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Chapter Three Knowhere? (continued)

So how would the interactivity work in such an installation? In light of my wish to experiment with the ideas of Hyperchoreography in a live space, I decided that a grid formed by pressure pads would form the interactive platform from which the audience could perform a live video edit from the video material projected before them. Controlled by a complex computer system, the pressure placed onto any grid square by the audience, would activate a cut/edit within the video footage. With regards to content of the footage, it became important to me that the dancer(s) in the video relate directly to the audience in the space. Thus the content of the films became about exploring a new space which was previously unknown to the dancer, the supposition being that the participants on the grid would also be exploring their new environment. Only simple instructions were given to the dancers, the rest of the resulting footage came from the private expeditions of each dancer.

In order to make the exploration for the participant in the live space more diverse I wanted to make the interactivity in places more subtle. Underneath several of the grid squares textural props from each of the three filmed sites were included, so that the audience could explore both their current space and time, and also something of each dancers’ surroundings. The intention was, that each participant would affect the textural props either by leaving their physical impression on them, or by breaking down their form, thus in turn changing the experience of these props for the next performer. Thus the audience were invited to experience the environment through the use of a digitally mediated grid in the centre of the space (see appendix i) which comprised veiled pressure pads and textural props made up of ephemera from the video sites’. In this way the responses of the audience could both shape the video projections and thus their visual and physical milieu. For the audience member performing on the grid the scale of the projections and amount of pixilation meant that for the most part they were unable to clearly define the detail of the dancers moving within the projections, but instead were able to view moving shapes and colours. For those sitting around the space as viewers, the dancers in the video retained more clarity and so it would appear that the performer in the space was dancing as part of a quartet.

Because of the nature of the work, the title for the project became ‘Knowhere?’ By this I meant to indicate that you cannot know where you are either physically and psychologically until you have explored the moment of now and the space that you exist in at present. From that point, you can venture forward into the future. Author Barbara Bolt cites the philosopher Heidegger when arguing that,

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