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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  March 2014

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING March 2014

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Subject:

Re: Can non-human entities perform?

From:

Stephanie Rothenberg <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Stephanie Rothenberg <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:04:47 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi All,

Really interested in the relationship of social codes to performing a set
of codes within the workplace. I keep returning to art and science projects
that underscore this within the context of our discussions and from the
perspective of bio ethics. Specifically my colleague Paul Vanouse and his
work around DNA imaging and how these images can be predetermined based on
the composition of the substrates manipulating the DNA strands. Paul also
creates performances of live laboratory experiments demonstrating these
concepts, an interesting "recursivity" to what we've been talking about.

From Paul's website "Latent Figure Protocol"
http://www.paulvanouse.com/lfp.html
A "DNA fingerprint" is often mis-understood by the lay public to be a
single, unique human identifier.  Its complex banding patterns imagined as
an unchanging sentence written by mother nature herself that corresponds to
each living creature.  However, there are hundreds of different enzymes,
primers and molecular probes that can be used to segment DNA and produce
banding patterns.  These banding patterns that appear tell us as much about
the enzyme/primer/probe as the subject that they appear to reproduce. (Fig.
4) My point is that the DNA gel image IS a cultural construct that is often
naturalized.

Also, way back in early March someone responded to my first post with a
link about Therbligs/labor and I can't find it within all this wonderful
list activity!

