Between 14 January – 5 April 2019, Atelierhaus Droste will be in a Tech research residency at Pioneer Works (NYC).
Description of our work:
Within this body of research, we explore the somatic and perspectival relationships between the physical body and virtual space. Drawing from the experimental performance tradition, our research explores the interactions of spatial electronic music, generative multimedia, and a dancer executing a choreographic score while immersed in VR. Through our work, we aim to dig into how the formulations of experimental art and tropes of advertising encode embodiment and somatic experience.
Conceptually and structurally, this work will draw from the striking similarities between an experimental artwork – Joseph Kosuth’s One and Three Chairs – and the tropes found in the presentation of most contemporary ‘tech demos’ (IE a large projection of an image of the product, a presenter holding the physical item, and text highlighting selling points as they are demonstrated by the presenter.)
The staging of Atelierhaus Droste will mirror this structure by presenting a dancer immersed in VR, a large projection screen showing the dancer’s point of view in conjunction with other visual materials, and an electronic musician performing a score built from the overlap between the internalized experience of the dancer and the resonant space of the venue itself. Our work further follow’s Kosuth’s use of the ordinary chair (and further plays with the modern-dance trope of the ‘chair dance,’) – the dancer will be moving in relation to a series of chairs both in physical and virtual space, and thus playing with the somatic and cognitive dissonances that arise between the two topographies of seating options.
In this way, the conventional framing of immersive media is flipped – instead of a piece intended to place an audience in a hypothetical virtual environment, we present a concert work foregrounding the choreographic qualities of the physical body interacting with digital media through the common chair, while offering up a metaphor for aestheticizing contemporary (dis)embodiment as a dialogue across several manifestations of space, rather than a mutually exclusive choice between two binaries.