As a complete tyro in the world of digital humanities with an interest in how the tools, theories, and practices within the field can be useful to choreographers, alongside a concomitant interest to discover a shared language between technology and embodiment/choreography, I was struck by McCarty’s statement about the quality of emergence found in computational models:

“In other words, computational models, however finely perfected, are better understood as temporary states in a process of coming to know rather than fixed structures of knowledge.”

This statement aligns with the process of choreography; movement emerges through temporal-spatial states, and through these states the choreographer and dancer(s) come to “know” something new about embodiment, movement, pattern, space and time.

Which leads me to thinking about how choreographer Merce Cunningham used the software, LifeForms, to generate ideas for movement; this software “models” movement, allowing one to see intricate movement patterns from varying perspectives and to “try-out” complex or repetitive movement phrases that would be hard for a dancer to sustain repeatedly.

Which brings me back to McCarty:

“But modeling of something readily turns into modeling for better or more detailed knowledge of it; similarly, the knowledge gained from realizing a model for something feeds or can feed into an improved version.”

I am looking forward to exploring these connections between modeling and choreography….to be continued….

 

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