Re: telematicinterprovisation

Scott deLahunta (
Sun, 06 Apr 1997 09:30:05 +0200

I have just returned from a few days in the tank of work to find a lot of
email from the dance-tech list to go through and try to make sense of, too
much... so here's a few brief, practically random comments/responses:

>Telamtic space is an approximation. A sensing, yes, a hallucination, if I
>understand Scott's remarks on Paul Sermon correctly. How do we choreograph
>hallucination, and what are we searching for?

I have no idea how to translate the impact of immediate experience into
choreography for an audience of watchers. Paul's installations are not
choregraphy in this sense, but are set up to be one-to-one intimate
experiences of 'hallucination'. There is no way to put this on the stage in
a meaningful manner... in choreography. In this sense the extension of our
sensorium into telematic space (vis a vis the Dennett pencil story) is a
waste of time. What would be the effect for someone watching me drag my
pencil across a rough surface? Now, I can play my own Devil's Advocate and
site the performance work of those who do 'appear' to make direct experience
readable (i.e. Deborah Hay and Eva Schmale). There is no doubt in my mind
that their attention to immediate experience is readable... and that this
experience forms a strong basis for the structure of their work. The fact
that I don't know how to do it, well, just goes to show...

>"other" (Latin America or third world notion) or other-cultural was here
>twisted around (Scott, it's the wall, the room of the other side).

The 'room on the other side of the wall' is an excellent metaphor for a
range of ideas like this one. Telematic space also brings up more social
questions -- how do we deal with these other bodies when our physical selves
are not in close proximity. What about physical intimidation and
repercussions? What might we be capable of doing, in the sense of that old
western psych experiment where they put people in isolated rooms, one was
given a dial connected to a wire running out of the room and told they were
to administer an electric shock to the people in the other room. They did it.

Well, there has been piles and piles of stuff written on this sort of thing
in relationship to the internet, IRCchat, Moos, etc. What is intriguing is
the possibility that eventually new models for social interaction and
responsibility will arise from the new technology. If these are not sited in
the body, is it possible they will be based less in fear and more in some
other, to be defined, relationship? What role do artists have in this
development? What would some of Augusto Boal's workshops look like in
telematic space?

I'm afraid that's all the responses I can muster at the moment to the thread.

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