very intriguing key note by Mark Coniglio about his work, he is giving a workshop on the software Isabora, which he invented himself.

In his lecture he was talking about some art pieces which work with the matter of fact that we are the number one in our life.

I am - is the most used expression in Skype chat.

When we use interactive environments we are fascinated by the music I can create because I move (or graphics etc).

Mark introduced us to one of his recent works "loopdiver". Loopdiver was created with the Isadora software.

They basically filmed a dance phrase from 6 different ankles and then cut them apart and together in all possible orders. In addition they put loops on top with different durations and so on.

At the end, the dancer had to learn what they created with the software.

( )

In one corner you could see a huge table with stooped people around again soldering something together. The goal was to built a small LED Gadget/Screen with a USB connection which can be fed with any information you want. Some of the components just need to get a software, which has yet to be written.

( )

Before dinner time I was sitting together with some people and Frode Volden (docent for cognitive psychology and human interface design at Gjøvik university) for a so called focus talk.

The question to discuss was on perception of quality. What does it mean to us. How do we use it in a artist approach.

This focus talk is used as a platform to develop a new vocabulary in the field of audio-visual cognition in order to find a way to measure quality. To install parameters and make technology/interfaces more effective, better designed for an intuitive use, to simply define it with its own words/vocabulary.

A few statements shall be listed here

- in the moment there is human energy invested it has a high level of quality

- everything containing passion has high quality

- that would be nice

- it is a matter of (expert) knowledge if you receive something as high or low or no quality

- it's a matter of content

- don't mix high and low quality components

- but "south park" does it

- does technology helps to raise the level of quality?

- depends on the use of it

- restrictions within the use of technologies can be useful

and so on.

Frode Volden was mostly listening, making some notes and asking some questions.

Even that we all came from a very different background (musician, dancer, wearable LED artist, VJ, programmer) we were able to talk on an equal level. We made similar experiences and so had a platform of communication in a high quality ;-)

After dinner there will be a concert with Alexander Carot.

We is:
Marko Ritter - VVVV programmer -
Valérie-Françoise Vogt - graphic design -
Jacob Korn - musician (Abelton, Max 4life) -
Johanna Roggan - dancer, choreographer -
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From January to June 2011 PACT Zollverein is offering a residency programme for the development and realisation of projects and productions, which is open to professional artists from both Germany and abroad working in the fields of dance, performance, media art or music. Residencies are planned individually and include a working space and local accommodation as well as financial support in the form of a weekly grant allowance and travel costs. By arrangement and subject to requirement, PACT Zollverein also offers its residents technical support and advisory assistance with press and public relations and dramaturgy.

A residency CAN incorporate the following:

> Studio space (from 63 to 173 sq.m.)

> Local accommodation (maximum 6 people)

> Weekly grant allowance for all of the residency project participants (maximum group of 6 people)

> Travel costs covering one journey only per participant to and from PACT Zollverein (subject to prior agreement)

> Technical equipment (by arrangement and subject to availability)

> Stage rehearsals with professional technical supervision and support (by arrangement and subject to availability)

> Daily professional open class

> Professional advice in: Project funding, project management, press and public relations

Your applications should include:

> the completed application form (to be found at: --> Working fields --> Residencies)

> a short letter of motivation

> a project description

> a 10 line summary of your project description

> curriculum vitae for everyone involved in the project

> only 1 DVD / CD-RoM of your own work

Closing date for applications: June 30th 2010 (post-marked) Please do not send the material by registered post or by email !

All complete applications received by this date will be considered and replied to in writing. Residents are selected by a panel. Please note that we can unfortunately not return your application material to you.

Please send the Application to us by post:

PACT Zollverein Residencies 1 / 2011 Katharina Charpey Bullmannaue 20 a D-45327 Essen

For further information contact:

Katharina Charpey Fon: +49 (0)201.2894712 Fax: +49 (0)201.2894701 katharina.charpey @

PACT Zollverein / Choreographisches Zentrum NRW and its residency programme are supported by the Minister President of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the City of Essen. Tanzlandschaft Ruhr is supported by the Kultur Ruhr GmbH.

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May 10th
A new laboratory-like festival has been born. In Oslo, Norway. Out of nothing Dr. Alexander Eichhorn ( ) organized a whole festival by himself. Inviting artists (dancers/choreographers, musicians, code-poets, interior designer, visual designer), programmer, nerds as well as students from the university Oslo to lead workshops in the wide field of media art.

