Re: hello

spookie (
Tue, 20 May 1997 09:09:37 -0800


I'm in the CS dept. here at UCLA where everything is online. Take a class
in CS or Math here all the hw old tests everything. People use usenet for
chatty converstaions or to sell scooters. computers are a part of the

In the dance/wac dept there is zero effective computing. They had a very
pathetic computer lab which closed becuase they couldn't maintain a couple
of old pc's and mac's. more administrative staff have e-mail than dance
computers are not a part of the culture.

there are people making real efforts to try and implement computing in
dance. many on this list. myself included.

programs like lifeforms are improving and useful. but it's night and day
with the kind of research that goes on in the cs dept. vs. the world of
and technology is moving very fast VLSI this year is going from .35 micron
to .18 micron - silicon based technology won't reach limits 'til it hits
quantum tunneling problems (maybe a couple three years after the new

the bottom line is that the dance world is not a player in the creation of
technology; it is using the scraps of whatever it can and adapting that to
dance. sometimes very creativity. but there are basically two problems as i
see it.

1. the dance world is having no effect on the shape of the technology,
things are being designed for the movie industry, or business, or science,
or commerical art or music but very little for dance

and so dancers have to adapt. lifeforms cannot compete with lightwave 3d,
or 3d studio, or softimage and so lifeforms has (in my opinion) taken a
smart route in adapting their software so that it is compatible (with at
least 3d studio). Essentially, a tool to make dance animations easier which
can later be imported into higher end packages.

this is not a knock on lifeforms. i could not write software to complete
with 3d studio. i don't have the resources not many do. so one must adapt
to the reality of computing. hopefully as object-based paradigms become
more prevelant, custom based dance programs will be easier to develop as
one could mix lifeforms objects with 3d studio objects with other (?)
people who develop apps (like plug-ins for photoshop) which can customize
the higher end tools for dance.

2. the major problem as i see it is culture. most "hard core" dancers here
at the university use a computer for e-mail and word processing, if that.
outside the uni. i just don't see much use of computers.

what's happening is that UCLA is graduating students that are basically
computer illiterate. a dance degree won't get u a performing dance job -
being able to dance will. a dance degree won't get u much of any other
kind of job either, most particularly if one can use a computer.

in the next five - ten years the economic and political landscape of
computing will be shaped. if the dance dept. here at UCLA is any indication
it could take five years for them to get a decent computer lab and their
faculty using e-mail.

by that time it's over, dancers will then always working around the edges.

anyways, i'm babbling - my $0.02



~ the dnc project - dance, networks, computing

`Contrawise,' said Tweeddledee `if it was true; it might be. If it
were true; it would be. But, as it isn't; it ain't. That's logic.'

- Lewis Carroll

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