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dissemination, but somewhat different from the final, archival version of the article. Do not cite this version without permis-‐ sion from the author; the archival version is published as: Kozel, S. (2010). Mobile social choreographies: Choreographic insight as a basis for artistic research into mobile technologies. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media 6:2, pp. 137–148. DOI:10.1386/padm.6.2.137_1
SUSAN KOZEL Malmö University, Sweden
Mobile Social Choreographies: choreographic insight as a basis for artistic research into mobile technologies
This is a pre-‐print version, published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination, but somewhat different from the final, archival version of the article. Do not cite this version without permission from the author.
they span moods and activities. stories. GPS devices. archival version of the article. . This paper con-‐ siders the first phase of this project. engineers. and theoretical momentum: the use of mobile devices in our cities. the focus of the workshop was corporeal expression through mobile phones. Others see the confluence of voice. and spine movements associated with using them. while some designers such as Tony Dunne say that the most difficult challenges posed by design of new intelligent ob-‐ jects draw us into the realms of metaphysics. Our senses are re-‐patterned.This paper addresses an area of contemporary research gaining in physical. they accompany us for hours. head. not at all surprising that they stumble across terms that are more intimate to our practices than theirs: performance and choreography. wireless. histories. They are portable. our intui-‐ tion of space and time folds inward or leaps outward. In the “softspace” opened up by participatory technologies within buildings or cities. Creative use of handheld. images. If our mobile de-‐ vices are location aware. they are fluid. and poetry (Dunne 2006). location-‐aware devices is an established area of media art called locative media. and philosophers. our pockets. architect Usman Haque claims that people are en-‐ couraged to become “performers within their own environments. LOCATIVE AND MOBILE MEDIA Mobile media devices encourage or inhibit human exchanges. media artists. They contribute to the social choreographies of our daily lives.” and as this happens architectural design becomes a “choreography of sensa-‐ tions. but somewhat different from the final. for which this paper contributes a start-‐ ing point. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. or our bags. which was a week long workshop for professional choreographers under the rubric of the Close Encoun- ters gathering on artistic research in dance at the University College of Dance in Sweden. social. in our hearts. cycles and rhythms of life. in our memories … in the devices themselves? It is not at all surprising that the researchers and designers active in this area struggle to find vo-‐ cabulary to describe what is happening. and our daily gestures include the arm. days and seasons. The broader project. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. or even non-‐ networked iPods). we access an other person. build-‐ ings. We integrate these little chunks of miniaturized technology into our clothing.” 1 Geographers like Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift have come to ac-‐ cept that people act in public spaces “for the simple pleasure of acting” (Amin & Thrift 2002). and has captured the imaginations of geographers. consists in applying choreographic and performative ap-‐ proaches to the study of embodied expression through mobile devices with the goals of designing devices offering scope for enhanced corpo-‐ real expression and producing an embodied aesthetics. and body movement as urban choreographies per-‐ formed through the use of mobile devices. architects. aesthetics. but other mobile media devices could have been considered (like handheld computers. Now it is time for dancers and choreogra-‐ phers to contribute to the critical and creative activity around bodies and mobile devices in social contexts. We even walk and see differently when we use them. even if the devices are not actually networked we can hold images or sounds of them as archived data: we then carry the other with us.2 Beautiful and evocative This is a pre-‐print version.