Introduction to OpenFrameworks, Motion Capture Systems and Techniques, BoBo – Gadgetto, Isadora – Advanced Features Quick Boot, Using Interactive Environments for Performance (dance, visuals, music), Telematic Interaction – How physical and technical restrictions determine artistic consequences, Systematic Understanding of Music.

After a nice long ride from Dresden, Germany to Oslo, we(*) arrived with a lot of equipment for the workshop we're going to give. Using Interactive Environments for Performance (dance, visuals, music).
A warm atmosphere and friendly people were welcoming us.
On Sunday and today we set up the festival venue at the Kanonenhallen and due to the fact that there are not so many people from the "outside" (people who would just come to take a workshop) have signed in and all the workshop-leaders are wanting to go to the other workshops as well, we decided not to have the workshops overlapping, but giving space that everyone could participate in every workshop and/or to tinker on or with something...

This is how we started today. With some setting up, a nice lunch and a short introduction speech from Dr. Eichhorn.
Now people listen to the OpenFramework lecture and already implementing codes.
Mark Coniglio ( ) gives kind of a private workshop for two people on the software Isadora, which he invented.

Everything is quite informal and relaxed - a good start for a young festival.


We is:

Marko Ritter - VVVV programmer -

Valérie-Françoise Vogt - graphic design -

Jacob Korn - musician (Abelton, Max 4life) -

Johanna Roggan - dancer, choreographer -

About me, Johanna Roggan:

I'm a dancer, dance creator, teacher. Currently residing in Dresden, Germany. Working together with the non-profit organization Trans-Media-Academy (TMA) Hellerau ( ).

I'm going to give a workshop here in Oslo for interactive environments. Questioning the need of interactivity in performances, how long is it supportive and when does it turn into a show effect.

About communication between the performance-developer (the dancer, the programmer, the designer) - how to find a common working language.

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DUESEPTEMBER 20, 2010-- OSU Dance is HIRING a VIDEO person for our newestassistant faculty position. We seek a dance professional who isactively engaged in a combination of creative activity and theoreticalinquiry with an emphasis on video/film and dance (including but notlimited to dance documentaries, dance for camera, archiving etc.)

See the link on our homepage:
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Art.On.Wires Festival Oslo 2010 - day 4

May 13th

After an AMAZING evening with 3 professors playing music for us, a handsome live act by Jacob Korn, amongst others, and a very cosy atmosphere, the next day started relatively relaxed and a bit late. For me at least.
Jacob Korn gave his Abelton live/MAX MSP workshop.

Here and there was still some working, talking, tinkering around going on.

Within the festival there was a small scholarship given for two projects.

Veronika Mayerböck, Jordi Puig & Wendy Ann Mansilla presented us their work-in-progress results from the last 4 days of researching. Veronika was hunting for a way to let music response to light changes.

Jordi Puig and Wendy Ann Mansilla were working on light changes in 3D environments.

But in general we had to dismantle everything.
We (the Dresden crew) left around 5pm.

It's not the easiest to make a synopsis on the last 4 days.
We all had a very good time. We met new people, were listening to interesting keynotes and workshops, we had good food and good music all the time. We learned new things or immersed deeper into topics, software or conversations.
We were part of a great birth of new and promising festival for media art on wires.
For the next year we all just hope for more audience. This festival needs to be seen!

People missed out something very special.

A BIG thank you to Alexander Eichhorn and all the hands and good souls behind the scene! Great work, well done!

Thanks for reading,
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Art.On.Wires Festival Oslo 2010 - day 3

May 12th
First some pictures:

This day we started the interactive environment workshop with introducing the software VVVV (V4). Two rows of laptops (which have to run windows for using V4) were set in front of a screen to show each single step on it. Valerie Vogt and Marko Ritter were conducting the workshop and walking around to help out with any problem the participants might have.
It was an short and very basic introduction of how to use it and what is possible beside making 3D generated graphics.

