Re: Interactive Performance

Philip Cootey (
Tue, 23 Dec 1997 11:54:43 -0500

Anthony W Roberts wrote:
I am a performer and an instructor/choreographer in higher education.


I am extremely interested in...
combining dance and technology in performance.As am I.

    It is snowing like crazy in Boston.  The wind is not that strong but the snow is clumpy and wet, making for a sodden commute to my office.  Where the sidewalk meets the street, slush is piling up in pools at the bottom of the ramps between the curbs. Luckily, Rowntree 3D is close to the nearest shelter and I don't have that far to walk to get here.
    Good morning. I would like to interject my comments in response to a couple of these messages that have been posted on this list recently, which have the most interest to me.  Mark Coniglio's knowledge on interactive is considerable in comparison to my own.  Please pardon any misinterpretation I may present as I am only beginning to delve into these subjects.
    Johannes Birringer asked about "the relationship you all see between dance/technology (stage and professional level workshops) in the arts and in education... Why is d/t now becoming interesting to education, or is it not so much dance but new media technologies in education or as educational tools?"  Mark Coniglio responded that in Bauwkunst "the interest centered around the idea of New Media being used in educational settings... to allow advanced students the opportunity to learn more about the ways in which they can use technological tools and media...," but that his emphasis was geared towards creating ways where "inexperienced, but enthusiastic, people could "perform" music or some other media without the prerequisite of many years of preparation...focus was on creativity and expression, not on technique...where we focussed in our talk, on the possibilities of using these instruments to allow a child the possibility of controlling sound or video or light with their movements."
     Johannes Birringer asked "Mark, can you comment on differences or links you perceived between dance/technology research & thinking in Holland/continent and in England?," a harder question though thought provoking.  I would interject that the English are hosting  ISEA (The Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts founded in Holland--The Dutch Foundation for Creative Computer Applications organized the First International Symposium on Electronic Art in Utrecht, Holland. ) Symposium98  in Liverpool and Manchester England at the Liverpool Art School in John Moores University and at the Department of Fine arts at Manchester Metropolitan.  In the ISEA site I see that there are resources for communication and collaboration in Electronic Art.  From there and possibly from the web sites of the Liverpool and Manchester University programs at least a little bit (or bytes) on the English and Dutch positions of this technology could be found.
    The acrobatic realm of dance movement of Elizabeth Streb mentioned in a previous posting sounds fascinating.  Though, I wish there had been more effects triggered by physical elements in motion on the stage.  Wow, if the sensors triggered midi effects like lights and sounds... that would have added another level to the  interface of human movement to computers.  Imagine the vibrations of the dancers impact upon the floor reverberating through the seating amplified by sub-sonic sound via woofers attached to the floor or the seats themselves.
    Concerning education, it seems to me that educators from Universities throughout the United States are turning on to the potential of interactive effects triggered by movement and of course sound.  Particularly the MIT Media labs.  These effects can go anywhere from sight to sound to smell or even to touch.


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