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International Live-media FloorCall for participantsdeadline 19 SeptemberThe call for participation is now open for the International Live-Media Floor of Netmage 10 a festival aimed to explore media innovation within the context of electronic arts that will take place in Bologna from the 28th to the 30th January 2010.The Live-Media Floor is the main section of the Netmage festival program, an international platform to confront practices of generating and/or mixing images and sound of every type and format. A window on cinematic and inter-media aesthetics that change form year by year.Participation is open to projects that employ electronic, electroacoustic, analogue and cinematic means to produce visuals and sound.The projects selected will be performed in a single event space, single or multi-screen, for a duration of about 20 minutes each.All material must be sent to:Netmage, Via Cà Selvatica 4/d,40123 Bologna, Italytel (++39) 051 331099bando@netmage.itwww.netmage.itTo be received before 19 September 2009.Download Entry Form
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Prague (Ivor Diosi) participated in the trial bridge effort between Dresden and Madrid using this minimalist setup on my table, with my faithful oprec-testing doll:

image 1: actuality 2009-04-25Here's a slightly zoomed picture of the cameras I had at my disposal. To the left is a Creative Optia AF, a very solid webcam in its category. To the right is the camera module from TrackIR 4 Pro, which is in essence an infrared USB webcam. Unfortunately, the directshow filter from the manufacturer's website, which I figured would make its image accessible from Kalypso, and had to be installed on top of its driver, was crashing my workstation. I decided to stuck with the Optia and move on.

image 2: cameras 2009-04-25This is the screenshot of Kalypso settings, using a patch which I shamelessly modified from Frieder's original design for the day. You can notice the ambition to include an iPhone in the mix.

image 3: kalypsopatch 2009-04-25I had had arranged for some port forwarding the day before with our kind netadmin, ports 7000-7010 were being forwarded to my workstation, so I was hoping for clear reception. Kalypso and oscclient installed/run without any hitches. Upon closer look with OSC Monitor, I can confirm I was receiving contourDresden and contourMadrid messages. The later until late at night, and its preview is what's shown on the first two shots above. Also, for the record, I did recognize the movement pattern early on :-)
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At April 21, 2009 @ DOX – Centre for Contemporary Art Prague, a discussion about networked artistic practices took place.Participants:Thomas Dumke (DE), Georg Hajdu (DE), Johan Melin (SE), Klaus Nicolai(DE), Marlon Barrios Solano (VE/USA), Andrea Szigetvári (HU), Frieder Weiß (DE)This discussion was an introduction of the state-of-the-art of experimental practices in the field of networked and/or distributed creativity. Concepts and people behind two leading European initiatives called ETP (European Tele-Plateaus) and CO-ME-DI-A (Cooperation and Mediation in Digital Art), were on the main focus. How do artists think about networks and how do they make use of high-speed Internet in order to collaboratively create one single installation or performance with its co-creators being in different locations?

Marlon Solano Barrios, Johan Melin, Frieder Weiß, Klaus Nicolai, Thomas Dumke, Gregor Hajdu (f.l.t.r.)

Frieder Weiß, Klaus Nicolai, Thomas Dumke, Gregor Hajdu (f.l.t.r.)
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FIRST INTENSIVE WORKSHOPIMPRODANCE (DANCE IMPROVISATION): The improvisation as action intution.For studens of dance, theatre or anybody interested in it. Beginners welcomed.The improvisation as a language itself, as a tool, and as scenic building is neither new nor only for dance. From differents artistic areas such as the sixties and seventees "Hapenings" and jam sessions, the pleasure of this experences continue gathering us like the old rituals. "Improdance" wants to built a place of vertiginaus training in the scenic presence, the organic laws of improvisation and the use of them.SECOND INTENSIVE WORKSHOPSCENIC COMPOSITION: THE PERFORMER S DRAMATICS.For studens, directors, choreographers, actors and dancers with experience who are working on this or wish to begin this kind of work.The dynamic of work is based on the principles of the Theatre Anthropology.Based on the performer creator-generator of its own dramaturgic, and intensive process of training on basis of the corporal dramaturgic, the construction of scenic score, organization and selection of the chosen materials.It is esential for the attendants to come to the workshop with a text learnt by heart. It can be a short story, part of a novel, a secene, or a monologue.The wishes and ideas abaut the setting of the text that the attendants bring will be the base of the work.THIRD INTENSIVE WORKSHOPPHYSICAL AND VOCAL TRAINING: "ORGANICITY , ADAPTION AND LISTENING IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE ACTION.For dancers, actors, and musicians with or whithout experience on this kind of training.A high physical resistance will be required on this intense work.We propose an intensive investigation based on different kind of technics ( contact improvisation, Eutony, realese, body awarness and Anthropological training)The aim is to stimulate and find new ways in the construction of physical and vocal scores from the organic centres (uterus, solar plexus, eyes, spine, feet, diaphagm, resonators) and the poetical centres (images).The proposal is to become aware and develop a high energy quality and deep awarness of the physical dynamic, laws of the functional anatomy and movement, emplhasising the phisical action and the way the actor does it. (quantity and quality of energy required)FOURTH INTENSIVE WORKSHOPDYNAMIC TRAINING. POSTURE. AXIS. SUPPORT. SPINEFor everybody. Beginners are welcomed.Beginning with a deep corporal awarness, through elements of Functional Anatomy, Contact Improvisation and Eutony. We propose a dynamic travel through the Evolutive Movement main principles.The main aim will be to recognize and modify postural habits with motor, sensory exercises, with different levels of difficulty.The routines of training on wich "Vacía de Espacio", (owr company), bases its work will be transmitted. These routines have been created after watching bad habits most performers (dancers, actors, etc) have adquired. A good posture and a complete awarness and control of it are the foundation in the training and for everybody s health.More information :
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What is HelloWorld!The project aims to foster the dialog between new technologies and performing arts, considering that in our city is more common to find works based in installations, contemporary art or interactive and non performative works. We will try to explore stage possibilities of new technologies by creating a small format project production platform for contemporary theater. And therefore, to explore different disciplines such as moving artes, object theater, children theater, etc.These workshops will try to create a work and project production platform within the framework of Medialab Prado and HelloWorld!Projects will be selected through an open call to be collaboratively developed. One of the most important requirements of the proposals is to join new technologies and stage work: contemporary performance, moving arts, narrative, visual, openframeworks, Pure data, processing, OpenGl, augmented reality, metaverse, electronics, robotics, videogames, interaction, etc. The call is aimed at performing arts creators, performres, choreographers, visual and object theater artists, etc, and encourages the reflection about stage space, public space and narrative forms that arise through the interaction of both disciplines.25.06.2009 / 19hsplace: Medialab Prado · Plaza de las Letras, C/ Alameda, 15 Madrid
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ETP Phase 1 :: Workshop in Prague