One of the most beautiful things here at the festival is the feeling of equality with every person. Two luminaries of the media art section were holding a keynote and afterwards they just hang out, talk to who ever is having a question. There is no privileging going on. Just Sharing knowledge, interest and going for ones curiosities.
Lars Graugaard, Anders Friberg both from the Stockholm university, Alexander Refus Jensenius (Olso university) and Aki Asgeirsson from Iceland hold a keynote on „systematic understanding of music“ by presenting several projects.
Music and emotion and creating new instruments were the trigger point of their lecture.
Coming from the fact that there is a level of emotional content inside every musical piece, they disassemble the vocabulary in order to categorize it into parameters like sad, happy, angry, tenderness/love etc.
Knowing that an expert listener is able to distinguish different moods easily but not an untrained ear, every research issue comes across psychology.
Emotion perception – listeners' perception of emotional expression.
Lars Grauggard and Anders Friberg presented then a software based on MAX/MSP which works with these parameters to analyze music and/or create new music pieces.
Alexander Refus Jensenius gave us a brief glimpse on his, still in germinal, SUM sensor device. A gadget like tool to measure emotions. Using the information of blood preasure (via infrared), skin conduction and movement, the small sensor device in your hand gives a lot of parameters to scale your sensitivities.
It is still under construction but could be used in performances to navigate other out/input for instance.
Aki Asgeirsson presented us some of his new instruments he invented. One is an impossible one but still quite impressive. He would use the tunnels of Iceland. Tunnels such as for cars, wires, water. On one side he would place a violin snail on the other end a horn looking like amplifier. For every tunnel the same set up. The audience would be sitting in the center of Icland and receive all tones from all tunnels. BUT – the tunnels have to be empty. So that is the impossible part of it.

After a short break Atau Tanaka was holding his keynot about various projects he has done.
He was working on using networks as a performance space, network music and many different music-related projects and research fields.
I really recommend to read his papers or watch the recorded lecture (online soon on

Before lunch time Alexander Eichhorn announced the open laboratory space – so who ever is interested in collaborating with one, two, three of the others at this festival, should go for it and maybe we have something to show at the end.
It is meant to be an option of crossing boarders, of overcoming the idea of this or that could never funktion together but just trying it out and having fun within it and maybe have some outcome.

There is some not so well recognized stuff going on as well. Beside two always very tasty meals (lunch and dinner (German chefs)), the crew FEM ( ) is, beside managing all sound and light happenings, recording and live-streaming the whole festival all the time. All lectures, keynotes, workshops are streamed and most of them will be online soon – if you missed something.

The evening concert series is about to start. All the musicians, producers and Vj's in the hall are going to have some great fun together.
At first all is a live act and then the Dj's will finish us up..
Pierre Proske (music), Arturo Castro (visuals), Jacob Korn (music), Marko Ritter (visuals), Lars Graugraad (music), Aki Asgeirsson (music), Atau Tanaka (music) and then the two Dj's Rainer Wachtelborn and Dj Subway.

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Early Deadline: December 16, 2009Final Deadline: January 15, 2010Celebrating our 9th annual dance film festival, Dance Camera West welcomes dance media in any dance style or genre. Categories include: screendance, movement based film, short films, features, documentary, installations, and interactive dance media.Dance Camera West’s June 2010 festival will feature an international selection of dance media and special screening events throughout the month at prominent Los Angeles venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall’s REDCAT Theatre, Hammer Museum, American Cinematheque, Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, and several new venues to be announced.We look forward to seeing your new work!Entry forms and guidelines available at: direct questions to:
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View our new uploaded video of Featured Choreographer, Larry Keigwin, who shares his Success Story Promoting Dance with Video. Share your comments with us! Stay tuned for more success stories from the panelists from this Information Session at the 2010 APAP conference in NYC.
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In an effort to promote public interest in dance performance in the city of San Diego, Mina Communications will be producing an ongoing series of dance films with live dance pre-shows. To make these events possible, financial support from sponsors is necessary. Anyone who is interested in helping to generate sponsors will receive a commission for their efforts.Sponsors who support this campaign will receive ample media exposure through PR and the Advocacy Advertising campaign that will be produced to promote the events and professional dance performance in San Diego. To learn more visit:
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This is a second part of interview with M.B. Solano. Read the first part: Interview with Marlon Barrios Solano: Dancers moved by Technology

Photo: Amelia by LaLaLa Human Steps (c)