or GPS. Bluetooth. insight could be gained into our own artistic practices as re-‐ search.3 Sending and receiving: one might say that the basics of media communication are also the basics of gesture. It would be like receiving a text message as you pass a spot in a city. I decided that a contribution to this domain of research could begin through a Close Encounters working group and. A better explanation of the technologies is perhaps useful. satellites trigger the assigned media causing the device to download this formatted content. All that was required in terms of technology was a willingness for participants to use their own mobile phones. connections. all of them. through this process. The parallel goals of the workshop are echoed by the parallel strands of this paper: reflecting upon artistic research methodologies at the same time as contributing to choreographic perspectives to a wider field of social and cultural research in mobile and locative media. The result is an augmenta-‐ tion of physical reality with a layer of media. or a desire to take ad-‐ vantage of the phones generously provided by Lone Koefoed Hansen and Camille Baker. and design rather than from choreography and performance? It was not that I felt we owned these terms. like mobile phones or other devices that can talk to the wider world by means of wifi. suspensions. One of these words alone is suffi-‐ cient to launch an improvisation.4 Dancers understand fields. but somewhat different from the final. Media content is managed and organised in an entirely dif-‐ ferent location. and interaction with urban spaces. emanations.ideas. they were without a doubt doing a good job. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. because the device knows its location. There are images I love from a knit-‐ This is a pre-‐print version. and spaces in between. this media can be in real time like a phone call or can be prere-‐ corded data. a message. it is common for locative media projects to arrange for a piece of text to be “left” at a place in a city only to be displayed when another person with a spe-‐ cially enabled mobile device happens to walk by that particular place. rather I wondered whether choreographers and dancers were missing the chance to contribute to a wider area of research. If so. Once a location is determin-‐ able. archival version of the article. but why was I uneasy to hear them coming from the domains of an architecture. social interactions. cultural. As the location-‐aware device enters the area ‘tagged’ and determined by GPS coordinates. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. deal-‐ ing with memory or storytelling. or an image at a place for someone else to find. not from a friend but from the city itself. For example. mutations. whether others were speaking for us. It could work in the other direc-‐ tion too. Loca-‐ tive media generally refers to electronic devices that are aware of their location. the person walking around can leave a song. Our working group delib-‐ erately did not operate at the level of technological sophistication de-‐ scribed in the preceding paragraph: it was not necessary. and they frequently have po-‐ litical. . on a standard desktop or laptop connected to a server. gestural vocabularies. geography. Environmental awareness and social interactions form the content of many locative media projects. bodily knowledge. or more internal personal narrative components. sonic and visual media can be delivered directly to a person’s de-‐ vice. but I couldn’t help but feel there was still room for us to con-‐ tribute. As a group of choreographers our goal was to explore basic elements to emerge from our use of mobile media: philosophical concepts.
Their bags are hand knitted and designed spe-‐ cifically to hold computers and mobile phones. which has still only rarely been systematically explored” (Amin and Thrift 2002. devices. social. but also because all of us who live in cities are increasingly controlled on these levels by the buildings. urban. and social codes produced by contemporary societies. Amin and Thrift write that “there is a whole politics of embodiment. and between their bodies and the urban structures. I’m not just using my imagination: the pattern reflected by the image is for a computer bag. etc) to engage performa-‐ tively with the world. 203-‐205).” They are right. wearing pre-‐ posterously large sunglasses. affects how we move and corporeally inhabit our spaces. SOCIAL CHOREOGRAPHIES The idea of social choreographies came to me while working on a pro-‐ ject in wearable computing (where we embedded small computers into clothing so that pulse and breath could be shared among people). ironic. Amin and Thrift’s intuition is that this area can be usefully explored through “artistic modes of understanding. observing others as they moved through space communicating on their phones. or in our imaginations. self-‐reflexively sensing our own movement as we engaged in the act of using our mobile phones. A working definition emerging from this stage of research is that social choreographies are temporal and spatial patterns of life enabled or haunted by mobile port- able wireless technologies. and bodies. but somewhat different from the final. audio. Everything. Gesture and behaviour need to be examined both out of sheer fas-‐ cination. carrying brightly coloured knitted bags. We created our own choreographies either in the studio. it can be the palpable presence of others causing joy as much as longing or disquiet. They look vi-‐ brant. in the sense that we are constitutively haunted by the other (Derrida 2000. carrying these back and forth in our thoughts. 2. from the minutiae of ges-‐ ture to the movement patterns of the crowd. seem intimate and alive. archival version of the article.5 It seemed to be such an intuitive juxtaposition of words. Recent ex-‐ pansions to the way geographers and philosophers of technology view cities have included the recognition that animals and technologies are also actors in cities (actor network theory. and embodied poetics that opens when we take seriously the suggestion that locative media fosters currents of social choreographies. and we also observed people like them in Stockholm. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. We investigated the spatial. happy. discussions. 158). using the functions of the mobile devices (video. standing next to each other on a New York City subway platform with the train whizzing past. The spaces between them. from secure buildings and public transit to the smart products and genetically modified foods we consume. In our working group we became these women.ting magazine showing two young women wearing brightly coloured belted-‐raincoats. other patterns in the same book are for mobile phone pouches. at home in their clothes and in the city. 3. on the street. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. In the working group we played across three choreographic per-‐ spectives: 1. This haunting need not be of the spooky and unnerving quality. . banal even: social This is a pre-‐print version. and knitted motifs include emoticons or email addresses. Latour 1993) but many scholars and artists feel that the scope of urban politics is still too nar-‐ row.