In the framework of enter4 – the 4th International Art | Science | Technology Festival in Prague (18th – 25th April 2009) the first workshop of ETP-project took place.So, the aim of Prague-workshop was to get an introduction from the beginning of using the motion sensing system Kalypso. The networked environment »body-spaces_09explorations« was the basis for the workshop – mainly carried out by the TMA.Proposed artistic production, testing, presentation and sustainable application of unique transnational audiovisual interaction sites are based ona) interactive sites open to the public, equipped with camera-motion sensing systems EyeCon and Kalypso (author: Frieder Weiß) and technologies for the control, generation and reproduction of audiovisual processes;b) their transnational networking on the basis of the network technology OpenSound Control (OSC) andc) an original European co-production of audiovisual virtual environments that »generate« themselves via physical actions of the visitors or performers to transnational European hyper-sites of intercultural encounter.


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3rd World Congress on Dance Researchand 18th General Assembly of the CIDMalaga, Spain, 15-19 July 2009You are cordially invited to attend the largest gathering of dance specialists world-wide, the best opportunity to showcase one's work to a wide audience of practitioners, dance teachers, choreographers, researchers, journalists, organizers and suppliers.Over 500 conferees from 50 countries of the 5 continents are attended this year.The 9-hours-a-day program in parallel rooms includes:- Research reports (papers) are presented and discussed among peers- Lectures on original subjects resulting from long experience- Classes, where teachers give a short demonstration of their method- Performances by dance companies, duos or solos- Video projections presenting choreographies or full performances- Exhibitions and sale of books, records, pictures, costumes, accessories etc.- Evenings where members can discuss in a relaxed setting or dance to local music.- Visits to places of special interest, such as dance schools, museums, sites etc.All forms of dance are represented. Strictly non-profit.Not to be confused with festivals, workshops, competitions, forums or open conferences.The congress is organized by the Delegation of Spain and the Malaga Section of CID, in collaboration with the International Dance Council CID. Venue is the Gran Teatro Cervantes in the city center.Intended primarily for professionals, it is a trade fair and a participatory event, facilitating contacts with colleagues and informal discussions.Submitting a presentation (research report, lecture-demonstration, class, performance, exhibition, projection) is optional. For each presentation a text must be sent before 30 May 2009.Absentee presenters can register also; their presentations will be included in the program and in the proceedings. The proceedings DVD circulates worldwide in many thousands of copies; it is sent free of charge upon registration, together with other gifts.To apply for a visa to consulates and/or financial assistance, registered participants receive an official certificate. Please make arrangements as early as possible.Congress
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In this interview, the engineer in the arts and software developer Frieder Weiss, takes us across his experience in several collaborative projects: from his pioneering explorations as a part of Palindrome Intermedia Group to the impressive and awarded Mortal Engine in collaboration with the australian choreographer Gideon Obarzanek, Director of Chunky Move. This intervierview took place in Prague within the frame of the first session of the ETP European Tele-Plateaus.
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Curso Internacional de Artes Performativas

Curso Internacional de Artes Performativasde 27 Julho a 14 AgostoUm lugar de encontro, aprendizagem e partilha, focalizado na experiência dos processos criativos, na área da dança contemporânea e de outras artes performativas.fcVERÃO é uma parceria Forum Dança e c.e.m - centro em movimento.Workshops com: Lúcia Lemos, Amélia Bentes, Miguel Loureiro, Bruno Listopad, Sofia Neuparth, Ainhoa Vidal, K.J.Holmes, Tiago Guedes, Peter Michael Dietz e João Fiadeiro.+infoInscrições e mais informações:Forum DançaRua Rodrigues Faria 103 Lx Factory1300-501 LisboaT. (+351) 21 342 8985forumdanca@forumdanca.ptwww.forumdanca.ptcem-centro em movimentoRua dos Fanqueiros 150 1º1100-232 LisboaT. (+351) 21 887 19
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Hello all, I will be in Madrid for the European Tele-Plateaus 2nd session from the 26th to the 28th of June. Is also very cool that I will be able to attend to some events of the Im-presentable 09 (Un-presentable un-showable) cool name! Find out more about this interesting festival, their activities for the next days and its peculiar approach.
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Grading Matters

