Re: body economy

David Rodger (
Tue, 18 Nov 1997 20:03:52 +0100

>the gesture as note or sign, the
>movement as brush stroke or writing,

At what point does a gesture-note become a movement-stroke? Or vice versa?

>Thusly [sic] the boundaries of what dance 'is' are fluid and
>the borders are open. However, this does not mean that these boundaries and
>borders are disappearing (despite the 'damages' caused by
>multi/interdisciplinarity), in fact, just the opposite is occurring. Every
>dance endeavor today reaffirms these borders by aligning itself on one side
>or the other.

What are these opposed positions? What came previously suggests (to me
anyway) that there may be more than two.

>Take every dance put together to form the 'field of dance',
>and it is easy enough to see in the picture the border floating between
>dance and theater, dance and film, dance and technology, dance and music,
>dance and installation, etc.

Yes, there are _more_ than two positions (or classifications, or groupings).

>The 'pivotal point' at which dance 'is' or 'is
>not' remains always moveable. If I am allowed a bit of a stretch, the
>definition of dance is like the definition of an object in quantum mechanics
>which rather than defining the object's precise position defines the wave or
>line upon which that object will exist at any given time given certain

Given your analogy, it might be better to consider the determination of
whether something 'is' or 'is not' dance as subject to the laws of
probability (much as the position of an electron in an atom is not
absolutely known). The the question of central importance is what factors
affect this probability.

>3) The major importance of something like the ideas represented by the
>phrase "dance and technology" is that we are working along a 'border', a
>boundary between what dance is and what technology is. Because of the
>contemporary existence of the idea, all of our dance activities, whether
>engaged with technologies or not, add to the definition of what dance and
>what technology each are (both separately and taken together).

It seems to me that dance<--->technology is a very different matter from
dance_and_technology. The latter implies that one has already accepted
their being taken together, which possibly sets them in opposition to
domains otherwise considered as autonomous.

>A dance
>artist who claims to be interested only in what the 'pure' body does on
>stage and feels that 'technology' either detracts from this or adds nothing
>or is ideologically opposed or whatever is ALWAYS adding something to an
>articulation of the boundary between the two. Dance always has the
>opportunity to step to the other side of that border -- to claim the
>'rightness' in the moment of a dancing body which is consumed and subsumed
>by technology (motion captured, digitized and produced as part of a cd-rom
>for example).

Some dancers using technology might object to the idea of being consumed or
subsumed by technology. By proposing that consumption, you're setting
dance (or the body) in opposition to technology, which is the position of
the artist who has an ideological objection to technology (at least by your
explanation above). Aren't there people on this list who would rather make
their combination seamless (or who aim to, anyway)?

>Then there are artists like Stelarc

No comment. :-|

>In the latter
>part of this century, we can look at the technology around us and say that
>it is actually pretty sophisticated, the replacement of the human body on
>stage seems possible to some, imminent to others maybe. And yet, at the same
>time, the likelihood of it actually happening seems even further from the
>truth -- as, in actual fact, what we are doing in the face of this
>sophisticated machinery is defining what is and is not the human body.

Difficult, especially with recent 'advances' in biotechnology and genetic

[From a later message...]
>I was speaking with Susan Kozel in London about the idea of putting
>pre-publication articles on the Dance and Technology Zone Theory page. In my
>opinion, the dance-tech list (this space right here) is a good place for
>first draft essays, the early working out of ideas via writing...

Is that what this was? If this 'essay' had begun with a central thesis,
which was then explained (point by point), I might have understood it

Regards, David

David Rodger, "Gee, I wonder if Stockhausen has
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