whether they are my movement pat-‐ terns. poetry. but somewhat different from the final. and of my relation-‐ ship to you. when. according to which rhythm. and in what form. combined with the patterns of bodies. the studio). da-‐ tabases. text. buildings. my voice.and choreography. Stillness and quiet in data exchange are as integral as acceleration. head bent in concentration. expressivity. While waiting for the underground at a central Stockholm station I decided to observe people with their mobiles (this station was not so deep that the signal was lost). who receives it. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. flow. to shape them into expressive portrayals of who I am. a palpable mood emanating from her as if the text she was reading – for I knew somehow that it was a text message and not a This is a pre-‐print version. it seemed that the gen-‐ erous act was to make it plural. a chiasmic aesthetics of disappearance and exchange across the physical and the digital. archival version of the article. Choreographing my data. hide it in lay-‐ ers of clothes or expose it. is the ring tone humourous or discreet? Is it almost never switched on? Quali-‐ ties of performance -‐-‐ ephemerality. The mobile phone is a vibrant example: do people hunch into it or speak loudly as an indication of social or financial status. As if we ever could. by ergonomic or awkward design or by the set of codes communicated across distinct social groups indicating how to use and wear devices in different social settings (the club. is like saying I want to play with my data and yours. This approach to social cho-‐ reographies and the choreography of data is in the early stages of de-‐ velopment: it is fundamentally corporeal. As indicated above. humour. to flirt with them and with you. the ebb. and to challenge conventional uses of devices. my heart rate. to delight. and flux of all activities across so many human and non-‐human forms. the library. Should this term be plural or singular? Thinking of the movement of people in cities. all of our devices invite a set of physical ges-‐ tures either determined by the data they convey (voice. Data choreography across social contexts contributes to an emerging and adaptive poetics. physicality -‐-‐ integrated into the design and use of mobile media can act to disrupt. my scribbled thoughts. and mobile devices in urban spaces. narrative or affective quality. discontinuity and disrup-‐ tion are as important to human corporeal exchange through digital de-‐ vices as are continuity and connection. the subway. An example of viewing the world through the lens of social cho-‐ reographies helps to prevent this discussion from becoming too ab-‐ stract or speculative. and networks. Choreographing the flow of data in a social set-‐ ting involves being aware of what it is. It is choreographically signifi-‐ cant for me to make a choice for my data to exist in a certain manner: do I send a text or make a call? Do I leave a voicemail message or follow up with an email message? Do I send an image? What I do with this data is significant too: do I save it or let it disappear? Do I remember it or ar-‐ chive it? And it is tremendously significant for me to choose to switch off my phone (to be disconnected) or to wear my music headset in pub-‐ lic (to be disconnected in a different way). so as to avoid seeming to impose a uni-‐ fying movement scheme on all that breathed and morphed around us. concerned with the rhythms and flows of immanent states radiating outwards. visuals). I saw a woman with her arm bent holding her phone at the level of her chest. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. place it on their desks beside them or dig in the bottom of their bags for it? Is it set to ring loudly or softly. .
This choreography was per-‐ formed by them but it was brought into focus through my perception. She was doing the same to the information on her phone. 162-‐163). imagination. others. readable by anyone who took the time to notice. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. and emotional. things. He had just begun to eat his sandwich. His head and arm carved similar shapes in space to the woman with the phone. swallowed up in the millions of gestures and thoughts occurring in social spaces every day. For a moment I became nothing but nervous system. as if what she received was nourishing her. whose research in neurophysiology and somatics rests on a foundation of dance and philosophy. hers seemed to be trepidation. the space between them contracted and then expanded. They passed very closely together but did not bump into each other. and current fascination with social choreographies. or flesh. Hubert Godard. They shared this public stage harmoniously. The myth of the self-‐contained body collapsed into dust around my feet. gets caught up in things and others in the world. and this fabric was the connective tissue. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. “the nervous machine. for the disso-‐ lution of my armor of skin meant not just that I could extend into space but that what was beyond me could reach into me: permeate and ger-‐ minate. sandwich. Merleau-‐Ponty captures this when he says “I lend my body to the world” by being visible and mobile. She was drinking in her phone. and the space between things. my body was truly “caught in the fabric of the world” (Merleau-‐Ponty 1964. Then a person walked past her.” inheres in the world. 6 Social choreographies.game or simply a calendar – was personally compelling. we are nothing but connective tissue. which I initially resisted. His mood was antici-‐ pation. archival version of the article. once asserted: “The body does not exist. When I phone or text you. spatial. social choreographies are based on the palpability of touch across distance. the moment of movement. 163). oth-‐ erwise this little moment would have simply disappeared. quite unaware of each other. Her focus was complete. part visible and part invisible. Their choreographies were private and public. ARTISTIC RESEARCH The research methodology for our Close Encounters working group’s investigation of social choreographies was a version of phenomenology according to which knowledge and creation come from the moment of doing.” 7 His words. All his attention was on this partially unwrapped. as if she existed in a bubble embracing her upper body and her device. the affective clouds they emanated were pure and clear. The soundscape was the general hubbub of public transit. are about transub-‐ stantiation and convergence. a man holding a sand-‐ wich in much the same position. and it seemed to be nourishing him. . do I not activate the connective tissue between us? Through a choreographic lens. left such an impact on my way of living in my body that as I sat quietly in a room the following day I felt my skin dissolve and tendrils of my body reach and wave in the space. I also felt a raw vulnerability. gestural. that pre-‐reflective moment where This is a pre-‐print version. of my body. My mobile body. and through this both world and body are changed (Merleau-‐Ponty 1964. a nervous machine. over-‐garnished. like data choreography. internal and external. but somewhat different from the final. to ingest it.
