Reading notes

Susan Broadhurst and Josephine Machon (ed.) Performance and technology: practices of virtual embodiment and interactivity (2011)

chapter 4

p.46 Virtual bodies, posthuman

goes against realism

untrained audience cause-effect of interactivity equals invisibility

chapter 5

p.61 two approaches to motion capture/tracking:

physical/physiological sensors (body worn devices, floor sensors)

remote sensors (video, infrared, lasers)

p.64 Interactivity relates to spontaneity, openness and communication. A degree of improvisation must take place, otherwise it is not an interactive work.

p.65 example of two motion tracking system: EyeCon

Isadora – invented by Mark Coniglio, Troika dance company

How can motion tracking affect our appreciation of a piece of dance?

p.68 Is it important that the audience get that the work is interactive?

p.69 There are stronger and weaker justifications for integrating technology in a piece of art.

p.73 Why use technology? Sense of play with an unseen player.


Next I am looking at the book Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture by Philip Auslander, which was a suggestion by my supervisor.


Meeting the supervisor

I have had my first meeting with my supervisor, who happened to be Ryo, my teacher from last year in the module critical code. I am not sure if I still know exactly what my research question will be, in my proposal I had two possible ones:

How is digital media, such as video projections, integrated in live dance performances in the works of Wayne McGregor Dance Company?

What role does softwares, such as motion-activated systems, play in the dance performance The Measures Taken by Alexander Whitley Dance Company and does this technology attract a new kind of audience?


Wayne McGregor is well known to have a big interest in using technology in his work, both as a method of creating and in the actual performance. However, I am not sure how much he has used motion-activated systems, which I find very interesting to explore more. Alexander Whitley is called the Wayne McGregor of the next generation and I know he has been working with motion-activated systems in the work The Measures Taken from 2014 and Pattern Recognition (2016) which is on tour for the moment.

As research method I think I would both analyse how digital media has been used in a few works of the chosen dance company, or in just a single work and go deeper. I would also like to get in contact with for example Sadler’s Wells and ask how they are thinking when commissioning a work like Whitley’s Pattern Recognition and what they think using new technology (video or motion- activated systems) does to the art form.


So, my supervisor recognised that I both was interested in doing a case study of some works, but also look at the more organisational side of it. We came to a conclusion that it might be interesting to focus on Alexander Whitleys work because it is newer, and at a forefront of using motion-activated systems. Also he is touring right now with one of his pieces, Pattern Recognition, where 8 spotlights on the stagefloor can be controlled by the movements of the dancers performing. This creates an interactivity between dancers and technology.

digital artist for Pattern Recognition: Memo Akten photos, video and rehearsal material

made visuals to The Measures Taken:


Press, reviews:

Book about liveness: Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture Philip Auslander