Although the notion of 'choreography' has not disappeared in the context of contemporary 21st Century performance and virtual art, it has certainly undergone a re-evaluation in terms of how bodily movement/physical intelligence produces data or how performers or immersants engage with an interface environment which is programmable and networked, and how environments instruct moving behaviors.

In examinations of augmented environments (and how these systems perform), a few propositions were made by Birringer and other members of the Interaktionslabor and DAP-Lab since 2006 to paraphrase the notion of the 'post choreographic' --not a new notion in itself -- to emphasize evolving systems behaviors, including physical performer articulations in constant exchange with algorithms and responsive or (semi)autonomous, intelligent audio-visual environments, sensorial flows and hypersensual spaces.

The particular challenges to thinking about 'composition' arise from the real-time synthesis of interface designs-in-motion, based not on choreography but on programming and physical adaptation, which generate “virtual movement” through the digital body-environment interaction.

A lively debate arose in February-March, first on the dance-tech list and then on Birringer's blogsite, and back to the dance-tech list. New and provocative discussions have opened up over the past weeks, and it's difficult to keep translating between list and net.

But very valuable insights are being produced, as we all grapple with the "languages" of our practices/theories, and these insights are [and need to be] saved and archived. We invite more responses from the community here to extend the discourses.

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hello Shalva Tevdoradz


slightly surreal, your picture of a "solo concert" , bent into its current bizarre vertical shape here, how did it get into this forum on the post-choreographic? i trust you are making an ironic commentary here, and surely it's nice hearing from you from there.
hello all

just for your information, the new issue of Performance Research, vol. 13 no. 1 (2008) , "On Choreography" has appeared. It is a special issue on dance and choreography, edited by Ric Allsopp and Andre Lepecki.
It has several essays and contributions regarding the impact of digital technologies on the constructions of what constitutes 'choreography'., and it includes Johannes Birringer's proposals for the "post choreographic", see: "After Choreography", pp. 118-22.
It is good that the archive of the debate continues its life here, and that -- it is to be assumed - new publications are appearing that pick up the threads, in print, and in other online and real exchanges.

I get repeated asked to comment on the debate, and the discussions that have ensued, and i hope to refer many more practitioners and performance or dance makers to it, as i am interested in how contemporary artists and programmers understand their designs and their building of systems, or their "choreographic objects."

I think with William Forsythe's recent research project, "Synchronous Objects" , the question of the post-choreographic gains another new twist. The research project, in case that is not already widely known, can be briefly summarized here as a joint project of choreographer William Forsythe and Ohio State University's Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) and the Department of Dance (especially Norah Zuniga Shaw), "Synchronous Objects" is an extensive and unique resource, created after "One Flat Thing, reproduced." The project aims to create a large set of data visualization tools for understanding and analyzing the interlocking systems of organization in the choreography of Forsythe's "One Flat Thing, reproduced" (2000), and this - I gather - means the construction of "choreographic objects" without the body or without the dancer(s), the construction/reconstruction of movement constellations.

These systems are quantified through the collection of data and transformed into a series of objects - synchronous objects - that work in harmony to explore those movement structures, reveal their patterns, and re-imagine what else they might look like or howelse they might be used.


I will address some of these twists in the International Choreolab at Krems Donau-Universität next week, September 8-10, 2009, Austria.

Another recent debate that offered numerous points of intersection for our discussion here was the month long internet discussion on EMPYRE (soft_skinned space) in May 2009, topic: "Critical Motion Practice" .


Johannes Birringer
hello archive and repertoire? how are new threads on the post choreographic doing? I would welcome new commentaries or departure points, as the crisis in innovation is perhaps one aspect that has recently come up, another one is the emphasis on incompletion of work (in favor of iterations and prototyping and mash ups/reversions), and a third dimension clearly might the effect of the economic downturn on opportunities for sustainable dance and performance technologies research (inside and outside the academy, and art centers).

It might also be helpful to look back at the last six months of workshops/conference and international meetings, to review how themes and hot-points of debate have evolved or changed.

Talking about symposia, a Canadian friend just send me this announcement:

New Materialisms and Digital Culture:
An International Symposium on Contemporary Arts, Media and Cultural Theory

Cambridge (UK), at Anglia Ruskin University, June 21 (and 22nd) , 2010

Far from being immaterial, digital culture consists of heterogeneous bodies, relations, intensities, movements, and modes of emergence manifested in various contexts of the arts and sciences.

This event suggests "new materialism" as a speculative concept with which to rethink materiality across diverse cultural-theoretical fields of inquiry with a particular reference to digitality in/as culture: art and media studies, social and political theorising, feminist analysis, and science and technology studies.

More specifically, the event maps ways in which the questions of process, positive difference or the new, relation, and the pervasively aesthetic character of our emergences with the world have lately been taken up in cultural theory. It will engage explorations of digital culture within which matter, the body and the social, and the long-standing theoretical dominance of symbolic mediation (or the despotism of the signifier) are currently being radically reconsidered and reconceptualised.

The talks probe media arts of digital culture, sonic environments, cinematic contexts, wireless communication, philosophy of science and a variety of further topics in order to develop a new vocabulary for understanding digital culture as a material culture.

Speakers include: Dr David M. Berry, Dr Rick Dolphijn, Dr Satinder Gill, Dr Adrian Mackenzie, Dr Stamatia Portanova, Dr Anna Powell, Dr Iris van der Tuin and Dr Eleni Ikoniadou.

The academic programme will be followed by a physical computing and dance performance involving CoDE affiliated staff (Richard Hoadley and Tom Hall) along with choreographers Jane Turner, Cheryl Frances-Hoad and their dancers.

Following the symposium there will also be a short workshop for PhD students on Tuesday 22 June led by Van der Tuin and Dolphijn along with Milla Tiainen and Jussi Parikka. The aim of the workshop is to enable students to discuss and present brief intros to their work on the theme of new materialist analysis of culture and the arts with tutoring from the workshop leaders.
In addition, we are planning an informal introductory workshop for Tuesday afternoon on experimental performance and technology.

The event is sponsored by CoDE: the Cultures of the Digital Economy research institute and the Department of English, Communication, Film and Media at Anglia Ruskin University.

with greetings from the UK, and remembering the ashes (eyjafjallajokull)
Johannes Birringer

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