When Rock-‐ well was commissioned to design a new terminal for the John F Ken-‐ nedy international airport in New York specifically for JetBlue. he invited a choreographer to work with him. even though we may do both. or can it be seen as a choreography of creative tensions in the form of ideas? I see it as the latter. flows. archival version of the article. Research is not always the excavation of the artist’s own voice. It is one thing to win an artist over to the merits of understanding a broader community of discourse and practice but something else entirely to fos-‐ ter in her the scholarly research skills to do so. 2) observing from outside. I was asked by one of the workshop participants: “why do we al-‐ ways have to situate our work through the words of others?” A chal-‐ lenging question. and then setting versions of this on other bodies. This is dance as research: that lush. Their analy-‐ sis was a compelling example of viewing from the outside. Phenomenology respects that what we think. it is the nestling of this voice into a community (sometimes a cacophony) of other voices. Sometimes we are better able to understand seemingly abstract con-‐ cepts by filtering them through the minute but concrete moment of en-‐ countering the world through our bodies. but simply stating it this way is not enough to convince a strong-‐willed artist. Other choreographers pre-‐ fer to view forms. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. what we have read. The first and second reflect distinct choreographic processes. Sometimes it is hard for a practitioner to accept this need to articulate her ideas in terms of harmonies or tensions with oth-‐ ers. but somewhat different from the final. While we undertake our physical experimentation we can keep the philosophical questioning alive by writing about our experi-‐ ences and extracting the significant ideas. They began by observing the flow of people through two of New York City’s most loved public spaces: Washington Square in Greenwich Village and Grand Central Station in mid-‐town Manhattan. conceptually rich crossing point between thought and corpo-‐ reality. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. and 3) engaging with the world through the mobile de-‐ vice. obvi-‐ ously through a highly corporeal form of perception. Is academic writing merely a process of ceaseless jus-‐ tification by relying on others. a new economy airline in the USA. This collision is the basis of cognition and creative insight. Sometimes we are able to cri-‐ tique and re-‐formulate ideas which seem to be sacred to philosophers or scientists. and most of us have a preference for one. .knowledge and senses converge and where the basis for meaning re-‐ sides. moving. but with an exter-‐ nal focus. and I have to in order to muster the strength to grasp a dense argument presented in a book let alone open a blank document on my computer. The difference between these two perspectives can be made clear by considering a collaboration in the United States between David Rockwell (architect) and Jerry Mitchell (choreographer). Some choreographers develop movement by moving their own bodies in space. what is generally held to be true. They noted how the architectural elements of Grand Central Station permitted peo-‐ ple to flow through the space on their way to the trains while minimiz-‐ This is a pre-‐print version. capturing a kinaesthetic and affective feeling from within. I alluded above to three research strategies for mobile social com-‐ puting which can be reduced to: 1) sensing from within. and patterns outside of their own bodies. and with other beings breathing. and speaking in the world. all bump into the moment of encoun-‐ ter with life.
