Cellbytes 2000 was a pilot project utilizing spaces in two separate buildings at Arizona State University, located .5 kilometers appart, as early stage research towards working in geographically separate locations in summer 2001 (Arizona State University, Tempe, US and Middlesex University, London, UK) I conceived the project and co-produced it for the Institute for Studies in the Arts with Ghislaine Boddington from shinkansen and RESCEN, London, UK. I designed and created the interactive media environments in both spaces and the telematic design for connecting performers during the project. I also created sound and interactive media designs for the sections Virtual Partnering, Memory, Twins, and Contact.
Cellbytes 2000 was created by a group of 13 performance and media artists:
Europe: Ghislaine Boddington,
US: Gene Cooper,
John D. Mitchell,
Kirsti Topham Petty,
plus dancers, IT specialists and production support from Arizona State University.
The results show research outcomes that represent the results of the artists working together for only two weeks. Much time was spent in discussion and on “workshopping” certain technical concepts before the group could move forward with a unified plan. Therefore, these presentations are not finished performances, and even though certain conventions of the performing and broadcast arts are used to facilitate and frame them, they represent quick sketches, unrefined and undeveloped. A mix of both performance spaces was webcast live during both runs of the research outcomes. This webcast represented yet another, third performance taking place simultaneously with the other two.
In the interest of transparency , the audience was given the option of reading some minimal information beforehand regarding the electronic processes and connectivity that were at play in the fabric of the Cellbytes , as well as insight into some of the choreographic starting points and processes behind the work. For further discussion and feedback, there was a question and answer session after the presentation.
This short and intense residency project, immediately yielding only rough cut outcomes, provided seed material that continued to feed many of the participating artists in subsequent years.
John D. Mitchell