TABOO - TRANSGRESSION - TRANSCENDENCE
in Art & Science
27-29 September 2023, Malta Society of Arts, Valletta
This interactive dance performance explores the intersection of somatics and technology specifically Augmented Reality as used within a live dance performance. Stemming from the context of the contemporary moment following lockdowns of theatres and live performance spaces, this artwork explores experiences of surveillance, fluidity of how we are each seen within digital environments, displacement, body modification, and body dysmorphia while media surrounds us, and humans stay distant. Considering technology as something we live with increasingly through recent world events including Covid-19 globally, this work proposes an investigation into possible speculative futures of somatic practices with dance and technology meeting.
In the contemporary world, we are constantly seeing 2D digital images, hearing music playing, and logging on to social media, everywhere around us the world is mediated. McCarthy and Wright in Technology as Experience (2004) write “much more deeply than ever before, we are aware that interacting with technology involves us emotionally, intellectually, and sensually... We don’t just use technology; we live with it.” (McCarthy & Wright, preface)
From a perspective of a Feldenkrais® practitioner and dance choreographer, a new materialism perspective is explored looking alongside more-than-human perspectives. What does mediatization do to somatic practice in dance and what can somatic practices do within mediatization? How are boundaries blurred as physical and digital worlds intersect in the world at large today. What forms of knowledge produced through somatic practices and dance performances historically and contemporarily can help us imagine a more sustainable future world. The concept of intra-activity from Karen Barad in new materialism is explored through an inquiry around the meaning of being in liveness rather than live and functioning intra-actively rather than interactively. The mobility of AR is emphasized, and the performance is site-specific and can be presented in a variety of alternative spaces removing the necessary need for a specially equipped performance space through a DIWO approach.
The simulated world, the fantasy adventure, the immersive experience, the performative protest, and site-specific dances happening in both physical and digital spaces are explored in relation to the lineage of somatic practices in dance. The emergence of new materialism and object-oriented-ontology (OOO) in line with posthumanism theories revile that the illusion of the human being as the most important and central part of everything simply does not correspond with the actual reality of the social, ecological, and cognitive processes of the world today.
Zjana Muraro is a dance and digital artist, somatic practitioner and researcher from Brooklyn, New York. Her works have been recently supported by Arts Council England, European Culture Foundation, Compagnia di San Paolo, and University of Arts London. She holds an MA from Tisch NYU in Performances Studies and currently conducts research as part of the independent dance scene in London.
Rosie, BA (Hons), LIPA Dance is a dance artist. She has worked as a soloist with Nina Kov at Sadler's Wells Lilian Balis and for Léa Tirabasso's Rosie in Wonderland. She has also worked as a dancer for The Female Choreographers Collective's The Experiment, Exzeb Dance Company, Joss Arnott, Rosie Whitney-Fish, Peter Groom, and Jérôme Bel. She is a founding member and co-director of Collective Bufo Makmal in Switzerland.
Under_Thinker is a London-born artist who works with performance, video and sound. Experimentation and risk are central to his recent practice as is an interest in modular-synthesis and bio-sensory feedback.