trans/forms is an ongoing multimedia collaborative project exploring the fusion of live performance with digital technology and on-line communication from an improvisational perspective. Its first performance event, including live movement and sound as well as digital video and netcasting, was presented as part of Intermational Dance and Technology 99 (Arizona) in 26 February 1999. The material for this performance was produced in three different places of the world: Tempe, Arizona, USA (movement, sound and video contributions), London,UK (sound) and Turku, Finland (video). It was mixed live on the web.

 

image by Sophia Lycouris and Michael Kosmides

 

trans/forms brings together two UK-based artists, dancer/choreographer Sophia Lycouris and musician Viv Dogan Corringham with American multimedia artist Nate Pagel. The development of the project involves several stages of collaborative work and explores:

the use of improvisation as performance mode emphasizing the constructive dialogue between live performance and technology

the character of collaboration primarily conducted through electronic channels of communication

the aesthetics of multimedia artwork which combines live performance with digital technology and remote contributions

the practicalities of using technology improvisationally and how this affects the decision making process of the performers in live improvised work

the potential of constructing a coherent conceptual framework which justifies compositionally the contribution of such technology in live improvised work by directly serving its artistic aims

 

image by Sophia Lycouris and Michael Kosmides

 

The presentation of trans/forms in the WEB CAFE of IDAT99 (26 february 1999) included a live improvised event performed by Viv Dogan Corringham and Sophia Lycouris, which was based on movement and sound material inspired from everyday life stories. Multimedia artist Nate Pagel interacted with the two performers using video projection and sound which was a mixture of pre-recorded and digitally manipulated material of similar improvisations with live recordings from the event itself in combination to on-line contributions from remote participants. The live video image was created by Deveril Garraghan.

For this first version of trans/forms the remote participants were:

-London-based musicians playing live from the studios of London Musicians' Collective in London, including saxophonist Lol Coxhill, Michael Kosmides who played theremins and Knut Aufermann who used a glove and live electronics, all of these attached to his body in order to produce a ''sound' dance.

-Finnish art students from Turku Conservatory and Turku Polytechnic who created a dance video piece for Finnish winter landscape under the direction of choreographer Satu Tuittila and co-ordination by Kai Lehikoinen, Head of Performing Arts, Turku Polytechnic, Faculty of Performing Arts.

 

image by Nate Pagel

 

image by Nate Pagel

 

image by Nate Pagel

 

image by Nate Pagel

 

The paper accompanying this performance-presentation discusses the unique role of technology, as this emerges in relation to the improvisational framework selected for the exploration of the creative material. Through the use of technology, the live performance material which primarily deals with issues of intimacy is re-located in a space of ambiguity, and tension between the public and the private. The presence of technology creates and interesting paradox which affects the reading of the piece.

 

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