Where does your interest in technology come from in your life? You teach contact dance, yoga, zazen, but you are hooked up to computing, too… People usually have wrong perception that those two can not get along…MBS: I have a background in psychology and dance. I came from Venezuela to study psychology. And psychology was really drown to cognitive science. People told me: OK technology, but you should be a dance therapist! bla bla bla… and I said: NO. I kind of liked this interesting study of perceptions, minds, you know. I’m very drown by materialist paradox of understanding humans. And then I was at the same interested in understanding the complexity of cultures. As being a dancer for a long time, I was reflecting myself officially as a dancer, but what I wanted to do was psychology and at the same time dance.So, I met David Zambrano, who’s Venezuelan and he lives now in Amsterdam. He is improviser and he also developed his own techniques, etc. I’ve met him in Venezuela at the Festival de Danza Postmoderna – he founded that festival. He brought there dancers like Nancy Stark Smith, Lisa Nelson, you name it… Incredible people! Suddenly, I was then in my apartment, and these people were dancing in my country. And I had a facility to see some kind of kernel about this very interesting motions of embodiment. It was not just about how to dance; it was really a philosophical shift that was implying the new way of improvising, trying to compose the real meaning of improvising. They had to reformulate the common parallels of understanding their bodies. So, I kind of saw that and I was interested in this kind of informal research, trying to see what is a cognitive model.

Cyber Girl by Fausto de Martini (c)

Then you moved to USA to study?MBS: So, for that reason I moved to New York in 1994. Then I started to really study improvisation, and I started to explore it from the same basis as people from virtual reality. I was interested in how people from virtual reality see the embodiment parallels. Then I start perceiving the same common theoretical lineage was practically between Lisa Nelson and people who developed the theoretical practice of contact improvisation; and people who were working with virtual reality.I started writing about this, and I was invited on psychology conference on consciousness in Tulsa. And there I met people from CaiA+STAR – Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts and Roy Ascott. He was this amazing person to me and he said to me: you know, there is actually a way of putting these things together as a research for people who want to work with dance and technology. It was in 1999, and then from this world of improvisation I started to study notions of real time, composition. And then computers and computation became very important part of the investigation. After that I applied and entered to The Advanced Computing Center for Arts and Design at the Ohio University.

Photo: from Moebius Strip by Gilles Jobin (c)

And this is how a dancer and psychologist became tainted with virus called technology…MBS: Technology has always been the umbrella to understanding practically our minds in practices. Then I learned programming – BASIC, Actionscript, etc. After that it was a progression for me when I moved back to New York and started Dance-Tech. I’m normally teaching a lot abroad and I’m doing a lot seminars.You know, when I realized that websites are not static, that was for me the coolest thing in the world (laughs). They were beautiful and animated. I mean, you put something and then it started suddenly to move. That was for me: Wow! What we have been waiting?! It’s almost connected and self organized intelligence that is about an interaction itself, that creates a kind of social improvisation. And then, I practically switched and created this interest in social software. That is a little bit of a technological story, but I’m not an original native of the Internet (laughs)…Oh, I see… (laughs)

Keyboard Bag by Joao Sabino (c)

I like the idea that we are all becoming rather multi-functional these days, we all have to be skilled in many disciplines…MBS: …or at least to have a literacy, because the notions of literacy are different now. For instance, if you have an internet native, that’s somebody younger then eighteen. I taught a workshop with teenagers in New York; and I was literally taught by some of the students. This literacy became a part of their set of social life. That is amazing, that move from text to real interaction. They can speak and they can take from these sets of knowledge. When we talk about gaming, that is a totally different involvement, then there are big changes in cognitive apparatus. Different understanding of different realities; faces that have previous faces, you know. It’s very interesting how artist use this Tech world.Then my interest evolved into this topical fields of dance and new media art. Now, I find very powerful researching how these technologies are allowing these generations of knowledge distribution in the world, in a way that is totally different from publishing generation.

Photo: Ken Stelarc (c)

Several months ago Ray Baughman presented ‘a new type of muscle that dramatically outperforms biological ones in nearly every way’ as he says. What is your opinion on nanotechnology and its soon use in every day practice?MBS: I would say there would be degrees of experimentation, degrees of assimilation of the technology. You will see a stage of development. Now, you see it more practically: wires, connections, light. You need different people to connect all this. There are technologies that are progressive now in the medical establishment. It’s not a big deal if people are using Prosac, but to understand why Prosac works is literally the same principle to understand why caffeine works. When people are coming to Starbucks, there are these huge mechanism of drug distribution – caffeine. The principle is the same. Caffeine can be monitored as a certain trigger for certain mood changes, you know. Why I’m saying this?! We are evolving a really, really important ‘Know-How’ of who we are; and how we generate technologies and we have agencies in unthinkable areas of our existence, you know. From Botox and plastic surgeries to genetic engineering and laproscopic surgery. Everybody can use it. Even if dancers would injecting grow hormone in their muscles in order to pump them up, we are ready to increase hipper design, because we have increased agencies.I mean, when you see bodies from dancers in 1973 and dancers now. I mean the difference is incredible. Just because they use different knowledge to train their bodies. At the other hand, many different techniques for dancers are now practically regular in every gym.People are using even different chemical substances, and that’s a fact. I’m not moralistic about it. That’s a fact and it actually happens. Today we have even different metabolism, that’s also a medical fact. That’s dance and technology. In the level of research, I hope (laughs).

