Re: Technology and the Arts

Mary-Lou Michael (
Sun, 12 Jul 1998 17:27:22 +0000

Lesley Wheeler wrote:
> Professor Purcell
> I have recently read through your book of the BBC series, White Heat: People
> and Technology and would be interested in discussing some issues with you.
> I am a mature-age MA student at the Western Australian Academy of Performing
> Arts in Perth, WA. My area of research is into audience perception and
> aesthetic judgement of computer-generated dance. My particular area of
> interest is the role technology has and is continuing to play on the
> evolution of the different arts disciplines.
> My degree is in Arts Management, but my interest is far broader than any
> single discipline, although I have a formal background in dance and in
> contemporary music.
> I would be appreciative of any comments you may have on the symbiotic
> relationship that the arts and science have had historically, as I believe
> that, to a certain extent.,one supports developments in the other.
SOUNDS like a fascinating paper. I've just written a thesis on Dance
and technology and education. I've conducted some dance and tech
workshops and am working with various forms of technology in
performances... I think you find out a lot from experimenting. A lot
of the equipment we are currently using is based on the principle of
the performer controlling the technical stage environment. ...and we
always ask... why have all this complicated technology if the audience
doesn't realise it's there... etc. much of this has already been
discussed on the list Robert Wechsler from Palindrome Dance Company
has made many interesting comments about technology in performances.
Check the list Archive... Technology certainly doesn't make things
easier, but it does provide many sophisticated options that makes
choreographing all the more challenging and exciting. I think it is
important that artists have the opportunity to experiment with it, and
audiences do need to be educated, or at least inspired by these new
mediums. This is not all positive either, just because a dance
performance has a lot of tech, doesn't mean it's fabulous.
Great to here from another Australian on the list!
Good Luck