Re: telematics

Scott deLahunta (
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 10:41:09 +0100

Great -- three interesting responses to my post... thanks lisa, terry and
imma. Thanks Bruno for informing us as to origins of that slightly
mysterious post.

As I'm primarily a choreographer and have not worked with film or video at
all in my work I appreciate Terry's comments regarding the complex nature of
frames. Fortunately, if the workshop comes off, I'll be working with
Caroline Nevejan of the Society for Old and New Media (where one of the
remote sites might be) and Lot Siebe who teaches the video for dance
workshop here at the School of the ARts. Hopefully, the dancers who
participate will have just completed this workshop.

However, telematics is something different from video/ film. I have spent a
good deal of time in virtual real-time interaction, from IRC to cuseeme
videoconference... and find my own interests drawn to the edge of the
interaction, the just before and/ or just after. Honestly, much of the time
spent 'interacting' in these environments is about making the connection and
keeping the connection, much less what might be achieved during the
connection. Being a bit of a romantic about 'the medium is the message' and
also having my choreographic roots in the just post-judson period -- these
sorts of experiences continue to form the crucial boundaries of meanings and
the generation of ideas for me...

I am aware that 4 days is an extremely limited time to for this workshop --
and do anticipate that at least initially the students will want and need to
just 'play' with the tools. I agree that the 'arrivals and departures' do
not go far enough... but I am thinking of how to approach these few days in
the most productive way possible. Given my experience as a choreographer and
teacher of composition -- with a short amount of time, the formalist
approach can be a good one in my opinion. To start with an 'idea' can mean a
good degree of discussion clarifying not only the 'idea' and its various
potential interpretations, but also the structures through which such an
idea might be expressed.

The 'arrivals / departures' seemed to be a good place to start (maybe even
only with the 'arrival'), because it seems to me this would help keep us
focussed. How are you to become 'present' in a virtual space simultaneously?
How do you emerge or appear? How is your arrival anticipated and predicted
or not and what are the various choreographic (time/space) and theatrical
(believability) ways in which this might be played out. The exploration of
this should lead us to forms or images which might then be analyzed and
interpretted for the various meanings which resonate from them. From this,
we might be able to settle on a particular theme or idea the expression of
which might become the focus of our exercise.

However, in only 4 days, I'm not anticipating getting this far -- so, in
line with the points you all have made... I think maybe we have to try and
imagine some of the ideas which might be the result of the explorations and
mention them beforehand to get their thoughts clicking. So, now I stand in
some contradication to what I have written above. While I might find 'the
medium' the 'message', I realise that this is not always enough for students
to hang on to (unless they read Walter Ong).


Scott deLahunta and Susan Rethorst
Writing Research Associates, NL
Sarphatipark 26-3, 1072 PB Amsterdam, NL
tel: +31 (0)20 662 1736
fax: +31 (0)20 470 1558