Scott deLahunta (sdela@ahk.nl)
Sun, 06 Apr 1997 11:57:48 +0200

Hey everyone...

I have just read Johannes' post from 5 April which reaches back through the
ongoing discussion between he and Mark and Richard, recently joined by
Amanda (via Mark because Amanda is having trouble sending to the list). I
also was in touch with Terry Braun who sparked off the earlier discussion in
response to my post about the 'telematic workshop'.

Johannes made this comment way 'down' (don't you get the feeling that email
is somehow contained below the screen -- what if we had to scroll up to read
material?) in his post:

>I want to conclude by asking how one conducts such conversations. I find
>myself quoting so that I can organize (in space, in time, between the lines,
>on my screen, in my head) my thought process.

I would like to pick up just a bit on this -- and to remind us all that
there are now about 50 people reading this list. How do we conduct our
conversations in such a way that more people can join them? should we? The
recent long and very interesting posts -- have also been exhausting for me
to sort out and to respond to. While at the same time, I really appreciate
the way in which the writers have taken the time to go in depth into the
many points each has brought up.

Is anyone else having this experience? Is this something we should think about?

--- at any rate, I would like to respond to just one of Johannes'

At 02:06 AM 4/5/97 -0600, you wrote:
>These are very critical issues, I think, open to a much larger discussion, I
>hope, including points of view that would interest me from dancers who like
>audiences to see the dance, and from designers who like the audiences to see
>the design.

This reminds me of a general point regarding audiences for dance. Someone
asked me once if I thought the use of 'new technologies' in dancing would
increase our audience -- the implication being I think that 'new
technologies' seem to take up a chunk of the popular imagination right now
and might lure more people in to see what is happening. Mark has rightly
made the point a few times that this audience comes to see the 'technology'
only once. My reply to this question was that the dance audience has been
shrinking for some time as a result of a larger set of issues related to art
in the 20th century... and that I could not imagine that the inclusion of
'new technologies' would change this. Since I began making dances, I have
been acutely aware of the fact that the people coming to see the work are
primarily other dancers. There simply is not a truly public audience for
dance in this century -- bearing in mind that the 'public' of this century
is different from the 'public' of other centuries. In the USA since the
1980s funding bodies have placed a lot of emphasis on audience development
which has usually meant such ridiculous gestures as bussing in young people
from Worcester to Boston (basically from the provincial to the
less-provincial) who might never have seen a dance performance before. As a
gesture this is all well and good, but it is part and parcel of a social
experiment in the USA (arts funding) which has gone terribly wrong as far as
I'm concerned. But, how could it go 'right'?

Back to the idea of how to conduct these discussions:

Now I am not sure that I have really addressed the issues Johannes is
talking about, or if I have taken into consideration Richard's comments --
or Mark's or Amanda's. This is the drawback of being in an asynchronous
discussion mode. There is no one to stop me and ask me to clarify or to
point out where I'm diverging from the main point. This is the disadvantage
and in part the ineffectiveness, in my opinion, of discussion lists... and
is why I think I have seen several potentially interesting ones come and
go... and I would like to see this one stay alive. How do we keep it alive?

I could go on, but I'll stop there.

Scott deLahunta and Susan Rethorst
Writing Research Associates, NL
Sarphatipark 26-3, 1072 PB Amsterdam, NL
tel: +31 (0)20 662 1736
fax: +31 (0)20 470 1558
email: sdela@ahk.nl
http://huizen.dds.nl/~sdela/wra (WRITING RESEARCH ASSOCIATES)
http://www.art.net/~dtz (DANCE AND TECHNOLOGY ZONE )