Re: undemanding, unambitious, uninformed and uninspired

Sita Popat (
Fri, 27 Aug 1999 14:49:50 +0100

I was recently charmed by a description in the Leonardo journal (Vol32
No3) of a colloquim on the Aesthetic Status of Technological Art (forgive
me anyone who has read it already). It had a second title which was
"Childhood Illnesses and Youthful Enthusiasms". Briefly, the two main
forms of childhood illnesses to which it referred were as follows:

a) artists who wish to use new technologies to create works that merely
mimic what can be created with older techniques. This reminded me of
discussion at IDAT of how Sean Curran appeared to be as in control of the
music through his traditional choreographic approach as those artists who
were using costumes and lasers to control sound directly through movement.

b) artists who are content with the mere novelty of the technology - as
an end in itself (although this illness is seen also as a way forward
through exploration.)

The youthful enthusiasm was the positive side of the clamour to use
technologies in our work, resulting in "vigorous art forms based on the
use of new technologies".

We could try to heal or devise innoculations against the childhood
diseases, but I'm not into over-use of antibiotics! They'll heal
themselves with time and experience.

The other art forms have all at least reached similar stages to dance, and
many have advanced in their use of technologies, and there is much to be
learnt from them. At the same time I believe that it is necessary to look
back at what has gone before in the dance world, so that we don't need to
reinvent the wheel in terms of dance itself. There are generations of
experiences to be applied if we wish. But Jeff is right, we can't expect
everyone to have detailed knowledge of the whole of dance history. I
would agree with him that a sense of inspiration in the creator is the
most important thing - in the end, whether it contains technology or not,
we will all make of it what we will. And each of us will have our own
opinions! (I loved Falling to Earth, personally, and felt at the
conference that it restored my faith in dance and technology - but that is
entirely a personal opinion!!)

That said, I am really glad to see a thread like this on the list. I am
one of those who generally lurks, especially as I am not a
technically-knowledgeable person and a lot of what is said goes completely
over my head. I lie in wait for this sort of thread to emerge, and that
is when I get really interested in what is being said.

There is little else that I can add to what others have said earlier as
most of what I believe has been said (I've just got back from holiday and
read the whole lot!!)

All the best