Photo: Chunky Move (c)

This research aspect is a crucial part of your approaches to work…MBS: That is something very important to me, that dance and technology is not going to be just researching about what artist dressed or something. This field is actually about unstable embody humaness. Not only about actions and how we have these really intense performative scope that I hope we can actually research this field sometimes in a very, very ethnographic, anthropological way. That we can actually see important things, for instance in urban dances. Sometimes different from digital, we can see relation to popular culture, too. There are many performances now inspired by Manga comics. It doesn’t have to be obviously a dance with the video, you know. These differences, that’s what I would like to see.

Sciam Special Robotics (c)

How the mind is changing in relation to digital? You connected in your work digital spheres with essential human body… All movements and motions are coming from our brain… We can ignore now the fact that digital world is making a sort of a aggression, but also it is the most ‘imaginative thing’ that happened till now in human history…MBS: Yeah! Digitality has allowed to render realities that have a real of plasticity. Our minds are the most plastic, and when we say our minds, we say our body minds. It’s interesting to see how our plasticity increased because we can imagine things. Literally, we need to investigate how humans imagine, how humans create reality. It doesn’t belong only to the realm of the digital. The digital is only one deployment of technological feedback. You know, some people say: Yeah, computers are damaging this and that… .But reading has a very specific embodiment and writing has very specific embodiment, too. You have to develop certain cognitive skills. I think we should observe human embodiment even in the church. Because people are in a very intensive environment that create very immerse experience with sound. At the same time we can go in the cage with all these virtual feedbacks. Those things are possible also because of the design of technology and because we have bodies that we have. Sometimes is good to see this side of digitality and experiences. Because we live in this world of creations facilitated by different kinds of textuality, renderings. It’s a hyper designed world. It’s not about purity of experience.

William Forsythe: Synchronous Objects (c)

Now, let’s get back to Dance-Tech! What was the initial trigger for starting Dance-tech?MBS: I was a part of dance and technology community for eight years, and at the same time I was doing these development of interactive platforms for other organizations. I kind of said: Well, this is what we need! The interesting thing is that people, so many network based artists are distributing their art in the world. I thought that it would be great to have an internet based platform that will allow you to do a synchronize collaboration. You know, to post and publish. So, I proposed this to the network of dance and technology related community; and we started a discussion. We talked about that are we ready, and so. And then I thought: OK, let’s just do it!In 2007 we launched a community and social network. It has a quite specific interest, you know, dance and technology. But it is far from this ‘dance&tech’ only community. It’s an independent project, self funded and I have to say that this development was wonderful to look at, increasing members and activities. That was really needed. But then I started to include also visual artists and VJ’s. I have an idea of interviewing people, because I live in the most useful place, in New York. Now it’s a great platform and our members are increasing every day. It’s great to see so many people gathered around dance and technology.Marlon, thanks a lot!(Originally published on Personal Cyber Botanica:
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In the history of dance only few dancers and choreographers were considered as sort of tech related investigators…With the expansion of new media art, the wider use of Internet, user friendly applications, multi-functionality of modern age, and the whole DIY scene that has grown up so fast; dancers and choreographers realized that technology could be a new challenging platform for them.

Therefore, they decided to invite programmers in the process of creation, and then theoreticians also came into the field, followed by curators, too. Now, we can seriously talk about an emerging community of new media oriented performers.Free online tools enabled the possibility, literary, for every user to become the master of its own channel. You don’t need expensive equipment to become, for example, a podcaster…Something along this line recognized Marlon Barrios Solano, the founder of very, very vibrant social network, Dance-Tech. Marlon is former dancer and an inter-media artist, instructor of interactive technology for performance and an interaction designer.Dance-Tech was created on the social networking service Ning, in my opinion, still one of the best tools offered on the web market. The potential of this service was recognized by the wider public and professionals, who created several art communities which became relevant places for specialized and targeted users.Officially the network presents itself as ‘an international community of artists, scientists and theorists working in the confluence of embodied performance and new media.’

