[-empyre-] R: Rebounding Intrinsic singularities

stamatia portanova stamatiaportanova at yahoo.it
Fri May 15 02:49:20 EST 2009

Thank you Norah for giving the opportunity to look carefully at this very interesting digital project, and also for making one more step in discovering William Forsythe's choreography...
One of the most intriguing aspects of this choreographic style, I think, is the perceivable combination of an almost 'scientific', mathematical and geometric approach to dance as 'designed' by the laws of physics and by choreographic propositions together. This aspect, I think, combines elegantly with the sense of dance as a relational practice, where complex instances of dialogue, communication, affective exchange, happen not only between the dancers, but with the environment itself. This combination, I think, is what characterizes a dancing body as 'a thinking tool', as Forsythe suggested in one of his interviews..
This duplicity emerges a lot in the website, I think. In fact, the parallel suggested by Sally Jane and you between Cache's concept of inflection as a singularity realized by accomplished curves, shapes, gestures, and your notion of the 'object' abstracted from the dance, a qualitative generative trace that is re-animated by the geometries of the animation programs, and by the new dances or thoughts elicited by it. The process between actualization/counter-actualization (or abstraction) of a trace is what Cache refers to, when he talks about the curved path taken by a point. This also suggests me another philosophical parallel, with Whitehead's concept of the 'eternal object', a quality taken in its generality (for example 'red', but also the speed of movement, in its general possibility of being actualized by, any shades of reds, or by many relations of velocity and slowness realized by the dancers or, as you say, all the qualitative objects emerging
 from (and eliciting) the 'subjective/creative/interactive/aesthetic specificities of the dance. The association with the universality of the data is also very interesting, a set of 'pure information' flowing onto the various coordinate systems of the software or of the human diagrams, as different ways of 'aligning' objects.
I have one question, that I have actually kept thinking about since my first 'encounters' with the dance-technology 'encounter'. I have a tendency to think of the technological transposition of creative processes, as a way to actually emphasize, highlight the ordered or, as it is suggested in the site, 'clear and diagrammatic' aspects of a movement (the synchronization of the alignments, the emergence of patterns, the rhythmic system of the cues as an internal mechanical clock), in short the structure of the dance, more than the 'nuances' of the dance. I do not mean this as a kind of critical affirmation about technology, I just think that this can be an interesting way to bring to light an important aspect of creation that, otherwise, goes unnoticed 'live'. All the nuances that are so richly 'complexifying' our perceptual experience of a performance, suddenly become 'noise', when looked at with a more 'diagrammatic' eye. What emerges, instead, from the
 computer screen, is a different qualitative aspect that is more associated with the 'aesthetics of code'. I really liked, for example, the description of the organizational aspects of the performance as 'felt': organization, structure, order, are of course felt as much as temporal and qualitative nuances... I don't therefore think that the capacity to give us the 'organic', or 'living', sensation of a dance (as different from a 'readable understandability' and its related feelings), is the technology's main capacity. Perhaps this is not what we can look for in its manifestations? 
To relate this to Ashley's question, can we say that what is lost is lost 'organically', but not experientially (or philosophically), because it is just the 'trace' of a different way to experience dance?

--- Gio 14/5/09, Norah Zuniga Shaw <zuniga.11 at osu.edu> ha scritto:

Da: Norah Zuniga Shaw <zuniga.11 at osu.edu>
Oggetto: [-empyre-] Rebounding Intrinsic singularities
A: "soft_skinned_space" <empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
Data: Giovedì 14 maggio 2009, 15:31

Thanks Sally Jane for this lovely gleaning, glad to have this nugget from
last week brought into focus. I too delight in how Stamatia's description of
Earth Moves could describe One Flat Thing and indeed could describe the
alignment or cueing annotations in the site. Her words also describe
process, the ways in which the objects that came from a dance were
transformed through the animation of "well-defined curves" and "causal
geometries" and are now coming back into the studio and back into our bodily
manifestations. Stamatia I wonder if you've had a chance to look at our work
and if you agree that your words describing Earth Moves could relate
directly to Synchronous Objects?

This sentence is a lot all on its own:
"the point of inflection as an intrinsic singularity which is not yet
related to a particular development of coordinates"

For us inflection is perhaps the qualitative in our objects. A way of
investing and indeed foregrounding
subjective/creative/interpretive/aesthetic specificities into the seeming
objectivity evoked by using the word data. We play with the seeming solidity
of the object by 1.creating objects that only exist online, and 2. Making an
array of objects that undercut any notions of singular stable authority.

