shiftwork - unspooled
contents : abstract : motion
studies essay : appendix : bibliography :
motion studies project
The essay's opening section identifies the pioneering photographic work
of Eadweard Muybridge as a catalyst for development in the cinema and
technological industries during the twentieth century. This section
also examines how key developments in both of these spheres, such as
the emergence of a body of screen-specific dance work, and the growth
of digital and new media arts practices, have fed into the genesis
of online dance work as a potentially distinct genre. These elements
are also examined in relation to the creation of Motion Studies (2003).
The essay's second section begins the process of inquiry into the nature
of online dance work utilising a set of criteria developed by U.K.
based choreographer Richard Lord. Using these criteria, a range of
online dance content, such as promotional websites, webcasting and
information databases are examined. These, however, ultimately fail
to conform to the requirements for categorisation as online dance work.
Five dance works created for Internet-specific presentation by British
and U.S. artists are also examined and analysed as a means of determining
properties or approaches common to the creation of online dance. The
practical, artistic and technical issues involved in the creation of
Motion Studies are also outlined in this section, including discussion
of the role of the choreographer within current practice, and the importance
of improvisation as an element within the piece.
The next section locates Motion Studies within the theoretical context
of Donna Haraway's writings on feminism and the applications of advanced
technologies, as outlined in Simians, Cyborgs and Women (1991). Haraway's
concept of cyborg imagery is also examined in relation to the experience
of choreographing and viewing Motion Studies, with a further examination
of the enabling potential of technology as it relates to the creation
and experience of viewing dance work. Wider issues in the current debate
surrounding the use of technology in dance, as put forward by Don Ihde,
Susan Kozel and Sherril Dodds, are also discussed.
In the essay's final section, a range of barriers to the creation of
online work, such as lack of specialist technical skills within the
dance community; the difficulties of attracting audiences, and the
current emphasis on the commodification of dance, are examined. The
issue of categorisation of online work is revisited, identifying several
trends and similarities from within the sample study group, subsequently
reaching the conclusion that it may not currently be helpful to insist
on too rigid a definition of this type of work at such an early stage
of its development. The essay concludes with a final evaluation of
the processes involved in the creation of Motion Studies.