Currently the Edinburgh International Film Festival, short EIFF, is running and bringing together a fantastic selection of films as well as very interesting people from the moving image industry.Last Thursday the restored version of The Red Shoes was shown at the Filmhouse, unfortunately I could not make it. However when it screened 2/3 years ago in the cinema at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon, I remember very well that I took a day of work to see it on the Big Screen and it was amazing! Moira Shearer's aura, movement and pace as well as the ones of the film just draw you in.Last night spoke to Craig McCall from Mofilms and he had seen the restored verison of The Red Shoes on Thursday. We discussed the physical empathy this film creates within the audience as well as the great dancing personalities of Shearer and Leonide Massine. McCall added that the new colour grading gives the film a whole new depth and emotional emphasis and should not be underestimated. Personally, I mainly focus on the look of the movements and the composition of the frame but I will now keep a keener eye on colours, too and I cannot wait to see the 'new' version of The Red Shoes!for more information about digital restoration on The Red Shoes, see page 18 inRoughcuts June - August 2009Enjoy!Sabine Klaus Creation Editor
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The 2009 conference of SDHS (Society of Dance History Scholars) Topographies, Site, Bodies, Technologies was held at Stanford University, California, USA this year.I presented two papers: The first was an individual paper presentation delivered from my Second Life Wellington Railway Station - In the Company of Strangers - Negotiating the parameters of Indeterminacy; a study of the Roaming Body and Departure in Urban Spaces.The second paper was entitled: The Human Analogue in Mixed-Reality. This paper was delivered at a Weltec location on the island of Koru - the sphere.I include both papers here , just as I delivered them, together with a post-presentation critique.Paper 1: Individual Paper PresentationVideo1 : Departed - Movement 1 - In the Company of StrangersWelcome to the SDHS audience at Stanford University in California and welcome to the audience at this Second Life Wellington Railway Station. Thank you all for coming to this presentation. The full abstract for my Masters project is available on my website and from the bilboards here, at the station.The title of this Paper Abstract is: In the Company of Strangers - Negotiating the parameters of Indeterminacy; a study of the Roaming Body and Departure in Urban SpacesAbstract:This paper scrutinizes Indeterminacy as a mediating force impinging upon our behaviour and its subsequent impact on the nature and constituency of engagements and dialogue between people in selected urban spaces. Concepts centering on the dynamics of departure, temporality and embodiment are being investigated in both Real Life and the Multi User Virtual Environment, Second Life.In my research/practice, which underpins the concepts in this paper, interventionist dance strategies are being used to prompt and interrogate the constituents of encounters and departures in designated public places. Experimental movement frameworks employed are informed by the discipline of Contact Improvisation Dance and Authentic Movement. The working process is being documented using a range of video narrative.Massumi, B. (2002). Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation Duke University Press, Durham & London, (p.5).Def: 'The Roaming Body' - the body as entity which can never be fully committed to a set position or location in space and time (Mike Baker Feb 09)-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Certain forces are examined here, which give rise to a description of the human body witnessed in the context of contemporary, urban environments, as a roaming entity. This particular description of the body defines as a reality for us as humans a compelling, involuntary movement away from people and places with which we come into contact. Our roaming I maintain, is responsible in our behaviours for pre-emptive departure and the involuntary pursuit of the next moment - an inexorable, unfolding momentum into the omnipresent future, now past. I am reminded of a sign on the wall of a dance studio in Melbourne, Australia in 2008 during a Contact Improvisation Dance performance of, 'Excavate: A two-man dig' by David Corbet and Jacob Lehrer which stated enigmatically, 'The missing are here, the gone and the taken are with us’. Within the context of my work this becomes reversible and suggests the presence of the aforementioned pre-emptive state of departure; 'Those still here have left, the present and the given have departed and are no longer with us'. This notion is supported in Brian Massumi`s exploration of the ‘‘indeterminacy’ of the body – the realities facing the body which are incomplete without the recognition of another, constantly simultaneously-generated virtual description of ‘now’.’ Massumi posits that ‘this body’ is here, but also, ‘this presence and essentially when in motion, they are no longer with us, here, but ‘over there’, now ...'As vitally as food, a life feeds upon such insubstantial yet potent ephemera as habits, memories and tropisms - movement in response to a stimulus. Could it be that an unconscious skillset of which we are largely unaware, exercised through the event of departure is one of those stimuli? Our leaving. Perhaps today, as never before, is this unconscious predilection to locate ourselves in the onward surge of movement away from that previous moment, so relevant to our search for both, our collective and individual sense of belonging ... as if we had a choice and were not swept on, regardless ...Our sense of identity is founded in our ability to belong, to adhere to those places and people in our world which bring a sense of worth into our lives - social interactions; the indicators of our allegiance to particular communities or groups through shared beliefs, values or practices. Yet ultimately, we reside within and our personal cartographies are traversed and reconciled alone. Perhaps never before has the issue of belonging been so under siege in relation to that perception of our Self as a lost locus, a place from which once having made forays in the wider pursuit of a sense-of-place, among people and spaces of meaning with our autonomy intact, we sometimes cannot find our way back. Despite the frequent dislocation of our time in spaces, has the apparently successful pursuit of our personal freedoms; our ability to navigate inter-personal terrain with fluency and authority, our sense of autonomy in selfhood, robbed us of that cherished sense of belonging to ourSelf and is there still a more subtle, insidious force acting upon us? A climate of indeterminacy - that uneasy beat of dark wings, has always dominated the terrain which we, as humans have had to negotiate, evident in the ways in which our choices are made, in our actions which appear to prevail, in our relations with others, in the spaces we displace and in the times which we traverse. Despite possible desires to stay put, in life the notion of our leaving is central to our existence.In my research practice I am positing a new Urban Myth. My contention is that all our exchanges, whether they be either apparently resolved engagements, casual encounters or by-passed conversations with people and places, are governed by the agency of departure, evident in these exchanges through the presence of indeterminacy. That is departure experienced by all. Leaving as a phenomenon. The act of leaving as it unfolds together with arrival, is an indeterminant, yet these are uneasy twins in one another`s company and in their location of binary status, both departure and arrival can be defined as events which are central to that process we call change. For us, as time-based creatures, movement away ensures that there are constantly present, small, overlooked dramas with their attendant poignancies expressed within the simplest, most mundane, everyday dynamics between people and places. One could say that the surface or ‘stage’ for my work that you see here, together with the two descriptions of Wellington Railway Station at rush-hour, is also the moving body itself; my own and that of my partner - the body as a roaming transformative surface or screen - the human as Analogue. This body identity travels and transits in place and time from one description of the Real to another. 