echoing Felix Guattari’s suggestion that with art the “finitude of the sensible material becomes a support for the production of affects and percepts” (Guattari 1995. After a period of concentrated stillness while the task was initiated. 100-‐101). The improvisation instructions for those in the centre were to use their own mobile phones to call or text someone. The use of gaze became largely internal. just to illustrate different ways of approaching choreog-‐ raphy applied to social contexts. which shaped people's movement successfully — and which were not. speaking. but their very limited nature also proved to be quite rich. These functions can be quite basic: text. who was speak-‐ ing to a person. Sounds of voices. one which brought this third approach to life. All different modes of communication were reflected in their bodies. but I also noticed elements they left out: like the sound. but somewhat different from the final. The enormous clock. their focus. This is not to say that one approach is better than another. the rest of us stood and observed from the periphery. It was as if people they cared about enough to contact with their mobiles were suddenly in the space. taking into account the presence of mobile devices. . “The two men thought a lot about which public spaces in New York were well ‘choreographed’ — that is.”8 They did a sort of “rhythmanalysis. while engaged in this activity. was to use the functions of the phone in order to shape the flow and connection between bodies. We did quite a beautiful improvisation. This option. Despite this being an enormous stone structure containing hundreds of rushing commuters. To these two perspectives a third is added. and who was access-‐ ing voice mail. This is a pre-‐print version. but they did not indicate how they felt as they moved through the spaces themselves. the stairways all contributed to the social choreo-‐ graphies of the space. and their journeys through space. Seemingly rambling pat-‐ terns emerged. I noticed elements indicated by Rockwell and Mitchell. Are we part of the crowd reading through our bodies or are we outside the crowd watching and witness-‐ ing? I suggest that both perspectives can be phenomenological. such as a strange sense of being unhurried and guided through the space by the architecture. It was clear who was texting. both from the people in the room and from their friends combined with sounds of ring tones and button beeps. developed specifically for the Close Encoun- ters working group. who was leaving a voice message. Four workshop participants occupied the centre of the studio. archival version of the article. stopping and starting. or sending images. the elevated balconies. it was strangely silent. and to how I felt.ing confusion and collision. then simply to move through the space as they normally would.” a term coined by Henri Lefebvre according to which the rhythms of a city are contemplated from a detached stand-‐ point. I moved through the space with the crowd and paid attention to what I heard and saw. this analysis occurs from a position of “spectral distance. the arched ceiling.” relat-‐ ing to speculation and spectacle by means of receptivity and exterior-‐ ity. the “mo-‐ bile dancers” began to move through space. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination.9 Rockwell and Mitchell analyzed crowd flow through urban spaces. some present in the studio and some not. but this did not mean that the dynamic was solitary: this was a crowded space. Watching this group I was struck by the social choreographies that emerged. I did this when I visited Grand Central Station sev-‐ eral months ago. accessing voicemail. Do not cite this version without permission from the author.
the finite object that was the mobile phone brought forth a plethora of kinaesthetic and emotional traces. He realised that his linguistic and academic methods could involve concepts and structures analogous to his choreographic methods. thought. and feared that his thought and use of language might not be as rich.10 The intensity of debate. others. In a similar mode. It has implications for so many levels of perception. and that this was yet another dimension of artistic research. As a result the questions was asked: “what does it mean to observe? to document? to live amongst others with the goal of constructing knowledge?” It became clear immediately that this was done from a fundamentally embodied position.” or whether a broad understanding of what constitutes knowledge is in process of shifting. This extended philosopher Maurice Merleau-‐Ponty’s relation of the “seeing–seen” (according which I see and I am seen. where simultaneously several events like modules would occur. by myself. in choreography. and things) and the “touch-‐ ing–touched” (I touch and I am touched. others. introduced the role of observer into each of three research working groups. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. Social. . and desirability of artistic research is increasing. scope. and creation. Echoing Guattari. archival version of the article. and transformation over time took place. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. and things) into active practice-‐based research where the product of research is not This is a pre-‐print version. Vice-‐Chancellor of the University College of Dance and convener of the Close Encounters event. I consider this an exercise in “mining for method”: doing a reflective archaeology of artistic processes to reveal the methodologies embedded within them. There was palpa-‐ ble delight in his discovery because he was at home in movement. Choices were made. and by the other bodies that seemed to materialize in the space. by myself. DARK MATTER A participant in the Close Encounters working group came to the reali-‐ zation that his thought processes were choreographic. I find this an exciting prospect. or at least to uncover the methodological start-‐ ing points that can be elaborated further through applied research. Henk Borgdorff in his presentation at Close Encounters asked whether art has been “infected by the research virus. but palpably prerecorded. but somewhat different from the final. Bodies among bodies. This at once made both the academic re-‐ search process and the technologies less alien. and it allowed him to appreciate previously unrecognised qualities in his choreographic processes. This observation prompts a shift from the elaboration of a social choreographic approach to mobile technologies to the second goal of this paper and of the work-‐ shop: reflecting upon artistic research methodologies. around the methodologies. Research in the flesh. I was most struck by the intimacy and vibrancy of their emotional states across these registers of presence. both within and outside the Academy. and that these could easily embrace the mobile technologies we introduced into the studio.albeit virtually. Even the one person who called her voicemail brought other beings into the space. Efva Lilja. His insight was that his thoughts developed and accumulated according to a structure. kinaesthetic bodies. a complex structure of many layers. as if they lived as echoes of times past. but she deliberately did not define what this role entailed. just like when he crafted his dances.
