[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 104, Issue 25

Sue Hawksley sue at articulateanimal.org.uk
Fri Jul 26 05:23:02 EST 2013

Dear Simon & all

Thanks for the invitation to join this discussion. I'd like to pick up  
on a point made early on in the month's discussion by Christina Spiesel:

> On 4 Jul 2013, at 18:21, Christina Spiesel  
> <christina.spiesel at yale.edu<mailto:christina.spiesel at yale.edu>> wrote:

> We are organisms in environments.  If we can't "see" those  
> environments, we can't adapt for self-protection. If we wish to  
> sustain our lives, we must be able to operate under changed signals  
> from a changing environment ... So how we "attend" to what is there,  
> I submit, is very important. And the capacity for play which is the  
> science of children.

As a dance artist, I am interested in exploring how people shape and  
are shaped by their environment. Immediately after the debate and  
activity of ISEA (my first), I had the pleasure of spending time in  
residency at Bundanon Trust, working with collaborators on the  
development of a new interactive performance installation work. In the  
context of the beautiful setting of Bundanon, it sometimes seemed at  
odds to be in a darkened studio, immersed in projected image, learning  
to negotiate a highly mediated environment where motion was tracked,  
voice captured, action augmented, space constrained.

The presence of technology was very apparent in the particular  
environment we created in the studio, which at first glance seemed in  
total contrast to the 'natural' environment outside and loaded with  
constraints on 'the performers' 'freedom'  to move. But outside, one  
has to negotiate the technological infrastructures of communications,  
transport, power, sanitation, conservation. Operating in an  
environment like Bundanon requires opening and closing of gates,  
driving with peripheral vision on high alert for kangaroos (although  
the roos also adapt to traffic, and carefully stop-look-listen before  
crossing the track!) taking care where one sits, avoiding wombat- 
holes, being mindful of the river's currents It would be simplistic to  
regard the different aspects of this experience as more, less or even  
un-natural. In the installation system we were creating, I developed  
embodied practices to nurture the performers' capacity to cope. these  
emphasised attending to change, treading lightly, listening carefully  
and/or reacting quickly.

I'm sharing this because it was such a great way for me, to put in to  
practice and make sense of some of the ideas I heard at ISEA - in  
particular concerning the ubiquity of technology, the impossibility of  
disentangling ourselves from systems of mediation, and attentiveness  
to our changing environment.

all the best, Sue

On 23 Jul 2013, at 03:00, <empyre-request at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au> <empyre-request at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au 
 > wrote:

