RE: de-corporalize me

Victoria Watts (
Thu, 5 Aug 1999 18:21:20 -0400

>On 5 Aug 99, at 11:42, JL & LH wrote:
>> I find it difficult to call the images "dancers" as I have spent my life
>> associating the term "dancers" to live bodies in motion.
>> So what might be an alternative term?

We are mired deep in an obsession with nomenclature at the moment, which is
all well and good as we seek to understand what exactly it is - this dance
and technology beast - why it means, how it means and how it changes all
the notions, historical and current, that we hold about dance, performance,
art, whatever...

Nonetheless, and this will undoubtedly read as a totally trite
interjection, I would still like to approach this on a case by case basis.
I don't think we are at a stage yet where we can confidently construct a
meta-terminology for works in this field, even if that were a desirous end.

As an example I would like to cite my own experience in describing and
discussing BIPED. With various friends and colleagues I tried out
different terms for the images on the scrim. Among others I tried digital
dancers, of the computer generated images, virtual dancers (I never liked
that one), but have settled for graphical dancers. I find this most
appropriate in this instance because it conveys in my mind that these
images were based on human movement, that they were not in fact 'real
people', that they were in some sense 'drawn', somehow painterly rather
than pristine 3D computer images.

I may never find it appropriate to describe movement objects in a dance
this way again. And frankly, for the moment, I think that's OK.