'Place' can be defined here, as simply a point of temporary purchase within change. When I teach CI Dance I interpret or voice this state as 'looking for ledges' - places of momentary pause, stillness or balance - a traveller in temporary residence locating on or against his or her partner for a heartbeat or two.In my movement enquiry, I am concerned with the investigation of what I will call the spaces 'between recognized content’ in our lived experience. I am interested how indeterminacy via the Roaming/Leaving Body may influence or to a significant extent, mediate the nature of exchanges between people in urban contexts.The video playing here is an expression of an intimate, small-conversation between enabled surfaces or screens - both, Real Life dancers bodies and avatars (indeed, as simulacra I believe that they both possess avatar virtuality) perceived as surfaces upon which the human analogue can write and overwrite layers of feeling, present intent and dialogue now past. I wanted to introduce a sense of small but strong drama - a tableau of clenched feeling which we can sometimes witness in public places; a sense of passion, of despair, of pathos at our fate which is to be swept up in this constant movement away from those places and people which sustain our sense of belonging. Our conversation through movement is compressed by time - impending departure often narrows our sensibilities and where we had hours to talk, to smile, to share empathy, thoughts, hopes and aspirations, suddenly there is no time. Private, personal dialogue which largely remains invisible in public spaces becomes larger than life for us - illuminated with undisguised feeling.The work is mildly interventionist in terms of how it is inserted in the flow of commuters and how this catalyses a response – creating for the people walking past, a private tableau between two people made public, a virtual, half-witnessed-half-remembered-later moment, representative of the myriad of disjunct dialogues and discreet micro-dramas within scenes of departure which may occur in these kinds of public spaces. I am interested in suggesting to the perceptions of those people who notice us, through traces of naturally-occurring incongruity in our behaviour, the opportunity for our bodies and activity to be moving surfaces, redolent with questions, with meaning which may be just out of reach. Equally, the crowd is a moving screen upon which through my movement, I may make marks and leave traces - subtly intervene in the flood of crowd-intent with questions which for them, may outlive the journey home, to be recalled over the evening meal, or perhaps next year in a reflective moment. I am pursuing some participation on the part of the viewer without necessarily, any overt interaction. A witnessing. As witnessed and witnesser we both of us leave traces of our presence which are inscribed on the surfaces of the present at this point in this place.Video 2: Embodying Surfaces - the Human Analogue - ICSWhen we take these traces into Second Life our human analogue takes this corporeal activity and transforms the performative present into cyber configurations of now-past avatar embodiment, across real-digital interfaces. In 'Networked Performance' on, Ashley Ferro-Murray comments on Erin Manning`s assertion that: '... where technology is less a tool than an active assemblage of potential techniques that feed from and move with a becoming-body.”This is an accurate description of how I perceive, both, my Real station video work and my avatar and station build in Second Life, not so much as tools for my ideas, but an assemblage of past feeling and perception informed by my present desires and intentions. This Second Life station, this Facet of the Real becomes an apt, living record of the past traversed by our Roaming Bodies from which we may depart through the present in that pursuit of the next, future moment. Through this video-work - these multiple surfaces - runs another strand of our analogue propensity for transformative embodiment. Here, my Second Life avatar is in discussion with another, Sonja Scorbal. Together as manifestations of the Roaming Body, we comprise the projection of our surrogate selves - a vicarious embodiment which moves in space and time paradoxically with my past videoed dancing body. Our conversation is intentionally one-sided with Sonja`s comments and queries truncated by my silence and the onrush of the next moment. Even her farewell is cut short.Mark Hansen, in Bodies in Code, (2006) sees the embodiment of function manifesting through the human body, acting as a kind of seismographic wand - Hansen, (2006:p5-6). He maintains that: ‘… all reality is mixed reality’, Hansen quotes Brian Massumi who talks about the existence of the analogue as a transformative entity: Always on arrival a transformative feeling of the outside, a feeling of thought sensation is the being of the analog(sic). This is the analog(sic) in a sense close to the technical meaning, as a continuously variable impulse or momentum that can cross from one qualitatively different medium into another. Like electricity into sound waves. Or heat into pain, Or light waves into vision. Or vision into imagination. Or noise in the ear into music in the heart. Or outside coming in. Variable continuity across the qualitatively different: continuity of transformation. (Massumi, in Parables of the Virtual... 2002:p.135 in Hansen, Bodies in Code, 2006:p.5)We, as humans, are all movement practitioners and as such through our internal analogue we possess the innate capacity to map and transform continuously, the many real and virtual realities of which our existence is comprised. Hansen maintains that the reason why so many of us now operate in so-called virtual, metaverse worlds with apparent ease, is because we have always done so - we encounter without comment, a myriad of moments which we could describe as virtual every day in our 'real life' existence. The shift for us as 'analogue' where the process within us as humans which brings metaverse technologies like Second Life together with our natural perceptions, supports a function which expands the scope of our natural perception and integrates real-world and virtual realities to arrive at a more homogeonous blended-reality. I am working in Second Life because my Roaming Body has taken me there and under the auspices of my analogue potential, I can perhaps more easily explore the interplay within Real Life where Second Life becomes a facet of the Real. Here I can converse, witness and belong as analogue, while making critical commentary upon yet another field of departure.To use Massumi`s phrase, the body`s 'potential to vary' suggests an alignment which juxtaposes, yet does not necessarily subordinate the Realbody to the Cyberbody, while analogue capabilites are present in both. Massumi suggests that the body in movement means accepting the body in its occupation of space and time as a paradox: that there is an incorporeal dimension of the body itself. Of it, but not it. Indeterminate, coincident, but real and material. Something apart yet intrinsic and inseparable. Massumi calls this echo a, ‘Fellow-travelling dimension of the same reality’. I call this echo the Roaming Body. Zimmerman tells us that, 'Humans are not entities, but the clearings in which entities appear'. Here lies affirmation of analogue potential in the Roaming Body. Yet perhaps analogue and Roaming Body are one and the same? In this time-based context, it could be said that the body is present but within its indeterminacy, the time-based embodiment of ‘body’ has already moved on. In qualifying his argument, Massumi paraphrases Deleuze in saying that the problem with dominant modes of cultural and literary theory is not that they are too abstract to grasp the solidity or corporeal fabric of the real. The problem is that these modes are not abstract enough to grasp the real incorporeality of what we take to be real. Through lived states of indeterminacy and leaving, analogue potential through transformative embodiment in the Roaming Body perceptual