Re: money = ability

Lesley Wheeler (
Mon, 5 Jan 1998 09:47:04 +0800

Christopher, Dawn & Darren,

Astrophysics to performance - and interesting leap (excuse the pun)

It didn't all come from the Military - it may have begun there, but most of the really interesting
developments that techno-based artists are using these days actually came from the arts areas
themselves. I know Film is something of a "four-letter-word" in some places - but it has pushed the
development of some amazing software that provides artists with the ability to create electronic 3D
environments and all of the attendant uses - not to mention that Photoshop developments (and in
fact it's beginnings) have come from the Graphic arts industry and then photography (both now
recognised as being within the arts industry).

Some of the movement software that is and has been used by performance people may have had it's
origins in the Military - but performance and display art has had a pretty damned huge part in
shaping the way in which the direction has gone.

Vincent Vincent (who developed the Mandala system) would probably have a fit if you inferred that he
was military .

There's more to this digitised technology than sound and dance, don't forget.


>From: Darren Kelly <>
>Subject: Re: money = ability
>Date: Fri, 2 Jan 1998 15:34:13 +0100 (MET)
>Christopher wrote:
>> >I asked a couple questions about content and meaning of chosing to
>> >integrate dance & technology in performance projects when I first joined
>> >this discussion group. A few responded with things like we do it because
>> >we like to, because it's fun, because we think it's interesting. But no
>> >one said: "because we can." "because we are the privedged class."
>> >It's no wonder when people go to see work of this kind that it's hardfor
>> >the audience to find a way in if the artists are just techno-wanking.
>Dawn wrote:
>> First, is "because we can" somehow a more "honest/admission of guilt"
>> answer than the other answers we gave? I am not trying to save or kill
>> humanity with my technology - I use my computer the same way I use all my
>> other tools (bodies, space, stage lighting, video etc) which is to make my
>> art pieces.
>Dear Dawn,
>I think I can assure you that the chance of you developing deadly technology
>is rather small, as you rightly suspect. In fact I think I can safely claim
>that there is not a single technique or method used by anyone reading this
>newsgroup that has not already been implemented in kick-ass fashion years
>ago by those who do choose to spend their time thinking up ways to zap people.
>The military often lets technology "filter down" to, for example, sweet
>astronomers (I used to be in astrophysics). They wait until even "the
>other guys" find it laughable and then it's obsolete enough to let
>easily-impressed mortals like us have it. And we smile because we think
>its impressive and advanced technology (which it isn't) and they smile
>too, partly because they feel like Santa Claus but primarily because
>it isn't advanced technology at all.
>It is well worth keeping in mind that there are lots of very, very clever
>and well-paid yet mislead beasts who can do things with a few transducers,
>a PC, and an "output device" that would make your hair fall out, and they
>take a sunny afternoon to do it, including coffee breaks.
>But they dance like ducks !
>Christopher will be soothed by recalling that I did once mention on this
>newsgroup the danger of investigating technologies for translating brain
>wave signals into music.
>Darren Kelly | | |
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