Scott deLahunta (
Mon, 13 Oct 1997 11:19:34 +0200

On Personal Email: I assumed the message from Dennis was for me so I replied
personally to him to ask for more details. It turns out that Scott (the
other) responded (this morning) having assumed, I think, it was directed at
him (personally) so he decided to email the 'entire' list. Personally, I
don't have a problem with the informal bits and pieces which occasionally
touch the list... and agree with Scott's assessment that it adds to the
communal 'flavor'. I certainly don't think we need to go to full moderation,
although a FAQ to the list occasionally would be fine. At the moment, what I
would like to read are more postings from everyone regarding their work and
experimentations in dance-tech. For my part I have several miscellaneous
items to post today:

In my present capacity as consultant to the Amterdam School of the Arts on
the application of new media and IT in arts education, I am always on the
lookout for various examples of how technological developments are
interfacing with our socio-cultural ones (recognizing overlapping patterns).
Came across one recently -- at the Boijmans museum in Rotterdam. An
exhibition of about 100 color photographs entitled 'youth as art' by a dutch
artist named Daan van Golden. The pictures were of his daughter from birth
to age 18 displayed year by year in chronological order around the room in
small frames. Of course, to walk around the room and see someone age from
baby to adult (and parents getting older) in intimate, personal photos makes
an emotional impact, but there was something else peculiar about the
exhibition which it took me a few minutes to realise. The girl was born in
1978, and the color photos began then. What was remarkable is that the
technical quality of the pictures did NOT change at all from 1978 to 1996
(the last one). There was also no age decay either. I don't know about some
of you, but for me, age 40, my family albums give a distinct feeling of TIME
passing as the fotographic technology gets more sophisticated... time
passing is signified by technology evolving. But in the display I saw at the
Boijmans yesterday -- the technology did not appear to evolve, time did not
appear to pass... it was as if there was no life there.

Now -- I don't mean to make too much of this, but I think there is something
of interest here for those of us who are 'explicitly' concerned with
technologies and their relationship to artistic representations/
interpretations. Actually, this realisation happened in the context of an
'arts' exhibition -- but what is more significant to me is that it is
something which will have an impact not in the arts fields so much as in the
everyday life of individuals -- in the way that family photo albums track
the life-death process. Now that digital cameras which will print out the
exact same image for time infinitum... well, it just makes one think a bit.
For more on the impact of photography (pre-digital) on families -- read
Susan Sontag's 'on photography'.

I would like to recommend to those of you who are experimenting with the net
as a new 'space' for the body and performance to check out the Sensorium
Page ( -- the NetSounds coming from the
Ohno Labs in Japan are particularly interesting as a project (you will need
RealAudio). For me it was as if John Cage has reached out from wherever he
is to tickle the 'net'.

I went this weekend to see 'Splayed out Mind' -- a collaboration between Meg
Stuart (choreographer) and Gary Hill (videoartist) which I have looked
forward to for some time. Very disappointing in my estimation but maybe it
was the result of certain compromises that can become inherent within any
'first time' collaboration. But, this is not to post my evaluation of the
piece but more an observation of a moment during the piece. For those of you
familiar with Hill's 'Tall Ships' (a video projection of someone far away
who is triggered to walk towards the viewer) you may be able to picture what
such a projection on large screen upstage would look like. Hill's technique
creates a remarkable sensation of depth (partly because he takes away all
lines of perspective except the increase/decrease of body size). In the
piece this effect was combined very shortly with a few dancers on stage --
but the resultant merging of 'virtual' performance space with 'real' space
achieved the disappearance of that boundary (between spaces and bodies) in
ways most of us have only been able to imagine. I don't think this 'magic'
is of interest to Hill and Stuart necessarily because they seemed more keen
to explore the collisions between the two media... but I, for one, am always
taken in by illusions.

Finally a comment on the POSE thread -- because I was struck by something
Robert added in his post:

At 10:50 PM 10/10/97 +0200, you wrote:
>We, Palindrome, is rehearsing at the moment, "Minotaur". A piece in which
>cameras and computers generate sound from the dancers movements. but to be
>quite precise, it is not the movement which triggers the sound, but the
>changes in position. This is not quite the same thing.

I find this thought to be quite intriguing... or at least the way Robert has
expressed it, that the movement does not act as the trigger, the change in
position does. It intrigues me in the same way that William Forsythe's
instruction (horribly paraphrased here) to his dancers to be more aware of
the space they leave behind than the space they are going into does.
Movement training techniques for dancers evolve as technologies evolve --
without certain medical technologies, Mabel Todd's *the thinking body* would
not have been written... and 'release' technique would not have developed in
the same way as it did. Anatomical imagery, etc. I have often wondered how
the various 'new technologies' many of us on this list are exploring would
begin to make an impact in the area of dance training (physical), but have
always assumed it would be through a transference of metaphors and various
ways of seeing brought about by explorations with the new media. As
performers continue to work with the new technologies inherent to the
'perfomer controlled environments' -- I would imagine that this sort of
thing will begin to occur. This is what the 'pose' thread makes me think
about --

... but there is also what Darren Kelly which is equally interesting, not
because I understand so much precisely what is meant by the equation here,
but that there is an equation which signifies something Steve Paxton
codified into a 'training' technique with the *small dance*.

At 10:29 AM 10/13/97 +0200, you wrote:
>There is, quite simply, no way to define the difference between
>standing and dancing.
> {[(standing=dancing)=(particle=motion)]=[(x,t)=(p,E)]}

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