register, re-inforces our description of the virtual incorporeality of the real that surrounds us everyday.Mike Baker 21.6.09Critique:I have for the last two months been in contact with Emily Roehl, the technician designated to liaise with me during the Stanford conference. Emily was immensely helpful and despite the fact that she had never been in SL before, she very quickly became acclimatised and put a significant amount of time into developing those skills necessary to facilitate a smooth running of Second Life projection at the conference. I am indebted to her. We had a number of meetings at which I introduced her to the basic methods of communication, movement and camera controls in-life. We also discussed a broad range of my needs which were required to be met at the conference. I think the frequency and nature of our connection in life was just right and very positive in its outcome.In preparation for the presentation in the station, I updated my abstract in the station and created four notecard dispensers from which could be taken information about my presentation for any visitors to the station/guests to the presentation. Clare Atkins (SLENZ) provided some scripted bench seats for the audience very kindly and I also attempted to prep a 'button' shortcut next to the lecture podium which controlled my videos. This eventually proved to be too unreliable and on the day I went back to bringing in the videos from YouTube in the usual manner. Grateful thanks to Todd Cochrane and Aaron Griffiths of SLENZ for their assistance with the abstract bilboards and the notecard dispensers. Also to John Waugh (SLENZ) for his write-up of my part in this event on the SLENZ blog.I had 15 minutes to read my paper followed by 20 minutes of question time. My presentation began well with visuals and sound functioning clearly, but unfortunately after 10 minutes, Second Life crashed without warning. This was a general crash which brought down 30,000 users for about an hour. This is the first time this has happened for some months which was most unfortunate and very frustrating. I immediately went to Plan B which was to use Skype to finish my presentation. I managed to complete this without further trouble and responded to some interesting questions concerning sudden, unforeseen departures, longing and memory! After my initial disappointment, I adopted a philosophical stance and saw the appropriateness of this occurring - pre-emptive departure is, after all, one of the aspects that I am investigating. Both, the SL and Stanford audiences were very supportive and fortunately everyone had seen the videos at least once before the system crash.I subsequently found out that because the previous presenters had taken longer than their 15 minutes, I had only ten minutes with less question time. I found this a highly questionable practice where the facilitators responsible should have been more vigilant. However, this is all very real practice and experience for me and not uncommon at conference events and I feel grateful that I actually had good audiences in both venues. Often at these large conference events only a few people show up due to the broad range of presentations going on at once.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Paper 2:Topographies Sites, Bodies, and Technologies - SDHS Conference June 19-22, 2009 Stanford University, San Francisco, California1) Envisioning virtual cartographies for corporeal interaction: dance and performance convergent applications of Second Life 3D Metaverse social environment. (Isabel Valverde, Mike Baker)2) Real Dance and Dancing in metaverse : from the activity by INETDANCE Japan3) The Human Analogue in Mixed-Reality by Mike BakerI would like to discuss possibilities for investigation into transformative embodiment through human analogue potential.Question 1: What do people understand about analogue capabilities and the existence of enabled or embodied surfaces or 'living screens' which become the receptacles for present and past inscriptions?Question 2: How might these reflect/transpose human desires or interpretative potential in the generation of dance work? Also please ask any questions or pursue trains of thought that you might have.Video 1 - Embodying surfaces - the Human Analogue - In the Company of StrangersThe theorist Jacques Ranciere describes 'surface' as a paratactical space - a site of exchange, where language, images and actions collide and transform one another - a place of slippage between spaces. Stephane Mallarmé has defined dance as a form of writing on the surface of the floor with the intent to transpose this mark-making to the written page - transformative embodiment across surfaces. Post-modern thinking has sought to erode the paradigm in the modernist separation of surface worlds by challenging the sturdiness of the boundaries between these surfaces. In my current Masters in dance and video project, 'In the Company of Strangers', one of the strands of my work has been to explore that the concept of spaces and their content be perceived as surfaces, which possess the potential to be enabled, inscribed or embodied.I have been investigating this concept in Real Life through structured improvisation movement modes in commuter rush-hour crowds, in Wellington Railway Station in New Zealand, Aotearoa. I have also constructed a simulacrum of this station on the NZ eduisland of Koru in the Multi User Virtual Environment of Second Life and I am bringing the videos of my Real Life dance into this Second Life railway station - at one level of perception an enabled, embodied surface meeting another, equally enabled, embodied surface. When I began this project, I began to investigate the basic premise that the 'real' is influenced by the virtual, all the time and everywhere - in Real Life; that we experience moments which could be described as 'virtual' every day which, through our human analogue properties, we either remain oblivious to, ignore, or assimilate and transform, rendering those virtual moments as real. Within this context, Second Life as a fully-immersive environment manifests as an extended 'virtual' event in which we may reside for a longer period of time; an extended layer of the Real. This means that Second Life itself, like so many aspects of Real Life, becomes another screen - not only literally, but a surface construct which may be encountered, left and re-encountered, manipulated and inscribed, ignored or selectively dismissed by our analogue facility in the pursuit of transformative embodiment.Mark Hansen, in Bodies in Code, (2006) sees the embodiment of function manifesting through the human body, acting as a kind of seismographic wand - Hansen, (p5-6). He maintains that: ‘… all reality is mixed reality’, Hansen talks about the existence of the analogue as a transformative entity: Always on arrival a transformative feeling of the outside, a feeling of thought sensation is the being of the analog(sic). This is the analog(sic) in a sense close to the technical meaning, as a continuously variable impulse or momentum that can cross from one qualitatively different medium into another. Like electricity into sound waves. Or heat into pain, Or light waves into vision. Or vision into imagination. Or noise in the ear into music in the heart. Or outside coming in. Variable continuity across the qualitatively different: continuity of transformation. (p.135)We are all movement practitioners subject to time and as such, through our internal analogue we possess the innate capacity to perceive, transform and combine continuously, the many real and virtual realities of which our existence is comprised. Hansen maintains that the reason why so many of us now operate in so-called virtual worlds with apparent ease, is because we have always done so. Davin Heckman in 'empyre_soft_skinned_space - undocumented worker', has this to say of issues relating to capturing the present: I think of the question of "presence." Whenever we enter into the problem of representing a particular event, we take the "present" and repackage for a different or deferred experience ... It's like taking a drug to have the experience of dreaming while awake, of looking at a snapshot to have the experience of being with someone who is absent, etc. ...For me, Heckman is voicing here the very transformation process to which I