projecting/Ass in gear

Amanda Steggell (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 22:24:33 +0200 (MET DST)

Hi there,
just adding to the projection thang .. we once had a bunch of dancers
carrying a film projector around, sending the image of a little running
naked guy (actually it was Pepe on the film, for those of you who know
him) onto an opera singers' stomach (she wore a reflective plastic
ballgown) and then projecting him huge along a curved scenography. The
running man was just a little loop on 8mm film, 20 seconds or so - a
little material can go a long way.
Otherwise, Doug has a point. However, I would mainly encourage your student
to try out her concept with what she has available already ... then she
can take a step back from the work, and make her decisions
(practical/conceptual) from there.

Speaking of Pepe, he just mailed this on to me from Nettime, and I thought
it was definately one to pass on to dance techers not on that list

>Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 09:15:18 -0400
>From: Jordan Crandall <>
>Subject: <nettime> ASS IN GEAR
>Precedence: bulk
>Resent-Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 17:39:46 +0200
>Jordan Crandall
>As I went along the street where I live, I was suddenly GRIPPED by a
>rhythm which took possession of me
>use of my LIVING-MACHINE. Then another rhythm overtook and combined with
>the first, and certain strange transverse relations were set up between
>these two principles... They combined the movement of my walking legs and
>some kind of song I was murmuring or rather which was being murmured
>through me=85 (Paul Val=E9ry)
>In America, we have a peculiar mode of rhythmic embodiment called the
>"power walk." Head held high, arms thrusting outward repeatedly in
>conjunction with the beat of the moving legs, hair and breasts abounce,
>one propels oneself along the street in jerky, fast-motion paces as in an
>old silent film. Going nowhere in particular, often sheathed in garish,
>logo-strewn activewear, one in/habits the gym - a fitness club no longer a
>place so much as a set of notions of what it means to be physically
>adequate in society. Unpack the prevailing concept of fitness [gasp] and
>there you have it, the body moving [gasp] in conjunction with the social
>and technical machine [gasp], according to formats of productivity,
>efficiency, and adequacy. What are the beats? To focus on visual codes
>is to miss them.=20
>I want to consider exercise as a marker of rhythmic operations, in which
>the body is immersed as agent and incorporant, within general conditions
>of making processes, forms, circuits, and capacities adequate to emerging
>regimes of fitness. And lest one think that notions of fitness are not in
>keeping with the body's virtualization, and necessarily serve to privilege
>a singly corporealized entity, I would like to point out that in all cases
>of body-subject-interface encounters, no matter how virtual, we are
>speaking of a newly mobilized body, and a subjectivity constituted within
>formats of movement, across hybrid transport-transmission landscapes.=20
>(Landscapes traversed in terms of the transfer of weight over land and the
>transmission of embodied presence through the network.) The body in
>motion, subject to notions of efficient and adequate movement, contours
>and sediments itself through circuits and cycles of repetition, in
>whatever degree of corporeality or virtuality. Even on the (arguably)
>fully physical side of the spectrum, the days when one's meatself is
>docked at the monitor are coming to an end, and emerging cultural
>practices would do well to take this mobilization into account. The
>formats and codes of the interface register and facilitate these cycles,
>and the movements and processes of embodiment to which they are attached.=
>The newly mobilized body, bedecked in gadgetry -- portable arrays of
>devices, either attached externally or implanted internally. How sexy.=20
>Consider a simple, early gadget: the walkman, with which one powerwalks.
>Sitting next to the early mainframe radio or phonograph, to what extent
>did one forget about one's body, necessarily parked within range of the
>machine? The interface as it stands, as it makes one stand, as it arrests
>one and places one in a holding-pattern, always lays the seeds for
>mobilization. A preparatory state for new sites of embodiment, patterns
>of mobility, and formats of enunciation. It facilitates arrays of
>localizations that link together in new presences. It is a peculiar site
>of exercise. And not just in terms of the obvious hand-eye coordinations
>via the mouse, but in terms of the way its formats are internalized in
>larger patterns of movement. Here is where we can locate the emerging
>paradigm of the database, and consider its effects. But at the same time:=
>the interface marks the site of the arrested body's integration into the
>machine, into machinic operations that have larger societal links and
>consequences -- indeed, which rest upon entire social apparatuses of
>fitness, efficiency, adequacy.=20
>Consider the finger-scanner, now available as an option on the purchase of
>a new computer -- installed on the keyboard itself, to the left of the
>Shift key, or in some models, right on the mouse. A new form of
