The Choreography of Everyday Movement


Session Title:

  • Orai, Ownership of Information

Presentation Title:

  • The Choreography of Everyday Movement



  • “The Choreography of Everyday Movement” envisions as a topographical mapping the culturally inscribed nature of our everyday travels. Using GPS, the project seeks to render visible our movement through the built environment of the city, revealing socio-political and poetic patterns of traffic flow through the urban body. In these drawings we see images as often as we detect the privileging of one route over another, the concentration of movement through particular neighborhoods, and the repetition and variation of a traveler’s movement over time.


    “The Choreography of Everyday Movement” takes process and performance as the subject of the work. As a live element, participants are tracked with global positioning satellite receivers as they move about the city. The trail of each participant’s movement is transposed into visual terms as a dynamic drawing generated in real-time wirelessly over the Internet. Drawings are then archived and presented for viewing in a three-dimensional format. Each journey is printed on acetate, registered against prior journeys, and sandwiched between stacked 1/2″ plates of glass. The stacks of glass grow taller over time with the addition of subsequent drawings, thus creating an expanding “z-axis” through which the viewer can observe changes in the movement of each traveler over time. The performance of the piece requires no special expertise. Dancer/pedestrian, performer/spectator, artist/non-artist — each is equally capable of participating in the making of the work.


    Geographical reference data, present as longitude/latitude coordinates in the real-time drawing, is removed in the final image so as to foreground the expressive character of the line—a line upon which we project our own interpretations. This one looks like a deer, that one like a figure with arms stretching upward, legs intertwined. The global positioning satellite receiver, designed for precise measurement and tracking, is subverted and re-cast as a kind of giant pencil or tool for making chance compositions. Marks that reveal the design of transportation grids become compositions that engage the imagination like clouds in the sky.


    Full text (PDF) p. 164