Re: algorithms for dance

Richard Povall (
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 21:32:22 -0600

>Richard (Povall), perhaps you could explain. Is the difference only
>because your bodyu is involved? Or is the "machine" process fundamentally
>different in either case?

For me, the essential difference between the machine process and the human,
body-drivne process is that there is a constant feedback within the
motion-driven environments I use. Neither element (the performer/the
system) can exist without the other, and while you can argue that yes,
there are still algorithmic processes at work, they are algorithms that are
constantly interrupted or subverted by the performer - the truly
intellegent element in this process.

The algorithms are only there as ways of responding to the realtime action
of the performer - whether they are called into play depends entirely on
her action of the moment - the piece lives in the moment and not in the

Does this illuminate or muddy??

PS These thoughts about the dominance of the performative act are the
reason I have such a problem with the notion of the post-biological era in
art making and living. Unless we continue to control (even dominate) the
machines with our moment-by-moment live acts, we are doomed.

Now will that start a fresh thread?


R i c h a r d P o v a l l
Assoc. Prof of Computer Music and New Media / Chair, TIMARA Dept.
MPO Box 0332 TIMARA/Studio 5
Oberlin, OH 44074-0332 USA Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Voice: +1.440.775.1016 Oberlin College
Fax: +1.440.775.8942 Oberlin, OH 44074 USA

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