>fingering! But even more: one agent of an entire emerging economy of
>authentication, based on the incorporation of biological patterns into
>virtualized constructs, formatted according to emerging database
>conventions. The "fingered" body is represented, is seen, its movements
>recorded and internalized, through the mechanisms of the database (even on
>the basic level of the "cookie"). How do these formats augment
>traditional, cinematic norms of movement representation -- that is, the
>set of conventions through which the world of movement has come to be
>known? For movement is no longer seen as much as processed -- or rather,
>it is represented by way of its processing. On one hand, the format of
>the database floats above the cinematic image-field, combining with it to
>generate a new kind of moving image, a "machine-image." One can even
>revisit the history of the moving image in terms of movement processing:=20
>think of proto-powerwalker Charlie Chaplin in these terms, especially in
>his struggles to keep up with the demands of the machine in Modern Times.=
>And, again, one can think movement in terms of the immobilizations that it
>locates. After all, it was Serge Daney who reminded us that the set of
>movement-conventions that is cinema only took hold via the public's
>immobilization in theaters, arrested and held in thrall by the screen.=20
>Such a public is today an animated and tracked public. Harnessed to new
>technological assemblages and driven by processing imperatives,
>machine-images track movements AS representation. Tracking is the way in
>which one sees and is seen by the image. Informed by the organizational
>paradigm of the database, tracking formats an "improved," more productive
>and efficient form of vision. It protects one -- informationally and
>corporeally -- from an "outside" unprocessed reality that is increasingly
>constituted as dangerous. (One could even see database reality as
>involved in the production of danger, and the equation of danger with
>unreliability.) Such a body, whether in flesh or networked mode,
>incorporates fitness as the erasure of any threat to efficient, fast, and
>reliable flows. The mobilized powerwalker, suburban Borg, glides down the
>street in this kind of protective bubble -- a provisional encasing that
>helps to define a subjective interior.=20
>A movement constituted through patterns of repetition, enmeshed in
>circuits, harnessed to social and technical machines. What better way of
>envisioning the exercise video -- One! Two! Three! -- and the
>body-database? In either case, COUNTING equals ACCOUNTING FOR, and the
>body is formatted through arrays of variables and calculations. Movement
>configures as a kind of statistical articulation. Based on behavior and
>preference data, as tracked, abstracted, and aggregated in the database, X
>might, for example, show a 59.6% propensity to move towards Y. As
>individuals and groups are processed, the public configures as a calculus
>of manageable interests, opinions, patterns, and functions. This ever
>more precise and "protective" statistical ventriloquization -- stretching
>over speech like a prophylactic or over pumped-up flesh like spandex --
>becomes an authentic voice of the people. A marker of speech and
>presence, a way in which the public is heard and made visible. The
>machine-image -- the exercise-interface -- is thus a politicized field of
>incorporation and identification, marking a network through which social
>identities and embodied forms are signaled and enacted.=20
>In the face of this crisis in the visual, emerging sites of operation
>occur in the proliferating arrays of devices harnessed to machine-images
>the way that remote-control devices are attached to television screens.=20
>They are like free-weights or the fitness calculators that interface body
>and machine and measure their compatibility, often resulting in the body's
>rates to be adjusted in accordance with prevailing fitness norms.=20
>Increasingly, such devices -- in conjunction with their machine-images --
>serve as switch-points between interior and exterior rhythms, which they
>regulate and convey. The interface always points to such a device, as it
>traffics between motivations and mobilities. Through them, private and
>public realms, behaviors and built realities, exchange, encode, and format
>one another.=20
>Movement is inextricably bound up in technological capacities and
>imperatives. Wherever there is a movement, there is a machine. Exercise
>always happens in symbiosis with the machine, according to rhythms that it
>incorporates and emits. You don't relate signs when you exercise, as you
>do when you read and your body just (apparently) sits there immobilized.
>You coordinate your rhythms and movements to those you hear, feel, or
>sense proprioceptively, in order to "get in shape." The body configures as
>a locus of rhythmic operations, as an active process of incorporation and
>coordination with machines both technical and social. To think in terms
>of coordinations, as much as in relations, is to begin to understand
>emerging potentials for interventions within the field of the interface --
>the machine for moving. A logistics lurks in the most basic of routines.=
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best wishes,
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