Manchester practicum

22 02 2008


[Simon / Open U writes…] — We’ve just completed a 2-day practicum in Manchester, continuing our experiments to understand the potential of Memetic’s replayable Access Grid functionality for choreographic rehearsal and performance.

Two AG Nodes (i.e. rooms wired for sound and large format video) were rearranged for dance, clearing the usual tables and chairs. With the Nodes connected, a dancer in each Node, and Helen as choreographic researcher co-located with each in turn, we could then explore the impact of different window configurations on the dancers’ self image, as well as their projected images to the other Node, and mixing recorded and live performance.


Helen will add some more on the choreographic research dimensions she was exploring. My interest was in trying to move towards articulating the “design space” we are constructing, so that we can have a clearer idea of how to position our work along different dimensions. (Reflecting on how our roles are playing out as we figure out how to work with each other is of course a central part of the project…)


To start with, we can identify a number of design dimensions:

  • synchronous — asynchronous
  • recorded — live (noting that ‘live’ is a problematic term now: Liveness: Performance in an Mediatized Culture by Philip Auslander)
  • virtual — physical
  • modality of annotation: spoken dialogue/written/mapped
  • AG as performance environment vs. as rehearsal documentation context
  • AG as performance environment enabling traditional co-present choreographic practices — or as a means of generating/enabling new choreographic practices
  • documenting process in the AG — ‘vs’ the non-AG communication ecology that emerges around the e-dance tools (what would a template for an edance–based project website look like, in order to support this more ‘invisible’ work?)
  • deictic annotation: gesture, sketching, highlighting windows
  • in-between-ness: emergent structures/patterns are what make a moment potentially interesting and worth annotating, e.g. the relationships between specific video windows
  • continuous — discontinuous space: moving beyond geometrical/Euclidean space
  • continuous — discontinuous time: moving beyond a single, linear time
  • framing: aesthetic decisions/generation of meaning – around the revealing of process. Framing as in ‘window’ versus visual arts sense

Bringing to bear an HCI orientation, an initial analysis of the user groups who could potentially use the e-Dance tools, and the activities they might perform with them, yielded the following matrix:


We will not be working with all of these user communities of course, but the in-depth work we do can now be positioned in relation to the use cases we do not cover.




One response to “Manchester practicum”

4 07 2008
e-Dance update (22:59:49) :

[…] continues to stretch me, as we recently completed a dance practicum experimenting with the choreographers and dancers using our Memetic video replay tools. This is the […]

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