[Plants = Infinity]

Darren Kelly (kelly@x4u2.desy.de)
Tue, 12 May 1998 14:11:14 +0200 (MET DST)

Dear Dance-techers,

Like most of you I can't go anywhere or read anything or do anything
really without thinking about possibilities of linking dance and
technology. On the weekend I was in the wonderful park "Planten und
Blomen" in Hamburg (on a rare and precious sunny day) reading Ivars
Petersons splendid "The Mathematical Tourist", which includes discussions
and illustrations of algorithms for generating plant-like structures by
computer. Old hat, and exactly as charming as ever. And I was surrounded
by real plants.

Suddenly, as a stared at a small bush "occupying" space a number of
things came together for me, so obvious yet so strong that this moment
defines a turning point in my life. The closest experience of infinity
I've ever made is the endless variety in the way plants of "similar"
type can occupy space. If you stare to an empty cubic metre next to
a bush, the space seems so astonishingly empty. If you stare at any
shrub occupying (by definition a fraction of) a cubic metre, you see
a slice through infinity. Subject to randomness, different weathering,
destiny, and different conditions - indeed countless factors - each plant
is a beautifully different improvisation.

And in this moment, two things happened to me:

* All my anxiety about patents, originality, and my uncertain future
vanished. We are all dealing with an infinity, and there is more than
enough room within this infinity for each and every contributor.

* I realised why it is I love live performance, be it dance, music,
or whatever, and why I especially love improvisation. Surrounded by
DJs and slick "highly reproducible" and safe forms, it is seeing
each seed grow reactively into time, subject to uncontrollable
influences yet competently steered, that really moves me, both as
performer or member of the audience.

Probably too obvious to even mention here, but it helps me. I have now
definitely decided to give up formal physics and to continue development
of Drancing and promotion of my music in Sydney.


Darren Kelly, DESY -MPY-, Notkestr.85,22603 Hamburg, Germany
Phone:+49-40-8998-4569 Fax:+49-40-8998-4305 Email:kelly@x4u2.desy.de
[NB: Residential address and phone invalid after 25th May 1998]