Historical Perspectives

Mark Coniglio (troika@panix.com)
Tue, 17 Jun 1997 09:09:57 -0400

I was inspired by the post talking about the history of technology in
typography, and it made me wonder if we could all, being an erudite group
as it were, contribute to a larger historical perspective on the use of
media in dance.

I'll start by listing all of the pieces I can think of right now. I'm
leaning towards seminal works, things that changed the course of
experimentation, or changed artists' ways of thinking about the use of
technology, or that received widespread public attention. Since we would
each, of course, have to mention ourselves ;-) perhaps I should limit my
query by asking you all to note works, other than your own, that you
consider seminal or that you admire...

Twyla Thrap: Computer Graphics in The Catherine Wheel - Was it deeply
significant? I don't know, but certainly a widely seen (firat?) use of
computer graphics in a modern dance performance - a precursor to LifeForms?

Elizabeth Streb (who BTW won a MacArthur Foundation grant yesterday...)
used interactive set pieces in her work. But I don't know too much about
the details of what she did...

Trisha Brown - Astral Convertible: Don't know the year or too much about
how it worked, but there were some kind of interactive distance sensors or
something? Can someone fill in the blanks?

Merce Cunnignham: The first LifeForms piece, which was called ??? What was
it called, and when was it premiered? I'll check their web site for this

Merce Cunnignham: Video Work. I don't actually know too much about this
stuff, others here certainly do.

Bella Lewitsky - VCO: I know this only because Dawn danced for Bella, in
the early seventies Bella did a piece where the movements of the dancers
controlled the pitch of voltage controlled oscillators (VCOs). I don't know
if this work was "seminal" but it seems a significant attempt at

Cathy Weiss - Video Works: Cathy is a NYC artist that has been around a
long time I think. She uses video as an essential element in her work. Is
there a particular piece people know of that is important?

Others? Let's here from y'all

-- Mark

Mark Coniglio, Artistic Co-Director | troika@panix.com
Troika Ranch | http://www.art.net/~troika