A few notes from the Designing Design seminar series on electronic arts, organised by Intermedia, held in Oslo, Norway on 20041207:

embodied interaction: creation, communication and sharing of meaning research through experiment and improvisation, as well as production based research

extending performance (dance and tech, augmented and MR spaces, actions and actors, responsive systems…)

  • extension across time, space, performance, body

activity theory as a conceptual frame / “mediating artefact” from digital scenography to embodied interaction (following some of the premises from P. Dourish “where the action is”)

experiments: improvisation with simple technology (video feedback) + squeezing out everything possible

interaction = informal assemblage of steps

  • engagement with world mediating artefacts (dourish - phenomenological approach, intermedia - more socio-cultural learning and developmental approach)
  • interaction: mix of action and meaning (physical and symbolic)
  • utilising media as actors (sparacino et al)

ballectra project: learning design and designing for learning

  • modular, object-oriented design, working with live and prerecorded media
  • communication dancers - media designers – changes in media design take much longer than experimenting with a few new dance steps
  • collaborative inquiry - bringing performance into the curriculum of media studies: adaptive redesign process
  • costumes as projection screens and for production of sound (experimenting with body as screen-space)
  • “who is controlling the light” - dancers wanted to be brightly lit, which would kill the projection

research: explaining the design practice through theory and vice versa

  • creation of meaning - through intentionality and intersubjectivity, action on and around technology

Tapet project - using video (mpeg) in responsive environments, so that it encourages expressivity from the participants - moving with an absent performer

Karakuri project: anticipatory interaction, playful use of responsive environments – seeing and learning through movement, environment is generated at points where users' actions happen - activity driven system

Intermedia projects helped to 'release' dancers from cages of technique

goal: physical transportation: spectators as participants in a group (post-structuralist spectatorship)

  • dichotomy dance/technology (shouldn't exist)
  • interactive vs non-interactive expressions (sparacino)
  • interaction happens within the viewer (similar to literature: there is no text without the reader)
  • extended artistic expression: creative process (making) + theoretical perspective
  • educational production: learning while producing
  • applied theoretical perspectives (although people who were non-artistically educated had the lowest voice)
  • analysis of the process: through media studies, scenography and dance&tech literature

media studies: working with immediacy/hypermediacy (bolter and grusin)

  • performing/mediating/recording
  • making the experience more authentic: holding information back and revealing it in meaningful moments


  • text based on traditional theatre (mixture of visual and textual information, while in multimediated performance its more visual+visual)
  • problem with describing visuals in a verbal language)
  • precognitive experience
  • intellectual/non intellectual experience
  • futurism: being aware of historic perspectives - in dance, technology, performance…

dance and technology

  • auslander: liveness and mediatised performance
  • activity theory

In production projects, theorists became concerned about 'making things work' forgetting the theory in the process

  • different languages + improvising with media: feedbackloops between theory and practice – sometimes the valuable theoretical perspective comes afterwards
  • how to analyse authentic experience?
  • playing with time and timing (media representing past, present, future, using animation/live movement)
  • do not fiddle with technological systems in live performance - it is confusing for participants

associated institutions:

  • ACAD - open artist residencies
  • is there really an improvisation in a performative context
  • dynamic multimedia: RT processing of media - more room for improvisation
  • cognition (motion as thought) - process body-mind-environment
  • steim - constructing wearables for dance (low budget)
  • recognising lineages
  • dance/choreography - training
  • design/desire – tension between them (come from theory as well as practice
  • performative aspect of both dance and media - composed/improvised in RTparameters of event predefined - otherwise - generative strategies in dance compositions (related with socio-technological theories of the time)
  • martha graham - hydraulic theory → psychology (tech already existing in choreographic deployment)
  • system of rules in generative dance (algorythmic structure - in 70ies)
  • how can media be improvisational
  • creative process - needs to have bottom-up architecture (biologically inspired) – distributed control
  • digital club culture
  • djs - master improvisers - improv/portable, flexible