William Forsythe: Synchronous Objects (c)

Marlon Barrios Solano’s biography is fulfilled with collaborative artists, such as: Susan Marshal, Lynn Shapiro, Bill Young, Merian Soto, Dean Moos, Philip Glass, Eric Friedlander, John Zorn…At the moment he works as an instructor of interactive technology for performance, consultant on cognitive and new media architectures. Marlon holds MA in Dance and Technology (Ohio University), and regularly gives lectures and workshops internationally.He was also the main suspect for an amazing thing that happened recently in dance spheres, and that was promotion of William Forsythe’s data visualization project Synchronous Objects (I will blog about it soon, promise!). Marlon is now at residency programme in Gilles Jobin’s dance nest in Switzerland.The network is a great example what you can do with personal engagement, vibrant ideas and you can see how important is to understand the rules of social networking on the web these days. Since very recent I’ve became an associate blogger for this amazing community of artists and researchers…

Photo: Chunky Move (c)

Therefore, he’s here today for a talk on dance… technology… new media art… scientific behavioral approaches to body and movements…Hi Marlon! What do you think how dance scene started to change in the context of technology. What are your thoughts on what was driving these changes?MBS: Well, I will tell you what my approach is. Someone asked me a week ago: Marlon, do you think you should change the name of Dance-tech as such, you know, dance and technology world is disappearing as such, right? I’m aware of a lot of changes that are happening in the field and in itself.I have a very grow understanding of the relationship of the embody practices with social technological environment meaning from science to technology. In that way, a part of the agenda of the project is trying to see, put forward or to figure these sometimes very obvious connections between dance approaches and practices with technologies of the time.And not only the technologies of the time; but also philosophical, epistemological and scientific world use that exist parallel in the spectrum in certain time.Where would you place new media in this relation with bodily aspects?MBS: With all this I said, I’ve tried to set and connect training practices, especially, how we understand the process, creative process. How we understand time and relationship with proposition and design. It has been always related with technological proportions…In that way, I think that dance and technology have always been related to digital technology. I believe that in most of the embody practices that we call dance, there is a substrata, there is normally this relation to technology of the time. I think it’s very important to be aware that dance and new media are, most recent, in interrelation that are trying to understand the relationship of bodies with technologies of the time. In this case we are using new media. But, perhaps the principles are the same; you know what I mean, because our body has been evolved with the practices. So, I think that it’s important to see what is a cognitive connection that we have – us, human creatures. And how it has allowed us to be, kind of, related with the tool making and technique making.So, Techne is for me the most important. Techne is a skill, you know, it translates the skills instead the tool. That is something really interesting for me. You know, I came from the tradition and I place myself in the tradition also: dance, influenced by productive movement, deconstruction on what movement is, what dance is.

I the context of dance history, how it started and who was first? I don’t think in a sense of pure understanding of data, the way we perceive information today?MBS: I can say that there is a very direct connection with the notions of information and understanding of rule system, practically is more procedural than the process that determines the steps and so. There is at the moment present very interesting relationship that I would say, contrary to what most people think, that dancers and mostly dancers in the last forty years are being very related with technological discourses. You know, first it came from Merce Cunningham, and then continued with Trisha Brown… ‘Creating accumulations’ – it’s practically a piece that is an algorithm. There is a relationship, because we use bodies that we have with technology.How these changes have affected our experience of dance on one side, and technology on the other side?MBS: I don’t thing there is something as pure dance, it doesn’t exist. Dance is a cognitive phenomenon that evolved within an environment that is designed for it to happen, doesn’t matter where: a church, dance studio or a parade. You know, spontaneous dancing, whatever… it’s always situated, it’s always contextualized. I think that the most important aspect is that we have understood that we live in the world of conflicts. And these conflicts can be sometimes with pretty direct feedbacks. And these feedbacks, you know, like you know that you live in a loop of constant conflict of feedback of images, feedback of sound.