cheers, Stephanie


On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 10:07 AM, Victoria Bradbury <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Hi List,
>
>
> Following Johannes - How similar is Hacking Choreography to Cut Piece?
>
>
>
> Hacking Choreography - The instructions mimic computer code, though they
> are not executable on a computer (yet, though Kate has said this is her
> next project). Dancer(s) interpret the code with their movement.  The
> instructions change, as in live code, and there is a conversation between
> the movement and the instructions throughout the duration of the piece.
> The dancer is tasked with following the instructions.
>
>
> Cut Piece - The instructions do not mimic computer code, but the piece
> emerged at the same time that computer code was becoming more integrated
> into society/culture.  Ono sits onstage and invites the audience to come
> and cut her dress.  There is a feminist undertone of violence or sexual
> violence and a question of how far are the participants willing to "go"
> with cutting the dress.  The instructions are simple and last the duration
> of the performance.  The audience is tasked with following the
> instructions.  In this work, the two objects, the dress and the scissors,
> are mediating the action of the participants (a result of the instructions)
> and the reception of that action by the artist's body.
>
>
>
> Similarities: Instructions dictate action.
>
> I wonder if Kate has tried engaging an audience with code-based instruction
> rather than a dancer?
>
>
>
> I am intrigued by Johannes's question: what would be syntax errors in
> social code?
>
>
>
> In the case of syntax errors in programming code, things might be written
> in the wrong order, misspelled, or the punctuation is wrong.
>
>
>
> In social codes, you can certainly do things in the wrong order (for
> example, using the wrong fork for the salad course or saying please instead
> of thank-you).  Misspelling might be equal to doing things almost "right"
> in a particular situation, but being just a bit off (for example, giving a
> gift for an occasion, but the gift isn't appropriate - giving a baby
> present to a newly married couple).  Punctuation could perhaps be analogous
> to clothing or dress to suit a culture or an occasion.  Punctuating wrong
> could mean wearing a bathing suit to a formal dinner party.
>
>
> Also interesting to consider that a program shouldn't compile with syntax
> errors, but sometimes it does and then the errors become apparent at
> runtime.  Perhaps you shouldn't have gone to that dinner party in the first
> place...
>
>
>
> Victoria
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:05 AM, Kate Sicchio <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Hi Johannes and all
> >
> > I think these are interesting questions around digital labor in relation
> > to my work. I have made a series of dance scores that fall under the
> > 'hacking choreography' project and they explore digital labor in
> different
> > ways. I have one score called 'Execute' which was originally a solo and
> > last weekend was performed by the dance improv group Quick Shifts in
> > Leicester UK. Executes starts with me reading movement instructions into
> a
> > microphone, followed by the word execute. However, the score for the
> > dancers is not the instructions I am reading. The score for the dancer is
> > to actually slowly subvert the instructions until they are not performing
> > the 'code' at all. In the Sunday performance one dancer even threatened
> to
> > take the mic from me and create her own instructions. She was the best
> > choreographic hacker I have performed with to date. I also think this
> score
> > links to the idea of the broader ecology mentioned before and Johannes's
> > comment that code performance is an effect and not a cause.
> >
> > As for the audience, I have found their reactions very positive. Most
> find
> > it humorous (I also think it's funny). The performance I linked to had
> some
> > syntax errors in my code. This was the most talked about aspect of the
> > performance. Some people loved the error. Most thought it was intentional
> > (it was not). And two members of the audience specifically told me that
> the
> > typo was horrific because a computer would never follow a command that
> was
> > misspelled...
> >
> > I also really like the idea of a syntax error in movement.
> >
> > Best
> > Kate
> >
> > On 19 Mar 2014, at 22:33, Johannes Birringer wrote:
> >
> > > dear all
> > >
> > > just went back to the first week and thought about (as Andread suggests
> > below)
> > > text that is "made to perform" . Code?
> > >
> > > Then watched Kate Sicchio's video (of her "hacking choreography') and
> > wondered whether others watched it
> > > and what you thought, and how we understand thart kind of text/writing
> > as code (instructions for movement)
> > > and whether you see a relation between code (performed obviously as if
> > in live coding) by Kate and what the
> > > two dancers do/act out/mimic?
> > >
> > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoV01_P6PGw
> > > [
> > > (Paul Catense then replied he liked this a lot, and mentioned Melissa &
> > Koosil-ja's techniques (what they call "Live Processing"?)[
> > http://vimeo.com/27929250]
> > >
> > >
> > > [Andreas Broeckmann schreibt]
> > >> I find treating artworks as quasi-subjects is a mystification (they
> > >> are a medium of communication, not an expressive subject), but it's a
> > >> very tempting one.
> > > i share your opinion about mystification, and was more interested in
> the
> > > technical question whether images can be made to "perform" (as in
> > > process) in the same way that text is made to perform (as software
> > > code). i understand that the way in which computers process
> information,
> > > they are dependent on this information coming in as strings of binary
> > > code, right? ......
> > >> .
> > >
> > > words made flesh?  quailty of movement?  How different is Kate's
> > "choreographic" work from Yoko Ono's Cut Piece mentioned earlier (by
> Rachel
> > Beth)?
> > > what is syntax error in movement and could we say that? and what would
> > be syntax errors in social code?
> > >
> > > Alex suggested that "No wonder then that live coders rarely look
> present
> > at all in the
> > > performances they give...."
> > >
> > >
> > > I wondered, then, whether the conversation of a few days ago (on
> > audience of/for code or audience for (art)performance or artwork)
> > > can be reflected back on the earlier, stimulating proposal by Tom
> > Schofield on March 8:
> > >
> > >>
> > > Picking up on Stephanie's point below about digital labour makes me
> > think about code performativity from the other end. In Stephanie's
> > examples, people are effectively performing for code. This strikes me as
> > being the theatrical sense of performativity - trying to fit their bodies
> > into performances that can be algorithmically recognised - one thinks of
> > the calibration pose in early generation kinect stuff as an example.
> > > Conversely, from the Austin/Searle -> Judith Butler , Karen Barad,
> Nigel
> > Thrift etymology of the term I think there are still a bunch of related
> > facets also to do with labour but in a less direct and more distributed
> > way. Code performs only as part of a broader ecology of systems. It needs
> > infrastructure to do so in terms of processing power, memory, electricity
> > but also in a broader (or maybe vaguer) sense, it needs a milieu. Code
> > performance is an effect not a cause.......In this sense to talk about
> the
> > performativity of code is really to talk about the way that it does or
> > doesn't take fit into a broader ecology. There's no performativity
> without
> > embeddedness in context.>
> > >
> > > This I find a very important point, and the theory-inflected use of
> > "performativity" of code probably misleads or obscures any political
> > discussion. I'd be interested in asking Kate how her audiences
> read/receive
> > the dance they see? And if "performance" does not  imply that one
> addresses
> > the (however heightened or reduced) physical, and situational and social
> > form of these works, then how are these (human) bodies made to fit the
> > digital labor, how do audiences understand or want such 'hacking'?
> > >
> > >
> > > regards
> > > Johannes Birringer
> > > dap lab
> >
>
>
>
> --
> // Victoria Bradbury
> <PROJECTS> www.victoriabradbury.com
> Researcher @ www.crumbweb.org
> New Media Caucus <http://www.newmediacaucus.org> <CommComm>
> Attaya Projects <http://attayaprojects.com> // Collaborator
>



-- 
Stephanie Rothenberg
Associate Professor
Department of Visual Studies, SUNY Buffalo
[log in to unmask]
-----
www.stephanierothenberg.com

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