digital dance

Scott deLahunta (
Sun, 09 Nov 1997 19:04:05 +0100

Last weekend I went to London to peek in on what is happening at Digital
Dancing 1997. On Friday night, Susan Kozel and Gretchen Schiller and company
performed in a telematic piece where a deliberately 'low-tech' link was made
via CuSeeme and a reflector site from Riverside Studios to the Place
Theater. There was audience in both places -- the Riverside Studios
providing the more 'salon' type atmosphere... The Place theater more
proscenium arch like.

This event was followed on Saturday by some more demonstration of this
project and afternoon discussion at the Riverside studios on the topic of
'dance and technology'. While there at Riverside, I was able to meet and
speak with some of the other artists working on different projects. There
were 6 in all, the telematic project mentioned above and a Big Eye project
involving a digital visual artist, composer and dancers with choreographer
Sarah Rubidge. There was a motion capture setup with flock of birds being
used by two separate sets of artists, one set working towards a live
performance, the other working towards a cd-rom or some sort of digital
'product' (I think I have this right). There were two other CD-Rom type
projects, one working with dancer/ choreographer Jane Dudley (who is 85) and
the other, a group of younger artists, taking on the theme of 'surveillance'.

I think the final presentations were yesterday (8 November)... and I wish I
could have been there for that. But, the weekend I went was a great
opportunity to meet face to face with colleagues... Jean Marc Matos, Thecla
Schiphorst, Terry Braun, Gretchen Schiller, Sarah Rubidge, etc. Many
stimulating thoughts and conversations.

Unforunately, my time is too tight now to write a more substantive report on
my observations of and reflections inspired by the project -- but I thought
I should at least take a moment to mention its passing and to say
congratulations to the various people involved... and especially to tip my
hat to the Illuminations team and Terry who had to pull everything together
on short notice after receiving funding verification only a short time
before. As I think has been mentioned already, they have now secured funding
for next year's Digital Dancing -- which will make it an event which has run
for 4 years straight now, quite an achievement. And, from my observations...
however the individual artists involved feel about what they may have
achieved or not -- on the whole it seems that there are very definitely
ARTISTIC advances being made in this field of 'dance and technology' in the UK.

I hope to find time to write more on it later, but this month may be a bit
of a wash as I am involved in organising a short intensive symposium on
'arts education and new media' here in Amsterdam
( and will be pretty much off-line
except for things related directly to that event until mid-december.

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