In your words "the constructivism of drawing, of the camera [and] of the
technology transforms the point of inflection of a gesture into a fully
formed curve... the virtual inflection point...appears as the idea of
playing with the malleable folds of time, in more than two simultaneous
directions at once." This describes our concept of alignments quite nicely,
which brings me to writing one other post today on Alignments and

On 5/13/09 5:26 PM, "Sally Jane Norman" <s.j.norman at newcastle.ac.uk> wrote:

> Hi Norah,
> great to see you in this mix of movements, body and concept. I'm still trying
> - very happily - to integrate the intense dose of work gleaned from the
> Sadler's Wells panel session on the choreographic object, and was delighted by
> Stamatia's posting on Monday (reproduced below) about Bernard Cache's "Earth
> Moves", which seems to offer a fantastic evocation of One Flat Thing.
> Wondering whether you'd followed this and whether you could be lured to
> rebound (fully tracked in 3D of course)?
> very best
> sjn
> ps - Alan, your contre plongée avatar tandem brought to mind another of those
> weird "period" dances, the Jitterbug, maybe because I (fortunately) can't
> forget the joy of seeing Forsythe dance the Mashed Potato... wondering when
> we'll come up with specific, sufficiently lagful, juddering terms for these
> deportmental/ comportmental cinematic gesticulations of our second lives -
> which background words endow with a scary poignance...
> Sent:    12 May 2009 03:57
> In "Earth Moves", Bernard Cache defines the point of inflection as an
> intrinsic singularity which is not yet related to a particular development of
> coordinates and, like every 'solid' work of art for Deleuze and Guattari, is
> neither high nor low, neither on the right nor on the left, neither in
> progression nor regression, because it is in absence of gravity. Inflection is
> the pure event of a line or a point, a virtuality, an ideality to be
> actualised into a well-defined curve. In this case, the virtual inflection
> point of the videos appears as the idea of playing with the malleable folds of
> time, in more than two simultaneous directions at once.
> A whole choreographic and causal geometry of sensations is consequently
> developed, or folded, after the idea, when the constructivism of drwaing, of
> the camera or of the technology transforms the point of inflection of a
> gesture into a fully formed curve. By following the formation of the movements
> in their continuing-forward from past to present and vice versa, and by
> revealing the serpentine line of these movements as a vector of symmetric
> exchanges, technology here seems to transform bodily movements into two-fold
> or circular structures. And it is surprising to see the artist's own
> transformation into a reverse-performer, together with objects and movements
> folding into a continuously renewed dance. I wish I could see this piece.
> stamatia
> ________________________________________
> From: empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> [empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Norah Zuniga Shaw
> [zuniga.11 at osu.edu]
> Sent: 12 May 2009 18:58
> To: soft_skinned_space
> Subject: [-empyre-] Joining In
> Joining in to the critical motion practice conversation by first offering up
> my work as a frame of reference for my subsequent comments.
> We created
> http://synchronousobjects.osu.edu
> from the initial concept of a generative motion trace. Creating a trace not
> for preservation, not for repertory or reconstruction, not as an
> etymological, archaeological, historical exercise, not to recreate the
> experience of the piece or its genesis but to create a trace/traces of
> choreographic principles or what we started calling a choreographic object.
> Bill wrote an essay on this that might be of interest:
> http://www.wexarts.org/ex/forsythe/
> The interactive moving animations reflect on, work on, re-invent the
> choreographic structures in a dance. They were generated at the intersection
> of choreography, animation art, geography, architecture, theory (maybe) and
> even I suppose a form of activism in that they are reaching out to invite
> folks in to the dance and into some ways that we see patterns in complexity.
> Are they a technological approach to movement? A critical one? They are a
> mix of analytical and creative. They seek to generate new creativity while
> representing a form of it (namely counterpoint in William Forsythe's One
> Flat Thing Reproduced). They seek to invite a certain kind of "dance
> readership." Counterpoint itself suggests some pretty radical ideas about
> ways to relate and find agreement in motion that don't require unison (or
> unity). The work is created in a complex community of practice that requires
> both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary practices for creation...
> That's enough for getting started.
> N
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