Agent Ruby

Intermedia || Merging Reflection

Archive Date: December 14, 2017
Author:
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In collaboration with my colleagues, we set out to produce a digital double investigation. Our goals included examining the Double as Reflection, suggested from Steve Dixon’s “The Digital Double” (2004) essay which I reflected previously on here. From this project, we realized that we were attracted to textures, themes, and discovered multiple ways to find a reflection at different levels of technological entanglement. Take a moment to skip through.

One challenge that we encountered was in using the video feedback loop, top-down camera, projection, and lighting to gain different perspectives of the space, it appeared that the movement we created needed to shift per examination. Incorporating The Isadora program, live sound, and lighting to bring these portraits together merged with the movement and use of the material was essential and grounding components to this project.

The digital double in the sense of reflection draws me to the consciousness that the real body maintains throughout the performance. I found it interesting that most of the time the real-life performer needs to witness the digital in reflection. Dixon notes, “This has been exacerbated by paradoxical rhetoric of disembodiment and virtual bodies, which have turned ideas of corporeal reality full circle by the claim that the digital body has equal status and (authenticity) to the biological one” (Dixon 2004, 24). During this study, the concept did cross my mind of the equality of images, and I found myself drawn to both bodies at different times. I begin to speak about this on this page with Agent Ruby and the sense of awareness of consciousness through AI that has developed.

For this project, I appreciated this viewing:

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Fase (1982) is so simple from a current technological standpoint but is still so mesmerizing to watch. Here light, shadow, film, and movement create the dance – enhance the dance. One of the parts that most interests me is at 7:18 of this film. Noting that from the first half of the film space transforms and they are now performing on their shadows in a fully saturated blue space.

Glancing into the future I was struck by this digital double. While the concept is simple seems simple what transpires is exhilarating.

This is CO: LATERAL (2016) by Joao Martinho Moura

Moura’s work with the digital double here is literally electrifying itself. I appreciate how in this work the dancer is in the dark while the emphasis is put on the double.  The bold lighting against the blackened stage gives a stark contrast platform for the double to stand out.  In a sense this double take on a dominant force on stage and provides a strong presence in the work following along with Dixon’s models.

The most important experience I had from this study is the merger of technology and body with intention. Questioning why /how we implement technology into the work was at the forefront of this study to think about as a group. The question: How we collaborate with technology? Continued forward into our next studies.

Sources:

De Keersmaeker, Anne Teresa, and Michele Anne de Mey. 1982. “Fase.” (Film) Director Thierry de Mey. Music Robert Reich.

Dixon. Steve. 2004. “The Digital Double.” New Visions in Performance: The Impact of Digital Technologies. Ed. Gavin Carver. Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger. Print