Bodytext: Somatic Data as Agency in Interactive Dance

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Session Title:

  • New Media Performance

Presentation Title:

  • Bodytext: Somatic Data as Agency in Interactive Dance

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Abstract:

  • Keywords: Interactive Performance, Somatic, data, remediation, agency, embodiment

    Bodytext is a performance work involving speech, movement and sound. A dancer’s movement and spoken description of a dance are re-mediated within an augmented environment, where acquired speech is re-written and re-sonified through physical interaction. The displayed textual objects recombine, creating the score for an emergent and ever evolving performance. Bodytext seeks insight into the relations between kinaesthetic experience, memory, agency and language. Dancer, audience and machine are enmeshed in a recursive dynamic they must both follow to its (il)logical conclusion, the innate entropy of the system giving structure to the overall work.

    Intro
    Bodytext is a performance work by Simon Biggs and Sue Hawksley, with interactive sound by Garth Paine, which seeks insight into the relations between kinesthetic experience, memory, agency and language. A dancer’s movement and speech are re-mediated within an augmented environment employing realtime motion tracking and voice recognition that drives interpretative language systems, digital projection and audio resynthesis. The dancer’s verbal description of an imagined dance, derived from somatic experience, is acquired and displayed in an immersive projection. The displayed written texts respond to the movement of the dancer with their own movement and, when they interact with one another, exchange grammatical and syntactical elements in a manner that retains syntactic structure, thus evolving new textual descriptions that, in turn, determine a new dance. The dancer’s speech is also acquired as a series of audio events that are subsequently  remediated and sonified.

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