It’s a sort of body mapping… movements mapping…MBS: Yes! For example, when you play a drum? You would have this person making music. When you take a drum out, you can see the movements, you can see that there is a dance, right? With a drum you really see this very direct impact of the body with the surface and this creates the sound. So, there is a very direct consequence of physical action. With digital technology we have been able to create different ways of mapping physical actions and that mapping is sometimes not liberated. But then, this mapping has liberated these direct ‘one to one’ consequences of certain kind of physical action. Meaning, if you have a computer that can simulate certain outputs like colour, bodies, or, let’s say, certain kind of practice, or even a sound of certain intensities.The opposite to the physical action and the intensity of the response is not ‘one to one’. It might be another possibility, if you leave a strength or a heat, it can have a very direct consequence, but that’s another issue of physical logic. The intensity of non movement not necessarily have to be hard in the intensity of the colour, you know, that relates to the data. That possibility of separating how we perceive action and reaction, or a consequence of an action, the relationship of a natural with another output is what has made technology really interesting. So, than you can have a lot of possibilities of plasticity of different kinds of mapping and visualizations, renderings combined with sound.

Photo: AP Photo Japan (c) taken from NG

How would you relate this to the development that is happening in robotics, Artificial Intelligence…MBS: I think that one of the most interesting thing that is happening now is in robotics. There is a certain kind of lineage of robotics science, and mostly certain lineage of the Artificial Intelligence that is not so ’social architecture oriented’, but is investigating intelligence of the biological systems. So, it creates totally different parallels of understanding the intelligence. I think that ‘digital’ is in a recursive loop to influence dance practices.I would say for so many instances, what we call new media or technology, that if we have to think about it – the actual manifestation of behavioural media, which is dance in a way, is there in robotics too. Or, I would say, like I called ‘Dance-Tech – interdisciplinary explorations on the performance in motion’, it would be really interesting to understand the phenomena of motion.In dance we can think, you know, that there is a motion; then a motion picture – there is motion in the media, there is motion in robotic device… At the same time we have to understand a lot ourselves, to understand how we perceive motion. We have agencies for a certain kinds of motion. I think that digital technology is allowing a lot of really interesting simulations, really interesting feedbacks.Dance scene is now using gadgets for playing in order to express themselves…MBS: The one that made practically big WOW in the nineties was the gestural console media. Let’s say, someone or a performer were able to perform a certain kind of movement and immediately were able to map certain consequences or certain repercussions, or reactions of the media. So, that is right now practically given, we have kids playing, there are a lot of video games with video tracking, etc. Yeah, I think that is very interesting what artists are doing itself or as result of interesting collaborations. But at the same time these extremely forces are emerging jobs because technologies are available to practically everybody.…and it’s free!MB: Yeah, that is also very important factor, affordability of technology right now. They are creating autonomies of landscape. Affordability and accessibility of modern tools and then open source.Something that you were able to do with maps in eight years ago now you have more approachable tools and software that can literally get to the community and accessing it, or make a processing simpler. Also development of Macintosh computers, I mean at the beginning they were expensive, they still are. But it created a completely new landscape for experimentators that were reserved only for certain formal institutions.That’s how dance technologies started, from the field of universities. Because universities were getting these big grants and they were the only one able to have these labs. ‘Motion capture’ is something that is still developing within this complex. You know, motion capture still belong to the ground of formalized researchers and organizations that have resources. Video tracking and the use of movement tracking or multi-tracking recognition are much more available and affordable technologies.

IMCT Projects, The Dance Technology Project (1999)

But the comprehension of new media art also helped a bit to this situation…MBS: So, there are all these factors, you know, I think that media art is now much more understood, it’s a well understanding form, I think. Now is practically a common place to have a video in many performances, so no one is thinking that it’s such odd thing to have a virtual character or so. You know, even interactivity as such has lost interest for some people. But, there are people who are doing interesting researches in the field.So, it’s a different landscape now, and there is a lot of choreographers not being specific on the dance floor which are doing technological experiments and they are calling themselves in terms of ‘dance and technology’. They are just inspired by these kind of technologies and tools. And that is very interesting thing, because it’s mostly self-reflective. For years technologies were divided, and now they are existing and co-relating parallel. Now, we can say easily: Yeah, we can do that!Read the second part: Interview with Marlon Barrios Solano: On Dance-Tech and dance embodiment, part ll(Originally published on Personal Cyber Botanica:
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Workshop Dance and New Media in Oslo/Norway