am referring - the analogue transformation of snapshot into remembered experience ... it is the analogue`s role to bridge that gap of difference between present and past, event and representation. My intention through my analogue being-in-change (Henri Bergson) where resides an embodied 'becoming' between worlds, is to explore how this dual identity - this 'difference' may evolve into a single, blended reality. To use Brian Massumi`s phrase, the body`s 'potential to vary' suggests an alignment which juxtaposes, yet does not necessarily subordinate the Cyberbody to the Realbody while analogue capabilites are present in both. When we take these video traces into Second Life, our Human Analogue assimilates this corporeal activity and transforms it into cyber configurations of avatar embodiment, across real-digital interfaces.With the aid of my avatar, Rollo Kohime, I have constructed screens which have evolved into a simulacra of commuter crowds flowing through the Second Life station. A crowd-screen or surface with its subjective associations. One could say that the surface or ‘stage’ for my work, rather than two descriptions of Wellington Railway Station at rush-hour, is equally accurately, the moving body itself - the body as a roaming transformative screen - the human as Analogue. This body identity travels and transits in place and time from one description of the Real to another. In my dance enquiry, I am concerned with the investigation of what I will call the spaces 'between recognized content’ in our lived experience. Within the video playing here is an expression of an intimate, small-conversation between the Real Life dancers, Mike and Fiona, these same dancers (due to their videoed separation from their original present-tense performative context) perceived as temporally-based Real Life avatars and then the Second Life avatars, Rollo and Sonja - these personna in their different descriptions perceived as surfaces, upon which can be written and overwritten layers of feeling, present and future intent, dialogue, past traces or residue. Equally, the Real Life crowd is a moving screen upon which through my movement, I may make marks - subtly intervene in the rushing flood of crowd-intent with unsettling movement and interaction, with questions which for them, may outlive the journey home, to be recalled over the evening meal, or perhaps next year in a reflective moment.In 'Maintaining the Digital Embodiment Link to Performance' (2007), Andrew Bucksbarg suggests a positive extension, redolent with possibilites inherent in metaverse environments like Second Life; 'Are networked simulated worlds much more similar to our dreams and imaginings than to the clunking improbability of a physical world? Unlike traditional media forms, do video games, simulations and other newer media perform the opposite of the suspension of disbelief? Do they encourage an extension of the imaginable? If the utopic promise of humanity is creative imagination, then it makes sense that methodologies for communication and content creation, which form a blank screen onto which this imagination can occur, are the ideal medium- the metaverse or meta design system.'Potentially, then, imagination itself becomes a screen and if we recognize a process of surface activation and embodiment through the medium or surface of imagination in Real Life, we have a meld of what once were descriptions of Real and Virtual screens existing in this Blended Reality that we inhabit, everyday. For Susanne Langer, a dancer`s body must transcend the energetic, physical body while performing - the performing body must project the illusion of 'virtual force' to fully constitute a work of art. For me this force is not virtual and it is not an illusion. I am seeking in my own work, to bring together various embodied aspects of the Real which may ultimately constitute a composite description of this force.Mike Baker 21.6.09---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Critique:I had been invited to present at this Roundtable discussion group by Isabel Valverde last year. I am grateful to Isabel to have had this opportunity but in hindsight, preparing and presenting two papers for one event is extremely challenging, particularly when one of the presentations is collaborative with people who are not in the same country/time-zone. We all suffered from poor communication, confusion in trying to arrive at consistent meeting times and then once meeting, to be able to achieve our aims when none of us had the technical skills necessary to coordinate a menu of videos, images and powerpoint presentations without outside assistance. This was most marked for me at this event, where in my individual presentation, I was able to do almost everything myself and therefore to plan my time accordingly, making my aims achievable. But this is to be expected in collaborative works. It takes enormous energy, time and patience just communicating sometimes. This was good experience for me, though - I have done a lot of collaborative work over the years but not with other artists who are so far away. This development goes with the digital territory that we are occupying, with the attendant problems and frustrations. My main issue was that the two presentations were quite different so I had to prepare two separate abstracts/objectives. I do have sufficient breadth in my body of work to be able to carry this out but it has been demanding wearing different conceptual hats - and becoming excited about both directions.As technical assistant for the event I was able to secure Emily who so efficiently facilitated for me in my individual presentation earlier in the day. In the days immediately preceding the presentation there had been problems bringing in the videos to the screen using a sensitized texture on a 'button', rather than streaming Mp4s from YouTube into the actual land location (which is what I have been doing all along). On the day this proved to be a major issue. I had arrived early to get my video playing because I was first up and this was running well. This had to stop to bring in a live broadcast from Stanford and when it came time to play again, it would not play in our Second Life location, so Emily played it straight from YouTube to the Stanford audience. I presented my paper without problems, with good sound clarity. Unfortunately, when it came to Yukihiko`s and Isabel`s presentations I had very poor network capabilities and failed to hear their delivery clearly. I filmed sections of both of these presentations using SnapzPro on my Mac and I will be sending copies to Isabel and Yukihiko. These examples are actually interesting for their mis-communication, their disfunctional activity, representing the other side of Second Life; the digital anomaly, the truncated signal, the unrezzed narrative.To sum up, There was some good content and solid commitment to making these presentations work, despite the difficulties. We all presented on the day and we were all heard by the respective audiences. The work was affected to different degrees by the unpredictability of the technologies that we were using and there was failure in our primary, followed by success in our secondary technology strategies for back-up. Once again, I am indebted to Isabel Valverde, Yukihiko Yoshida, Todd Cochrane, Emily Roehl for their roles in this endeavour. I will be trying to learn from this event to make sure as far as possible, that my next conference presentation on Friday 26th June at PSI#15 at Zagreb, Croatia, will be as smooth as possible.Mike Baker 22.6.09
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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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Jan Fabre is an example of a renaissance man… it’s hard to catch all fields of contemporary art he had influenced over the last three decades…His performers are ‘true blue’ oriented towards ideas and processes he’s creating with them. It’s a mutual interaction above all, an interaction which creates new physical, emotional and mental spaces. The idea of kinetics or techniques makes no sense in his world, because his dancers are creating new laws of movements and physical comprehension. Sometimes, it even looks like Fabre is creating a glossary for understanding how the world is essentially built up.

