Dancer in climbing on a fence in an alley next to the Singapore History Museum 2001

network video performance lab

Bonemap assisted Suzon Fuks and James Cunningham in a mentorship with Keith Armstrong and Kelli Dipple to investigate electronic networks for their practical and theoretical potential as media for creating new forms of performance practice.

In dance, the language of proximity is a choreographic concern. After all, sharing a conversation through dance requires sensual responsiveness in time and space. But what happens to the choreographic language of the body when engaging with real-time remote media streaming? What modification or adjustment to dance is required to make an embodied connection over networked distance?

Suzon and James, from the performance company Igneous, initiated a series of networked experiments during a mentorship in web-based performance. The engagement involved a series of net distributed real-time events. Outcomes included a live, triple-site performance event for three performers in three remote venues. The project used available platforms such as Access Grid Nodes - conference rooms located around the globe equipped with a high end, open-source computer teleconferencing technology that allowed multiple nodes to cross-connect with each other. At that time, these relatively formal setups imposed a clear set of limitations. As a result, the participating artists were interested to understand how they might push the system's capabilities.

Participating in network video performance represents a spatial dematerialisation mediated by the camera. The synchronous broadcast and reception of remote media streams transform distance perception and transfer key integration parameters into the video frame, a structure associated with the camera's viewport. Reaction and interaction are limited to an exchange of sensory data purged of critical perceptual phenomena. The spatially flattened visual and audio streams become single-point perspectives that resemble any other screen-based content. Does it then make aesthetic sense to craft mediated performances in a cinematic convention? Or does crafting responsive media coalesce into new modes and models of art?

Keith Armstrong (Artistic director) with Igneous (Suzon Fuks & James Cunningham) & assisted by Bonemap (Russell Milledge and Rebecca Youdell), Kelli Dipple (TATE Modern, UK) & Mike Stubbs (FACT, UK)

Access Grid Performance Festival, 18-22 December
various times, simultaneously at Manchester Supercomputing Centre, UK, QUT Gardens Point, Brisbane & VISLAB, Redfern, Sydney, Australia.
2: Workshops with Mike Stubbs, March 2003, various times, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane. Australia.

Video documentation by Suzon Fuks: