Amphibious Trilogies

Moving on

In our view, extending choreographies includes transdisciplinary views but significantly addressed them through reference to the performing arts of dance and choreography to include movement. In looking into concepts and models and practices, we also looked into through the transdisciplinary co-construction of studies into movement, such as in interaction design and how movement has become increasingly central to studies in urbanism.

Here the work of our colleague Lise Hansen at AHO into a range of matters, design and practices on movement as material, kinesthetics and tools has been influential (see e.g. Hansen, et al., 2017). This connects to a growing body of work on dance and technology, from notation to motion tracking and digital tools in mediating layers of performance between body, data and scenography (e.g. deLahunta, 2018; Berg & Hansen 2009).

Hansen’s work makes wide reference to research into movement and provides a wealth of transdisciplinary linkages for practice based research into movement, interaction and needs. Related design research conducted at AHO on the YOUrban project has informed Amphibious Trilogies. Here inquiry has covered relations and critiques of digital technologies, interactions and the city, at a time of social media expansion, and locative media and culture more generally (e.g. Morrison et al., 2012; Morrison & Aspen, 2013).

In the context of shaping transdisciplinary and transductive approaches in and for ‘expanding choreographies’, we have also needed to look back to research and practice in dance and choreography (see e.g. Lepecki, 2005). This has meant performing acts of re-viewing material and matter we had worked outwards from and to seeing how to draw it back together into a domain specific area of embodied knowledge, choreography and how it might together with other inputs and links help us more fully articulate the plural choreographies.

In a discussion on where knowledge lies and is generated in artistic inquiry and practice based arts research McNiff (2013) who works with art therapy,  argues that there is a paradox: creatively we draw on ‘expanding the process of knowing’ yet analytically we depend on other disciplines in conducting research. He observes that ‘It is the applied arts fields themselves that reinforce adjunctive status by failing to perceive and implement their unique ways of knowing and communicating as primary modes of research.’ (McNiff, 2013: 5).

Here extending is also a matter of dancing. This has been central to Brynjår Åbel Bandlien’s contributions to Amphibious Trilogies. Phillipa Rothfield (2017: 149) reflects on experience and its others, referring to Deleuze and to postmodern dance. She views these as engaged with the ‘promotion of affective capacity’ writes that:

The notion of shifting agency no longer belongs to the dancer but it is a product of the dancing. The dancer is pulled long in its slipstream, a version of Nietzsche’s arrow, short into the air by one thinker and picked up by another. 

Rothfeld  arrives at this view by situating her view on action:

As an avatar of the active type, dancing embraces the unconscious expressions of force in action…. Taken further into the realm of active destruction, postmodernist dance ventures into ethical territory, not as a moral good but rather as the aesthetic pursuit of increased affective capacity or agency.  (Rothfield (2017: 148-149).

The notion of choreographies – plurality, heterogeneity, multiplicity – may be importantly infused with expertise form a mix of work on movement in interaction design and social sciences in urbanism. There are a number of key aspects that inform it from studies in dance and choreography (see e.g. Leon, 2018). However, these fields tend not to move beyond the locations of learning and performing (and the body) out into applying their unique insights to other domains of dynamic interaction and kinetic realisations where the world (as body) is the stage. This takes us into the domain of dance and politics (see Kowal, et al, 2017) that is ever present as one encounters movement in and as artistic practice based research making and reflection in the Anthropocene: migration, geo-politics, ecology, massive data, collaboration, transdisciplinarity, puzzlement, shock, revelation, revision, uncertainty, surprise, repetition, diversion, rerouting, reappraisal….

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deLahunta, S. (2018) ‘Dance becoming data: Version two’. In  Ellis, S., Blades, H. & Waelde, C. (Eds.). A World of Muscle, Bone & Organs: Research and Scholarship in Dance. Coventry: C-DaRE at Coventry University. 333-357.

Hansen, A., Keay-Bright W. & Milton, D. (2017). ‘Conceptualising kinaesthesia – Making movement palpable’. The Design Journal, 20(sup1): S3724- S3734.

Kowal. R, Siegmund, G. & Martin, R. (2017). (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lepecki, A. (2005). Exhausting Dance: Performance and the Politics of Movement. London; New York: Routledge. 

McNiff, S. (2013). ‘Opportunities and challenges in art-based research’. In McNiff, S.  (Ed.). Art as Research: Opportunities and challenges. Bristol: Intellect. 3-9.

Morrison, A. & Aspen, J. (2013). ‘Building appetites: the design of locative media apps for learning the networked city’. Proceedings of DRS / CUMULUS 2013 Oslo: The 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers. Oslo: 14.01.2013–17.05.2013.

Morrison, A., Aspen, J., Hemmersam, P., Sem, I. & Havnør, M. (2012). ‘Designing experimental urban mapping with locative social media’. In Proceedings of Design Research Society 2012 Conference. Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand: 01.07.2012–04.11.2012.

Ness. S. (2016). Choreographies of Landscape. Signs of performance in Yosemite National Park. New York: Berghahn.


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