Photo: originally uploaded by skipling (c)

Jan Fabre introduced his latest dance piece Another Sleepy Dusty Delta Day with remarkable Croatian performer Ivana Jozic at the World Theatre Festival in Zagreb. It’s created as a solo piece which was inspired by a classic and cult song from the sixties ‘Ode to Billy Joe’ by Bobby Gentry.As Theatre Troubleyn announces it with the following wordz: ‘Ode to Billy Joe tells the tale of a suicide. A teenage girl is having dinner with her family. Her mother announces that Billy Joe jumped off a bridge to his death. While the family members dish up memories of Billy Joe, discuss day-to-day worries and pass the food, the mother happens to notice that her daughter has lost her appetite. Gradually, and against this backdrop, curiosity about the untold part of the story gets the upper hand. What did the young teenage girl and Billy Joe throw off the bridge together? Were they secretly seeing one another?

Photo: Theatre Troubleyn (c)

A swelteringly hot, dusty kind of day. A story about loving and letting go, about jumping into the endless unknown.Jan Fabre opted to write “Another Sleepy Dusty Delta Day” in the form of a letter from a man to his beloved. The outcome is a truly personal text, which emphasizes the right to dispose of one’s own life, specifically the end of one’s life. A text that bears witness to empathy and respect for live, love and death.’

Mr. Fabre kindly gave me rather comprehensive interview on Sunday, fulfilled with his thoughts on arts… ideas… processes…Your two last dance pieces ‘Requiem für eine Metamorphose’ and ‘Another Sleepy Dusty Delta Day’ are dealing very directly with the issue of death? It is a kind of a brutal but poetic voyage based on your personal artistic and life journey? Death as real and surreal fact… What have you learned from the whole process?JF: As an artist: visual artist, writer and director being busy with this work that I’m doing, being busy with the beauty is always a preparation for saying goodbye; it’s always a preparation for dying. So, it’s an ongoing process I think…. You know, the reason I create is, because probably I do not understand well the outside world. Because I’m curios to understand the outside world, I’m researching and creating, asking questions and sometimes giving to myself answers.

Photo: JP Stoop (c)

You have an organic relation with artists you collaborate with… You have explained your technique in the book. There is no question that you always try to explore the edges of human physical endurance, but never only as a technique but as a specific theatre language? How did you achieve such devotion from your performers? They are vulnerable and strong at the same time…JF: It also came out over the thirty years that I’m busy. It’s worth to read ‘Corpus’, a book with my working methods and exercises. I’ve developed a kind of guiding line for actors and dancers through different exercises. So, let’s say it’s about the experience that I know what people have to go through, to reach something… what I call biological acting. It’s a combination of classical acting and the idea of what performers have to be; and this creates a kind of biological acting. It’s a research of knowing how your body works in different ways, particularly in a biological way: to know how the blood is pumping, how the heart is pumping, how the livers are reacting, how the kidneys are reacting. Because, sometimes we think it’s emotions, but it’s only about a chemical reactions. By being aware of these chemical reactions and by being an actor or dancer we can play with it.They interfere and it’s strange that people don’t except it as something logical…JF: Yes, it’s basically logical, but many people, maybe 99% of all people are not aware of this. They are not busy with it. (laughs)Unfortunately, yeah. (laughs)JF: They think that emotions are something from the outside world. No, emotions are happening inside of you, not outside of you.

Photo: andrefromont/fernardomort (cc)

Your fascination with insects was the initial drive for many of your sculptures and choreographies. I like your idea that insects are the oldest computers on the planet. Can you please tell me what lies behind the whole story?JF: I mean, look as for example a scarab beetle and look human beings: in the 40 thousand millions of years we have developed and changed a lot; and scarab beetles almost didn’t change. So, it means that they had a kind of intelligence long before us. They were, for example, first warriors; the first chemical warriors in the world were the scarab beetles. They contain an old knowledge that we have even lost in our development. So, that’s the reason why I call them the oldest computers, the oldest memory in the world. Don’t forget we are in that sense quite vulnerable; because we live in our inner skeleton and scarab beetles live in their outer skeleton. Scarab beetles survived a lot of catastrophes on the planet that we could not survive. I think animals are the best doctors and philosophers in the world. We still have to study them well to give ourselves again progress.The idea of the metamorphosis takes a significant place in your work… either your personal metamorphosis… performers’ metamorphosis … and the audience feels like being a part of an essentially changing process…JF: I hope so! Only what you can wish as an artist is that your work triggers ones mind, ones brain and by triggering the mind and brain a person or individual spectator changes. I mean, I hope that we artist, we can cure the wounds in the minds of the spectators. At the same time I hope I can do that. The spectator is sometimes like an animal, it is like an awaking its instincts, because through civilisation sometimes insects are very under control. Yes, as artist you hope that you can change people, you are looking their behaviour, their thinking, the way they feel their body. Yes, it’s a wish of me, yes! And I think it’s also an essentially strong wish of beauty.