Workshop Dance and New Media‘Performance on the Edges: Physical / Digitial Media Environments’ke∂ja: dance encounters, involving a number of invited artists and art students from performing and media/design disciplines. The workshop aims at developing and experiencing contemporary methods of collaboration on composition and choreography with multi-media methods of mise-en-scène.The workshop will demonstrate composition-processes and design/directing for digital performance combining various techniques and concepts of visual, scored or improvisational interactive performance, the use of camera and digital projections, movement, sound, and design with real-time processing synthesis. The participants explore “physical camera” techniques and the use of projection and lighting in performance using live and prerecorded manipulated images and interactive programming.Birringer will share his experience and knowledge of working in different cultural andcollaborative professional settings as well as research contexts. The workshop includes examples and references to international stage works, choreographic systems, installations and site-specific performances.Johannes Birringer is a choreographer and media artist. As artistic director of the Houstonbased Alien Nation Co. (, he has created numerous dance-theatre works, video installations and digital projects in collaboration with artists in Europe, the Americas, and China. His most recent production, the digital oratorio “Corpo, Carne e Espírito”, premiered in Brasil in 2008. He is founder of Interaktionslabor Göttelborn in Germany ( and director of DAP-Lab at Brunel University, West London, where he is a Professor of Performance Technologies in the School of Arts. His new book, “Performance, Technology and Science”, was released by PAJ Publications in 2008.Dates: 5 - 9 OctoberPlace: Atelier Nord and ScenehusetHosted by: Danseinformasjonen in collaboration with Atelier NordTime: 14 - 22, included dinner breakSkill Requirements: Performance experience and intermediary/advanced skills in performing with audio visual technologies and/or programming.This workshop is offered specifically for those already are working with technology, but wishing to improve their skills and get new perspectives. Submit CV or portfolio to office@ateliernord.noDeadline: 1st September.The lab is free, and a warm meal is included every day.It is recommended that each participant bring rehearsal clothes and their own laptop and other electronic tools (camera, recorder, music instruments, etc) if available
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Wand 5 invites you to submit your entry for the competition of the 23rd Stuttgarter Filmwinter in the categories Film/Video, New Media or Installation.Requirements:FILM & VIDEOContributions to the film/video competition must include a preview DVD or VHS tape (PAL or NTSC). Films and videos submitted to the »International Short Film Competition« can't be longer than 30 minutes.Submitted films and videos being longer than 30 minutes may run in a special programme outside the competition.MEDIA IN SPACE (INSTALLATION), PERFORMANCES, WORKSHOPSPlease enclose detailed plans, information, technical specifications and a calculation.There is no fee for works selected for the competition programme.ON-/OFFLINEOn-and Offline works on software, net-art and virtual communities may be submitted for this section. Online work can also be submitted via www.filmwinter. de.Prizes:TEAM-WORK-AWARD RITTER SPORT endows an award amounting 2.000 Euro for a film and video production realized by a team.NORMAN 2010 Award of the jury for film and video of 4.000 EuroAWARD FOR MEDIA IN SPACE Award for Media in Space (installations)AWARD FOR ON-/OFFLINE This award goes to an independently produced work in the field of software, net art or virtual communities.WAND 5 AWARD Our legendary Wand 5 team special price award!AUDIENCE AWARDS The prizes for the best short film and the best media-installation in the international competition will be awarded by the audience.We kindly ask you to send us a printed and filled copy of the application form along with the preview material of your work. Application shall be mailed to our address.Application formDeadline: 01/09/09Contact:Wand 5 e.V.Friedrichstr. 23 A70174 StuttgartGermanyPhone: 0049-711-99 33 98 0Fax: 0049-711-99 33 98 10E-mail:
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I just wrote post on my Great Dance blog:"A New Internet and Social Media Strategy for Dance Companies."I look forward to thoughts and feedback. And I'd also like to know if there are dancers and dance companies who are more or less pursuing the strategy that I describe in my post.Thanks!Doug FoxGreat Dance
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Kids, New Media and Dance

I wrote a post this morning about a wonderful hip hop dance festival I saw last night at PS 165 in Flushing, Queens.The program was organized and directed by dance teacher Kathleen Isaac. It was a blast to see the energy and creativity of the children, mostly 3rd - 5th graders.I'm especially interested to hear about dancers and dance teachers who work with kids and also incorporate new media and technology into their projects - Thanks!Here's my post: "Hip Hop Dance Festival at PS 165 in Flushing, Queens."Also read Sabine Klaus' post on dance-tech: "Children & Dance."Best,Doug FoxGreat Dance
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