RE: dance butter

Johannes Birringer (
Sat, 17 Jul 99 22:05 +0100

hallo colleagues:

At the end of his wonderful story about the restaurant, Bud wrote,

<< They finish by saying that while the experience was curious,
even a bit entertaining, they won't be returning to dance in my alluminum

Why not? That last sentence puzzles me.

Mary-Lou inquired whether "someone has seen Cunningham's Biped."

I would like to link the question to the previous discussion about what dance is
or can be by asking Mary Lou why she used the appellation "Cunningham's Biped"
and not, say, "Riverbed's Biped"?

My question hints at current uncertainties not only about what our cultural
context allows as a perceivable dance form or a new dance/multimedia production
form, but how works of art that are collaborative and technologically composed,
will be named, validated, marketed and preserved (in museums and art
history/dance history) - a subject matter which I think is of great interest to
those among us, like Diana Leduc, who will be writing histories/theories or
authoring dictionnaries.

I want to use one example. I just bought a large, full color book-catalogue
published in Germany (Munich: Prestel, 1997), which has been created by ZKM in
Karlsruhe and is perhaps the first book if its kind on "Medien Kunst
Geschichte" (media art history), probably published in conjunction with the new
ZKM museum of the history of multimedia art.

It has discursive and historical chapters on media technologies, media spaces,
media visions, museums, etc, and then a large section on artworks (mostly
multimedia and interactive installations), all of which are titled and
"authored" by single artists (in a few cases by an artist-duo). For example,
page 92-93, a work by Bruno Cohen, "Camera Virtuosa," (1996). At the bottom of
the beautiful photographic layout of this participatory interactive installation
(which includes images of a choreographer and a dancer, as well as an actor,
director, juggler, cleaning person, lighting person....), the book acknowledges
in small print: Realisation: Bruno Cohen; Scenic Concept/script, Bruno Cohen,
Daniel Corinaut, Bernhard Serexhe; technical direction/synch, Robert Chong;
optics/technics, George-Albert Kisfaludi; producer: ZKM. I don't see the names
of the female dancer or the other "figures" in the installation, etc

and in any case, what interests me is how we will speak about collaborations
such as Riverbed/Cunningham, and how such work, as Bipeds, as dance or dance
animation or dance butter or cauliflower, will be collected into the history of
art, including all the new production forms we see emerging, the good, the bad
and the ugly.

It is perhaps up to us to be very precise and very clear about the nature of our
dance-technological teamwork/collaborations, as we call them webdance or dance
installation or animation or whatnot, and how we understand the extended form we
are using, to communicate this to our public and the critics/historians/grant
agencies/producers, so they come back to the restaurant.

Apropos marketing: The artistic director of the Hannover WorldExpo 2000
commissioned a 16 second jingle from the band Kraftwerk for DM 400000.00 I
think we should all make 16 second dance clips or animations as trailers for
film festivals,etc, to complement our grants.

with greetings from the countryside

Johannes Birringer