Critical reflections normally seek to establish a relationship between a set of practices and critical discourse. SDAT04 is a practical project examining questions related to emergent electronic technologies and how they may influence the artistic processes and experiences of the work we create. New technologies offer means to extend, manipulate and color work in different ways, many of which are not possible in a technologically-unmediated realm. In exploring these technologies, we look at how physical performance can be enhanced and perceived in other ways. These different perceptions may derive from the experiential effects of the technologies, as well as journeys through computer simulations of choreographic works and the responses these elicit.
These pages contain some critical reflections in small parcels that may be relevant to ongoing critical debates as either starting points or as useful practical research that may be more productively engaged with critically in other contexts. We are keen to contribute to these debates as much as possible by opening up our processes via these web pages and by making documentation available to researchers in the field.
Question #8: How do we create structures for performances that open up unfamiliar technologies to the audience/viewers? Is this important, and if so, why?
Answer #1: If it were important for the audience to know what technological efforts had gone into the performance then I would say a pre performance note is announced. If the director were interested in educating the audience, for their well roundedness, then I feel an explanatory statement be included in their programs. Yet, I suppose the real issue though is whether it is important that the audience is aware of the “magic” that goes on in a performance, which I think it is important. Granted, technology on any level can be an intimidating thing for many to learn or grasp, especially in the form of a quick brief synapses before a performance. Therefore, to any degree that technology is used within a performance I would recommend keeping the “tech talk” to a minimal level and instead focus on these reasoning for using such devices or the purpose they will serve in the dance. (Ricky Alvarez)
Answer #2: I think that it is important that we create structures that open up unfamiliar technologies. Particularly, when we presented our performance work on navigable structures had we not explained the technology behind the performance, our audience wouldn't have known about the technology behind it. In designing the space, we explored a number of different possibilities that would best showcase the technology and the intent of the artistic director. Some techniques employed were more successful. We will have to continue exploring how the creative process is changed by the infusion of technology to create better structures for performance. (Tracie Yorke)
Answer #3: We can put notes in the program, have
an announcement before the show, place the information in advertisements
and expose the technology during the
Question #12: Describe your experience in working with the MAX/MSP interface in real time in co-operation with the other artists in the space - as you change those tiny parameters on the screen - what are you looking for? Is it an intuitive process for you?
Answer #1: For me it becomes about the numbers. The performer/performance becomes numbers.(AJ Niehaus)
Answer #2: Max/MSP is a very interesting modular based interface for both audio and visual control and manipulation. Exploring the possibilities provided by Max in groups was a real beneficial experience. Unfortunately because of conflicts I missed an actual opportunity to work with the program in the space, so I can only assume what questions may have developed through such practice. (Ricky Alvarez)
Answer #3: MAX/MSP is challenging to use.
Mainly, because this was my first exposure to it. However, the program
does become intuitive after a while. I think this is because rather than
writing traditional code, users write graphically. Also, I could debug
using a dancer in the space.
Question #19: What do you imagine would make an interesting viewing experience for the web audience?
Answer #1: I am not familiar enough with web performances, so initially I do not feel proficient enough to answer. But, because of my lack of exposure perhaps that perfectly makes my thoughts appropriate. Since the World Wide Web has been incorporated into our daily lives and is used by many, I think an interesting performance based on it would be to use it in conjunction with site specific work. Taking familiar locations like the library, market, or department store and capturing these locations at once – that way an audience can relate and identify the locations easily, hopefully bring the experience a little closer to home. (Ricky Alvarez)
Answer #2: I think a performance that allowed the web audience to manipulate the dance environment would be interesting. Because of my background, I often think of how technology can used to address some need. Usually when we view performances remotely, there is this sense of disconnection. Even if the performance is live, the performer and viewer can't hear each other or communicate directly. Allowing the web audience to influence the performance space and consequently the performance begins to re-connect us in a new shared environment. (Tracie Yorke)