In ‘Nervous Systems’ performers focus on how they make decisions (together) based on how they sense, experience, and move in a scored social habitat. From this social perspective, my research practice thus aims to open-up the solipsist politics dear to my dance and interdisciplinary improvisation practice. The goal is to research through dance and performing experiences without interrupting the flow, the principles and the rhythm of improvised composition. Accordingly, it is my aim to further research ‘Nervous Systems’ and explore how human physiology can be extended in order not to pose a limit for this dance research.
My next step in the research is to experiment with extending the nervous systems of the participants in order to come closer to an instantaneous grasp of the dance materials/ experiences. Through integrating artificial intelligence, as implemented in the field of algorithmic choreography, ‘Nervous Systems’ extends the cognition of the dancing body and generates a feedback system that runs simultaneously with the improvisation. This experimental method, which I named R.E.A.Ch. (research in electronic and algorithmic choreography), detects and processes the movement and speech of the dancer digitally during his/her/their improvisation, in order to send it immediately back to the experimentation with movement through audio or visual devices.
In R.E.A.Ch. experiments, I expand ‘Nervous Systems’ to a collective experimental studio practice that is supported by an artistic team and a focus group. On a regular basis the experiments are tested in semi-public and public platforms such as research performances. R.E.A.Ch. thus facilitates an experimental arts practice, a research performance, workshops, and a ground for a Q & A and reflection with peers and audiences. These (staged) experiments test how we feel, think, and react in and with expanded choreography by constructing technology-enhanced improvisation systems that inform and interact with improvising performers and their spectators. By integrating self-developed software in ‘Nervous Systems’, my team experiments with the implicit knowledge production of personal habits and social habitats of performing artists, it allows them to shift focus on different forms of attention and perception.
R.E.A.Ch. produces expanded choreography and uses software as a data- management tool, but, and more importantly, also as a co-creative partner in improvised performance. This implies that the software engineering develops simultaneous with the artistic practice. The technological blueprint is a software that produces real-time generated scores that triggers interactions between artists, their materials, the score, and the visitor or spectator. My initial software engineering is through Maxmsp software patches* that allow different media (sound/image/light) to input and output data in real-time. In later stages we will expand this software using other computing language (C++) in order to inspire the use of learning algorithms as creative partners in improvisation research and performances.
* Patches are used in computing and programming in order to create a small set of instructions that correct or improve a computer program or software output.