Re: Dance, Algorithms, Mathematics, AI et al.

H Daniel (
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:41:57 +0000

>> > Because computers can implement many algorithms, they exhibit
>> > intelligence
>> This statement, for me, lies at the heart of a great deal of the creative
>> relationships that exist between the dance artist and the many tools that
>> are available on the digital computing platform.
>In what sense? Since the original statement is clearly bogus, I'm
>curious how you interpret it in a constructive manner. Perhaps your
>point is that people falsely attribute qualities of creativity or
>interpretation to what are merely digital tools?

I am interested in the complex role of the dance artist in the polarity
between physical expression and technology. These digital tools facilitate
many aspects of the dance product itself. They also function as playthings
in many senses of that word.

We play, or rather I play, by approaching a situation from a point of view
that I might not be able to in a 'real life' situation. In other words, I
construct a hypothetical situation and then challenge my own ingenuity, or
lack of it, to find a solution; a potentially creative human solution.

An example is that I will set up an interactive environment where the
movements of the dancers make the soundscape. I then create a series of
parameters which function as instructions for the dancers as well as for
the movement and vision sensors - normal stuff. What is important here is
not only the choices made, but how they are made, and the relationships
that develop among the dancers as a result of those decisions.

This process allows a certain transparency in that anyone can attempt to
follow. What cannot be accounted for, computationally, is what is crucial
here. Somewhere at the limit of a path, or between several paths, lies the
creative. I think that the computer cannot map this, it is lost here. On
the other hand we are always left with the nagging question of which kind
of intelligence one is speaking of.