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> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Today's Topics:
>   1. empyre: Resistance is futile, ISEA, Sydney 2013 - week 4
>      (Simon Biggs)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 10:52:01 +0100
> From: Simon Biggs <simon at littlepig.org.uk>
> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Subject: [-empyre-] empyre: Resistance is futile, ISEA, Sydney 2013 -
> 	week 4
> Message-ID: <96FAF381-6119-48A3-8486-1F1BB6F0F9FB at littlepig.org.uk>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> Welcome to the fourth and final week of empyre's July 2013  
> discussion: Resistance is futile, ISEA Sydney, 2013
> Thank you to Garth Paine and Deborah Ely, who described their own  
> activities at ISEA and considered those of others. Thanks to all  
> those who responded and contributed to the debate. The focus during  
> the week oscillated between themes concerning embodiment and place  
> and how each can be mediated and affected as a creative and  
> experiential site.
> Our guests during the final fourth week (July 22-28) of our  
> discussion about ISEA are:
> Clea T. Waite (US/D) is a research artist-scholar and experimental  
> filmmaker investigating the correspondences between art and science  
> via somatic, cinematic works. Her films are realized using  
> animation, immersion, stereoscopic imaging, structural montage and  
> unique interfaces as well as one inter-species collaboration with  
> several hundred spiders. She received her SB and SMVis degrees from  
> the MIT Media Lab as a physicist and 3D computer graphics developer.  
> She has been an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, a Radcliffe Institute  
> Fellow, and a fellow at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. Her  
> artworks have been exhibited and awarded internationally, notably  
> the IBM Innovation Prize for Artistic Creation in Art and  
> Technology. She is currently an Annenberg Fellow at the University  
> of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts pursuing her PhD in  
> Media Arts and Practice.
> Daniel C. Howe (HK/US) is an artist, hacker, writer, musician, and  
> educator whose work focuses on networked systems for image, sound  
> and text, and on the social and political implications of  
> computational technologies. He has a PhD in computer science and an  
> MFA in interactive media and digital literature. He currently lives  
> in Hong Kong where he teaches at City University's School of  
> Creative Media.
> Ruth Aylett (GB) has been working with intelligent graphical  
> characters for more than ten years and, more recently, with social  
> robots. She has led large EU projects (VICTEC, eCIRCUS, eCute) in  
> this area and has helped develop affective architectures driving  
> virtual drama systems such as FearNot!. She has more than 200  
> publications and leads the Autonomous Affective Agents group at  
> Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, where she is Professor of Computer  
> Science.
> Sue Hawksley (UK) is a dance artist, bodywork therapist and artistic  
> director of articulate animal, an interdisciplinary performance  
> company which undertakes collaborative projects focused upon  
> movement, identity and territory which have been presented  
> internationally. She has previously performed with Rambert Dance  
> Company, Mantis, Scottish Ballet and Philippe Genty among others, as  
> well as on many freelance projects as performer, choreographer or  
> educator. Sue holds a practice-led PhD from the University of  
> Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art. Her research critically  
> examines concepts of embodiment through choreographic and somatic  
> practices, philosophy, and mediation. She is Senior Lecturer in  
> Dance at the University of Bedfordshire. Her URL ishttp://www/articulateanimal.org.uk
> Before proceeding to the final week's discussion we will again  
> outline July's discussion, engaging the themes and activities  
> underlying and emerging from this year's International Symposium of  
> Electronic Arts, held in and around Sydney, Australia during June  
> 2013. The primary theme for ISEA was "resistance is futile". How are  
> we to interpret this? Resistance to what? The conference programme  
> offered a positive take on this statement - proposing that the  
> electronic arts have moved from the margins to occupy a central role  
> in contemporary culture. But has this happened - and, if it has, is  
> it generally the case or only so in certain contexts?
> Other themes were also apparent at ISEA. Important questions were  
> asked about:
> - sustainability - how this can be achieved in relation to the  
> environment but also how artists, arts groups, academics and  
> activists might ensure their activities are sustainable as the  
> processes of technologisation and globalisation unfold?
> - notions of the human - what does it mean to be human now, in the  
> context of developments in genetics and ICT?
> - globalisation, diasporas and cultural identity?
> - the boundaries of the real - where virtual and augmented realities  
> have become pervasive media?
> - the post-digital and its implications for aesthetics and questions  
> of agency?
> - the challenges and opportunities associated with big data?
> - urbanism, activism and the socially disruptive potential of  
> technology?
> Looking forward to another week's discussion...
> moderator:
> Simon Biggs
> simon at littlepig.org.uk
> http://www.littlepig.org.uk @SimonBiggsUK http://amazon.com/author/simonbiggs
> s.biggs at ed.ac.uk Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
> http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/edinburgh-college-art/school-of-art/staff/staff?person_id=182&cw_xml=profile.php
> http://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/simon-biggs%285dfcaf34-56b1-4452-9100-aaab96935e31%29.html
> http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/  http://www.elmcip.net/  http://www.movingtargets.org.uk/ 
>   http://designinaction.com/
> MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices  http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees?id=656&cw_xml=details.php
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> End of empyre Digest, Vol 104, Issue 25
> ***************************************

Sue Hawksley
sue at articulateanimal.org.uk

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