Photo: Iguana Jo (cc)

The architecture of space plays an important role in your installations and theatre artworkz…JF: People usually miss use the terms theatrical and theatre today. Theatrical is the point where you look things from. Theatrical can be used in installation or the way you present your sculptures, because you make public to look from an uptill distance or uptill points. Of course, in my theatre, I’m very aware about the theatrical aspects on how the public looks at things, the lines of looking and the definition of space. And of course, I do the same as visual artist, in the same way I create an exhibition. There is always a kind of mizanscene that I’m making. This is the link, but they are at the same time two different things, two different mediums.They each have their own dramaturgy and narration…JF: Yes, of course.Your carrier started in the fields of visual arts and performance art. You had a successful collaboration with Marina Abramovic at Palais de Tokyo in Paris four years ago. Abramovic is a performer also known for pushing the social boundaries … what was the initial hint for your collaboration?JF: It was her wish to work with me for a long time, it was her dream to do with me a kind of a duo performance; and it took me a couple of years to say yes, because she is a very strong artist, very good artist and I respect her. It needed time; we had met regularly in different cities: Antwerp, Amsterdam, Rome… So, it took us several years to really develop it. And it was nice because when I was a young artist I was influenced by her work, what she did in her performances. Later she came to see my stage works and she said that I influenced her. So, it was beautiful in a sense because we belong to two different generations, two different backgrounds. Different cultural backgrounds. But at the same time we made something beautiful. Because, I think we are two virgin warriors who believe in beauty. We do not believe in destruction of art. We believe in the force of art and the vulnerability of art. I think we are two artists who like warriors are trying to defend art. So, that connects us, I think. That was a topic of the performance we did.

Photo: Gerard Rancinan (c)

You find drawings and dreams essential for the process of creating…JF: Yes! I’m working on different drawing projects for years. More then 25 years I’m putting my dreams on paper, but also for more then 25 years I’m making drawings from my blood. More then fifty years I’m making drawings of my own tears. I’m making drawings from my own sperm for more then ten years. So, it’s an ongoing research in drawing and research of human body.Read the rest of the interview on Personal Cyber Botanica:
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Global Dance Contest

Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, the world's leading venue for international dance is searching for new talent to perform on stage in front of a live audience.All you need to do is choreograph, perform and film an original piece of dance and enter it into our Global Dance Contest 2009. As well as receiving a cash prize, the winner of the contest will be invited to perform live at Sadler's Wells in January 2010 at Sadler's Wells Sampled, our yearly showcase of the best in dance from around the world.What kind of dance are we looking for?Any kind - hip hop, ballet, flamenco, tap, contemporary, street dance, tango, salsa, samba or anything else that you can think of - we present it all at Sadler's Wells. You can dance on your own or in a group, it's up to you.The prize:The prize for the Global Dance Contest 2009 is an expenses paid trip to London, including transport and accommodation costs, to perform live on stage at Sadler's Wells in January 2010 at Sadler's Wells Sampled, and a cash prize of £2,000.The ContestYou have until 17 July 2009 to enter your video. Just film a dance piece between 30 seconds and 3 minutes long, put it up on YouTube and submit your entry. The contest is open to anyone over the age of 18 from anywhere in the world.
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transmediale Award 2010 & Vilém Flusser Theory Award 2010Call for Entries of EntryProcedurePlease use the online application for all entries. In order to do so the applicant must first register as a site user. More than one work may submitted by the same artist, using a separate application for each work. Fields marked * are required.The evaluation by the jury requires good documentation of submitted works. Where appropriate, an explanation should be given as to which aspects of the works the jury should consider in particular. Preview video and audio material should be made available online, either within the artist's own site or embedded within a community channel. Supporting images and documents (PDF only) may be uploaded, to a maximum of 5 MB per submission.Additional supporting material may be sent by post if essential for preview purposes (i.e. DVD, CD, mini-DV tape or publications). If so, please include a print-out of your online application confirmation. Mailing costs will be borne by the entrant. Supporting material will be returned on request only and are subject to the following conditions:- submissions from Germany must have a stamped and self-addressed envelope enclosed.- submissions from abroad must have a EUR 10 bill (cash only) enclosed.Festival ParticipationThe conditions of entry are valid for both transmediale and club transmediale and entries for both festivals participate in the transmediale Award Competition at the same time. Nominated entrants will be invited to participate in the festival. It is the intention of transmediale and club transmediale to show all nominated art works - in accord with the possibilities and limitations of the respective festivals to do so.LanguageWorks submitted must be in German or English or have subtitles in either of these languages. Works in other languages must be accompanied by a text list in German or English.Once logged in you can proceed to the APPLICATION FORM.To apply with your art work or project using the online application form, you will need the following:Personal Information incl.:- Applicant Name(s)- Contact information- Birth Date, Citizenship (for potential funding)- BiographyProject Information incl.:- System Requirements- Synopsis (max. 1500 characters, incl. spaces)- Images (as jpg, tif, gif, png or bmp - max 500 kb each)- Support Documents (as pdf)Deadline: 31/07/09Contact:transmediale.10festival for art and digital cultureKlosterstrasse 6810179 BerlinGermanyPhone: +49 (0) 30 / 24 749 761Fax: +49 (0) 30 / 24 749
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