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Chapter Three Knowhere?


When starting to think about creating a practical work based upon the structuring and artistic principles of hypertext theory, it seemed important to identify what other artists were doing with the medium. Hypermedia has been frequently utilised as a format for structuring interactive text sources and documenting performance works and their relevant information. Although hypermedia can conceptually exhibit a more creative means of arranging information about a piece of art, few artists use hypertext theories as a mode of presenting the art itself. Hyperchoreography, a dance website created and designed by Katrina McPherson and Simon Fildes employs hypertext as an integral part of both the artistic process and product. The sites premise is that when editing a dance film, there is inevitably much leftover footage post-production, which is still worth showing to an audience, yet may not fit into the precincts of the final film. Instead of presenting a film which leads the audience from A to B, Hyperchoreography allows the audience to edit their own version by inputting their own decisions into the post-production process via the sites interactive mediation. Although Fildes and McPherson actually facilitate hypertext’s ability to provide a structuring format for their art, it seems somewhat restrictive. As they state themselves, “Hyperchoreography is a concept for dance on the world wide web” (2004, online). However why should hypertext and the digital choreography be constrained to an existence on the internet? Could Hyperchoreography as a model be brought out into a physical space? Can hypertext form the basis for a tangible work of art rather than a cyber based one?

The decision to create an interactive digital installation rather than a choreography for the stage, came as a result of the wish to determine whether it was possible to use hypermedia within a performance space. This in turn meant re-asserting the predominant values of hypertext theory, these being audience interaction and non-linear pathways through the form and content of the work. To provide a choreographic project for a mediated space integrating performances by trained dancers and audience interaction may cause confusion for both performing parties with both unable to define who is controlling what. Instead the intentions behind hypermedia and Hyperchoreography seemed more akin to a video installation which could embrace the interactive components of the piece.


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