workshop discussions

Scott deLahunta (
Wed, 11 Feb 1998 08:29:38 +0100

To put the following in context, you will have to see the post I sent a
while ago which carried details about the workshops.... or you can take a
look at those details on the web at:
(this is part of the School for New Dance Development's [SNDO], in-progress


The following came out of a post-workshop discussion with students and
workshop leaders:

1. Benoit suggested that it would be good if students had 'some' computer
experience before coming to such a workshop. This will change over time of
course as more and more students arrive at the SNDO with computer skills,
but in the short term... it might be something to consider a sort or
'remedial' two or three days to familiarize computers with the 'desktop'
environment -- how to open/ close programs, save and find files, etc.

2. The concept of "scenography" may not be understood well enough by
students. While I think that Sher's plan to try and place IMAGINE in a
context/ continuum of work with image/design on stage is absolutely the
right direction... it seems that students did not get onto this idea. Other
workshops might be offered during the year which deal with projections for
example (there is this guy who works for the Theater Technique department
giving DIA workshops -- Dennis knows him). Maybe 'scenography' as a topic
could be covered just a bit in a theory class.

3. Is it something to consider as well giving some information about the
historical trajectory that electronic arts in general, to include 'sound
art', have taken in this century. Parts of Frank Popper's *Art of the
Electronic Age*... Hugh Davies chapter in *ECHO: The Images of Sound* --
couple of starting points.

4. This 'high tech'/ 'low tech' framework Daniel mentioned is interesting...
and would be worth more discussion. I am very curious about the shape that
relationships between computer/tech knowledge ... dancer/body knowledge are
taking. Daniel misunderstood me when I asked about technician/dancer
collaborations -- obviously, these partnerships/ collaborations should take
place on the same level in terms of 'artistic' input.

... so my recommendations for the future would be to offer before a workshop
a 'remedial' computer course (could be done on the 'powermac' which is being
purchased by SNDO/Theaterschool) and a couple of talks on the areas.

... FUTURE: SNDO/STEIM project travels to SIGGRAPH/Ars Electronica/ISEA ??
other places ??

BUT --- maybe before we get to San Francisco or Linz, I have a few
practical/theoretical questions which I think are worth exploring along the
way as well. While some might not be so keen on defining what it is that is
being 'explored' here, I sort of consider it essential (sher, you saw these
already). In this age of hyped up "multimedia" it seems in our role as
educators we might wish to define borders/boundaries -- which should be
fluid and permeable of course, but articulating what the 'spectrum of
choice' is. Joel is surely familiar with these questions from his work with

a. what direction would one take in terms of exploring the relationship of
live performer to projected image.

b. what are tensions between pre-recorded versus realtime/ live sampling &
where does this tension lie along the spectrum between set and improvised
choreography? (in other words how does 'set' choreography and 'pre-recorded
and manipulated' projection compare with 'improvised' and 'realtime
recording and manipulation?). There is a new book by an Australian couple in
our library titled *improvisation, hypermedia and the arts since 1945* which
is 'sort of' interesting on this topic.

c. what is 'experience' of performer who is 'controlling' this realtime
projection and how what does this signify for an audience

d. what is representational role of on-stage and live video person?
technician/ recorder, dispassionate observer, lover (as in Hans van Manen's