REVOLVE or the impossible task of performing sleep


Session Title:

  • Interactivity and Immersion

Presentation Title:

  • REVOLVE or the impossible task of performing sleep




  • Revolve is an ongoing research project addressing the complexities of combining choreography, sleep science (chronobiology) and media art/design for contemporary performance. The outcome, an interactive performance that unfolds through story-telling, sound, light, video and dance, follows the path of the sleeper’s mind and body through the night. Driven by a curiosity about the body, its rhythms and potential for change, Revolve brings audiences an intimate, multi-sensory encounter. The presentation will outline the development of Revolve, discuss the various outcomes and address a number of different issues around the dramaturgies of collaborations and the role of agency when spread across multiple collaborators. Revolve derives from experimenting within the areas of intersection of the collaborators’ respective disciplines, and as such stands as a valuable experience in art-science collaboration. Further on, discussion points will include the design of the lighting score and interactive system that utilises wearable technologies to allow the solo dancer to control a generative sound environment. In turn, the sonic feedback influences the emerging choreographic score, inducing constraints and generative cyclic patterns for movement. The concept for Revolve developed in part through consideration of the impact of electronic and digital technologies upon our body’s capacity and desire for sleep in an era that is always ‘on’. Today’s multitasking digital media environment is changing the way we process information, and has the potential to transform sleep patterns, much in the same way as the invention of artificial light changed our sleep habits. Performance, which has the ability to slow down thinking and invite contemplation through physical effort and corporeal presence, insists upon the variability and affective trace of the body. It is one way of addressing or connecting those forces that relentlessly impinge upon us, from the outside, and those forces we can muster within ourselves, to transform that outside.