bateson, merleau-ponty, j.j. gibson

  • not just interactivity, but emergent composition
  • embodied cognition - dynamic, contingent design
  • improvisation skill - dont dance to what you hear
  • intuition/methodology
  • synchronicity – you have to rely a lot on it when designing responsive spaces
  • synergy of dramaturgical elements - mediated, body oriented, textual
  • rationalising concept also after the incident
  • dancers can sometimes be considered (creative) artists; more or different than re-producing a repetetativeness/ or variation of a movement cycle
  • science and research is always a part of professional dance
  • a dif. ontology is needed to express what is going on in the whole dance field
  • references are relevant to be added to the movement repertoire, not only within academic texts, but for instance in an academic/ pedagogical setting, where physical movement exercises are emphasized, it should be referred to precisely, from where and when this movement system/ practical arrangement is found and originated, for instance from theater, or dance sources, etc. It could be mentioned from which style, continent, time period this material relates to.
  • intuition - jung (flight into mysticism) – through individuation
  • dancers are also somehow dramaturgical elements
  • dancers and media = scenography
  • post-digitalism - media and dancers - equal partners - not fetishising it
  • age - strange in dance
  • dance - respect and communication, political engagement to a certain extend, for instance art with a feministic approach
  • art - space to ask questions
  • dance - more a state of body than the movement (i dont like to move without reason) - dance of energies / ambient dance (body weather)
  • dancers - aesthetic beings
  • contemporary state of ideas - so poor
  • dance body - free of dogma, free of consciousness, ego, - on the other side, the dance scene can to some degree be an arena for leaders with a very dominant practice/ way of being (often posed in a dogmatic way), where authoritative forces enjoys to pose power statement, excused by the process of making a “perfected” dance expression
  • even the dance field, like in (dance) academia, is an arena where the male leader (choreographer/ artistic administrative/ scholar) is favored, to a certain extent, not necessarily/ primarily the skilled capacity foremost
  • performance - prescribed performance based on the media; collective unconsciousness/individual consciousness
  • process - energy continues goes on beyond the performance space
  • according to artificial intelligence norms, only what exist is what can be presented. (I was quoting T. R. Gruber. Toward principles for the design of ontologies used for knowledge sharing. Presented at the Padua workshop on Formal Ontology, March 1993, to appear in an edited collection by Nicola Guarino: “For AI systems, what “exists” is that which can be represented”)
  • intuition as a tool and process in polishing the art expression that comes during and after/ post methodology
  • dont experiment in all different directions - stick to the path and be selective
  • extended meaning of technology
  • choreography - structured movement in space of the stage
  • movement, music and spatial arrangement
  • audience perception changes based on tech they use in their everyday life
  • dynamics, time, live situations, mediation
  • new media situation changes the training and perception of dance

actualises choreography as artistic tool - cross fertilisation of tech and dance in the present context

  • performance with low tech apearance
  • audience can make a choice - 5 different endings
  • no performance should come out identical
  • concept, context, bodily insight, mediation - searching for new strategies
  • 3 main areas
    • composition and movements
    • mediation and tech strategies
    • conceptual and contextual focus
  • life on stage - always a part of artificiality
    • impermanence of art
  • anatomy of grief without making social pornography (dancer, remote controlled wheelchair, projection)
  • study of death as practical reality
  • extended performance - augmented space - inside of theatre and outside
  • documentary perspective - a driving force
  • artist as ethnographer - artists place in this concept
  • 'docudance-ing' - about study of death as a practical reality
    • docudance blog - testing dif media to express the creative process (logging the work)
    • focus on bodily memories of actions that were emptied
    • tension between documenting and creativelly seeing things
    • the more you research death - you get back to life
    • hans johnas - biological phenomenology.
  • dancer, dance ethnographer → dance and media, learning not only to dance, but also edit video (take it through the bodily sensibility), making sense (meaning/sensuality)

rêve - réveiller (dream / awakening)

  • dance - a process of transformation - le corps fictive - liminal space – not so much about movement, but what dancers have to do to change their bodies to move in a particular way – being transformed by space
  • finding ways to materialise the liminal space
  • movement based interactive installations - spect-actor (augusto buell) – street theatre (doing it and stepping out)
  • theoretically - body-medium (not separate from environment - Laban - kinesphere comes from Feuillet - ballet – problematic
  • body -medium kinesfield - dialogical relationship between body and environment
  • body - medium is not a space but a dynamic
  • locus of attention is on the movement through bodies
  • marrey / muybridge
  • metakinesis - john martin – relationship audience - dancer - viscerally/internally sensing whats going on
  • dance - not as representation, but rendering presence
  • public - wild card
  • stability / instability (we're trying to be bipedal)
  • using resources that we have and undermining them

choreomedia laboratory

shifting ground

  • interaction - shift of weight - becoming aware of weight shifts
  • working with oppositions - more difficult to navigate
  • entertrained (entertained + trained)
  • skin and environment mixed in an undulatory way
  • sense of 'i am present, but im travelling'


  • breaking the screen to create a sense of 3dimensionality
  • 21 screens that can turn - screens repel you or pull you in – encouraging people to walk – place of minimalism – stripping movement down
  • choreography - the whole organisation of the space - amplifying certain type of experience – amplifying the notion of the kinesfield
  • how do we create a moving space
  • you come in and get different challenges and difficulties to get deeper into the interaction


  • notes_intermedia_seminar.txt
  • Last modified: 2018-03-30 13:44
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