integration into our personal and communal flesh. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. tends to be antithetical to existing social and cultural structures. done in our working group. and articulate. Research is fundamentally material. a bounded object. By sketching the spaces between. good and bad. deepen. The place where people go when they want to change the world. and matter. digestion. Structural openness on the part of an institution combined with rigour is essential for such students to flourish. . uncritical approaches to the prac-‐ tice of choreography.just an inert deliverable. critique. poetry and clarity. as well as imaginative extrapolations of space. as she said. It is a space where dark matter. This is a poetic inver-‐ sion with implications for both mobile social choreographies and artis-‐ tic research. negative space. Receptivity is a process of taking something into our bodies.” Uneasy with what? Drawing the speculation back to the focus on artistic re-‐ search: uneasy with existing academic paradigms and methods. and it occurs to me that dancers are instinctively adept at metaphysics. rather than to the things and limbs themselves. We understand space. but includes layers of recep-‐ tion and response (Merleau-‐Ponty 1968). Choreographers and dancers drawn to research in university contexts often crave something. to the notion of negative space. between their limbs. challenge. but that. or as Åsa Unander Scharin wittily put it after we had improvised in the studio for half an hour: “the dark matter of fact. through movement and thought. time. archival version of the article. for mobile devices manipulate the spaces between people and artistic research opens entirely new perspectives on materials and relationships. which does not mean it is easily grasped. but somewhat different from the final. but it simply means viewing the gaps between forms rather than the forms themselves. These perceptual and kinetic exercises echo Borgdorff’s claim that “art. The physical improvisation is similar. at the same time as uneasy with unthinking. The space of creative inversion.” This is not a suggestion that artistic research is emotional and irrational or that women and dancers have a particular affinity for crying. “the restless and the uneasy contribute to arts research. It is a strange term. asking people to move through space paying attention to the spaces between things. by its nature. the trees of a landscape or the arm and the torso. This was evident in an improvisation on negative space. Negative space is a term used in visual art: when students are learning to draw for the first time it is not uncommon for the teacher to ask them to perceive the negative space instead of the figure.” and Lilja’s suggestion that “tears come first. We have no prob-‐ lem inverting reality and improvising based on the most tenuous of suggestions. for example.” This is a pre-‐print version. Negative space is under-‐defined space. the whole picture emerges and sometimes with greater vibrancy than by simply paying attention to the foreground at the expense of the background. of consuming in the material senses of ingestion. exhibiting high degrees of skills in their disciplines there is a desire to expand. time. I return frequently. or dark matter. ambigu-‐ ity and logic. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. for con-‐ juring value judgements between negative and positive. There is darkness and light. and matter. the unknown substance of the universe is explored.
28). and shaping them) choreogra-‐ phers can provide a more complete articulation of the corporeal and This is a pre-‐print version. The pres-‐ ence of mauve was not just the stuff of fashion. I have attempted to translate some of the poetic corporeal processes with the linguistic device of metaphor. Quite the metaphor for embodied thought: the bodies in the space could not relinquish movement for long without running the risk of being plunged into darkness. this system had the bizarre impact of causing seated seminar participants to take turns to leap up from their chairs and fling their bodies through space to keep the space illuminated. Can we imagine losing entire swathes of colour from our urban palette? Can we imagine a world without mobile phones? We might not want to wear mauve. but “promised a new way of looking at the world” by adding a new visual register to the streets. as in the use of dark matter in the section above. indicating another avenue for social choreographic analysis. it became clear that there is.11 My approach is neither nostalgic of times before mobile devices and smart studios. . This is not a naïve vitalism. archival version of the article. 4).SEEING MAUVE With the exploration of social choreographies provided by the Close Encounters working group. and without offering ubiquitous computing in its research profile. without a doubt. just as we might not want to carry a phone or use a certain ring tone. critiquing them. but these have permanently affected our perceptual and gestural life. and the rare opportunity to witness the creative processes of a group of experienced choreographers. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. Without intending to. places of potential: “Each urban mo-‐ ment can spark performative improvisations which are unforeseen and unforeseeable. New dyes per-‐ mitted fabrics to be made in the colour mauve. Bodies and technologies in cities and in dance studios just are. Through the practice of social choreo-‐ graphies (seeing them. of necessity. nor am I indicating that technologies are the greatest things to have ever crossed our paths and got under our skin. Mauve was followed by magenta. like the colour mauve. Appropriate for a dance class offering fairly consistent patterns of motion. Cities are. Amin and Thrift cite a wonderful snippet of technological history from the 19th century that profoundly affected human perception and ideas about the world. By calling atten-‐ tion to bodies I am neither calling for a return to the halcyon days of or-‐ ganic existence (because I don’t think they existed). This section evokes colour and an unex-‐ pected choreographic side-‐effect of a particular ubiquitous technology to draw this paper to a close and to set up the next current of reflec-‐ tions in this domain. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. but it is a politics of hope” (Amin and Thrift 2002. nor am I blindly pro-‐technological. both rigour and poetry to the artistic research process that will certainly not be exhaustively described in this paper. The corporeal and rhythmic pat-‐ terns produced by this technology were distinct from the choreo-‐ graphies fostered by mobile phone usage. these “literally coloured the urban world in new ways” (Amin and Thrift 2002. The smart and energy saving stu-‐ dios had sensors embedded in the ceiling so that an absence of per-‐ ceived motion caused the lights to dim. but somewhat different from the final. by myself and by others. the building in which the University College of Dance was housed provided a practical and metaphorical example of an idiosyncratic research environment.
urban-‐atmospheres.uk/papers. of a choreography) and attention to performance is where research takes root. They contributed Nokia smart phones to the workshop for those who desired and increased level of video functionality from their devices. a locative media artist whose work often recreates the deaths of celebrities that can only be seen by visiting the actual spot of the death and using either a device or a wearable visual display.php. but somewhat different from the final.12 We can also expand the awareness and the range of our own artistic research methods. Usman Haque’s website has documentation of projects and some of his papers http://www. shorter version appeared as “Social Choreographies” in the documentation of the artistic gathering at the University College of Dance. The Urban Atmosphere’s group uses mobile phones as location aware and measuring devices to remix local stories (Participatory Urbanism) but also to sense levels of air pollution (Common Sense) http://www. Stockholm 2008. Ben Russell from the UK has written innovatively in this area.haque. The small hiatus between performance (of a task.html and Terri Rueb’s art work (http://www. we are not forced to step outside of our bodies to use our mobile devices.net. An entire issue of the Leonardo Electronic Almanac Issue was devoted to Locative Media.uk/bt/work_rider_spoke. In fiction. out of our ways of being in the world in order to do research.choreographic layer to this politics of hope. We are already do-‐ ing research. out of our practices. archival version of the article. and if they are not yet performing the way we would like them to then we can try to make them more corporeal so by how we use them in our lives and our art. They assisted me with this workshop. .blasttheory. William Gibson’s Spook Country features a character named Al-‐ berto Corrales. For a related account of performance This is a pre-‐print version.org/journal/vol_14/lea_v14_n03-‐04/ 3. see http://rixc. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. An earlier. They are embodied technologies of touch and contact. As choreographers. we do not have to step out of our bodies. include Blast Theory’s performances Rider Spoke and Uncle Roy All Around You http://www. As dancers. Do not cite this version without permission from the author.net/). Close Encounters – Artists on artistic research published by the University College of Dance. France. 2. Lone Koefoed Hansen from the University of Aarhus in Denmark and Camille Baker from the University of East London in the UK are both researching mobile technologies. 1. The rest is an articulation based on this moment of perception.lv/ram5. 4. providing input from the slightly adjacent worlds of design (Hansen) and media performance (Baker).co. Volume 14. Issue 03. NOTES This paper was completed with the support of a residency at La Char-‐ treuse: Centre Nationale pour Ecriture et Performance in Avignon.co.terirueb. Some examples of the breadth of locative media. as an actual artistic and technological phenomenon and as an imaginary trope. http://leoalmanac.
6. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. 8. This is a pre-‐print version. and public spaces) anticipating our needs and responding to them often be-‐ fore we realize we have these needs. Ubiquitous computing is a variously defined term but generally re-‐ fers to computer systems being all around us (in our homes. Amin and Thrift coined the phrase “politics of hope” several years prior to the 2008 campaign of United States President Obama (recall that this phrase became key to his platform) prompting the observation that a social choreographic analysis of his campaign and his Presi-‐ dency’s extensive strategic use of mobile media and social networking would be compelling. The methodology I employ for this longer term research project into social choreographies is also under development. 5. For additional writing on methodological approaches to artistic re-‐ search coming directly from dance see Kozel 2010a. but somewhat different from the final. Some of the foundational ideas on social choreographies found in this section of this paper are elaborated in the context of data choreography and wearable computing in my book Kozel (2007).whispers. .methods converging with design processes. For details of heterophenomenology see Kozel (2007). 11. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. or embedded in objects or structures. archival version of the article.ca and a chapter in my book devoted to discussing wearable computing (Kozel 2007). For more information see www. 15-‐18). see Hansen and Kozel (2007). for a de-‐ scription of performance ethnography elaborated from a perspective of activist theatre see Denzin (2003). offices.nytimes. These systems are frequently in-‐ visible. http://www.com/2006/05/28/arts/dance/28gree. See Kozel 2010b for a per-‐ formative approach to ubiquitous computing. 7. 12. This was the whisper[s] project. Amin and Thrift provide a good explanation of Lefebvre’s rhythmana-‐ lysis and juxtapose it with Walter Benjamin’s transitivity (Amin and Thrift 2002. The New York Times article by Jesse Green has useful annotated pho-‐ tographs of Grand Central Station and Washington Square. but this project necessitates a sideways shift from first-‐person phenomenology to a version of heterophenomenology.html?ex=1 306468800&en=5ec14242e7e22c12&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=r ss 9. My long-‐time corpo-‐ real methodology for artistic and philosophical exploration is a version of phenomenology. 10. or second person phenomenology combined with performance ethnogra-‐ phy.
Hansen.nytimes. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.) London and New York: Routledge. Thousand Oaks. William.” in Close Encounters – Art- ists on artistic research. Ash and Nigel Thrift. 2007. Susan. H (eds. Denzin. Wheatsheaf. Susan. San Francisco: Berkeley Trade. Kozel. 2007. 2003. ed. “Social Choreographies. Felix 1995. Gibson. Jesse. Sydney: Feral. MA: The MIT Press. Spook Country. “Eye and Mind” in The Primacy of Per- ception. Susan. Cities: Reimagining the Urban. Susan. UK: Polity Press. Phenomenology. 2008. 2006. Kozel. pp 207-‐220. Kozel. translated by Carlton Dallery. Lone Koefoed and Susan Kozel. London. . ed.REFERENCES Amin. Kozel. Chaosmosis. Vol 18. Maurice. Edie. Performance Ethnography: Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Culture. No 4. Cambridge MA and New York: The MIT Press. pp159-‐190. “At the New JetBlue Terminal.” in Throughout: Art and Culture Emerging with Ubiquitous Computing.” http://www. 2000. Hertzian Tales. Bruno. “Embodied imagination: a hybrid method of designing for intimacy. Merleau-‐Ponty. Stockholm: University College of Dance. Green. forthcoming. Closer: Performance. 2008. Passengers May Pir-‐ ouette to Gate.html?ex=1 306468800&en=5ec14242e7e22c12&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=r ss Guattari. archival version of the article. 1993. Dunne. “Sinews of Ubiquity: A Corporeal Eth-‐ ics for Ubiquitous Computing. in Biggs. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press. Technologies. Latour. Norman K. Le toucher. Anthony. Jacques. James M. M and Karlsson. This is a pre-‐print version. 2010b. but somewhat different from the final. 1964. Do not cite this version without permission from the author. Cam-‐ bridge. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Jean Luc Nancy. 2006.” Digital Creativity. New York. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. in The Routledge Companion to Re- search in the Arts. 2002. Cambridge. London: Harvester. Derrida. Ulrik Ekman. Paris: Editions Galilée. The Virtual and the Physical: A Phenomenological Approach to Performance Research. We Have Never Been Modern. 2010a.com/2006/05/28/arts/dance/28gree.
Scandinavia. technologies. published with the author's consent in the interest of open dissemination. philosophy (2007) published by The MIT Press. The Visible and the Invisible. archival version of the article. Working in England. This is a pre-‐print version. choreographer and writer specializing in the area of movement and digital technologies. architects. translated by Alphonso Lingis. BIO Susan Kozel is a dancer. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. she collaborates with digital artists. and composers to create performances and installations.Merleau-‐Ponty. She is the director of Mesh Performance Practices http://www. . software engineers. Maurice.meshperformance. Europe. and Canada. 1968.org. but somewhat different from the final. Her most recent book is Closer: per- formance. Do not cite this version without permission from the author.
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