Installation and Linear Video
with Regina Van Berkel
Exchange Fields (2000), commissioned by the Vision Ruhr Exhibition in Dortmund Germany, incorporates the recorded dance and choreography of Regina van Berkel. The programmer Gideon May also became involved in this project. The central question dealt with the generation of a new kind of interface - how might an embodied experience of interface be layered into the content of an interactive media/dance comprised of video, text, a sculptural installation and music? Exchange Fields sought to develop a novel interface strategy by eliciting culturally determined environmental 'behavior in relation to objects' as a grammar of gesture that could be used as input to the reacting system. The work sought to tap into pre-linguistic environmental knowledge related to the use of particular varieties of objects. A series of furniture/sculptures were developed. Each furniture/sculpture was designed with a unique implied "suggestion" of how the body might be positioned in relation to that object. This suggestion was non-logo-centric. It was embodied in the form of the physical interface itself and reinforced through linguistic captioning affixed near the work.
A dynamic relation is experienced by the participant that is brought about through their embodied physical positioning. This "gesture" functions as an input into a computerized system that dynamically links output consisting of pre-recorded performance/dance images (video) and sound. These have been choreographed in relation to the particularity of that embodied position. For each unique furniture/sculpture a set of related dances was recorded. A linear text and musical composition become layered with the sound and image that is triggered by users. It is the physical engagement of the participant relative to the visual and audible output that gives the work its artistic experiential content and power.