Inter_views: On Memory and Recollection an Interactive Telematic Dance Performance


Session Title:

  • Digital Dance

Presentation Title:

  • Inter_views: On Memory and Recollection an Interactive Telematic Dance Performance




  • Current debates on telematic forms in art and performance often centre on notions of immediacy, presence and virtual representation, challenging conventions concerning the perception of time and memory. In non-media-driven modes of performance, the notion of immediacy encompasses the reception and perception of semiotic systems at work simultaneously with their presentation: the performer’s physical body is perceived directly along with movement, actions or speech onstage. In technology-driven forms like telematic performances, not only is the mediatised vision of the body and/or scenographic elements presented as a re-presentation of the physical body and narrative in a complementary digital form, but also, the transmission of computerized information, principally through video streaming, often produces temporal delay, or time-lag, between the transmission and reception of elements of a given semiotic system.

    This time-lag is the focus of Inter_Views, an interactive telematic dance and theatre performance devised and staged by Jem Kelly and Andrea Davidson. Inspired by Bergson’s notions of durée and memory, notably, two memories, regressive memory, oriented towards the past, and habit or prolongation memory, oriented towards the future, Inter_Views, as a new media creation, tests Bergson’s notions of memory and their link to the perception of time and space.

    The paper will analyse how, contrary to other digital dance performances that use technologies as means to ‘embody’, ‘augment’ or transform the live presence of dancers, here, an interaction between present and past is established whereby physical and virtual images play on the audience’s perception and recollection of actions. The project innovates by presenting actions that are currently taking place as well as those that have already taken place and those that are predicted to occur as a form of future memory.

    The paper will then focus on the work’s visual device that creates a temporal and spatial mise-en-abyme conceived to map out a memory space in which the dancers and interacting “spectator-instructors” participate in a collaborative intentionality structured at the intersection of temporal immediacy and delay. It will notably be shown how a palimpsest of moments in an unfolding story creates a form of re-embodied memory that is simultaneously reactive and interpretative.

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