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March 08, 2006



Expanded Opportunities for Arts and Performance

"I spoke with Ann Doyle this morning. Ann is the manager for Arts and Humanities Initiatives at Internet2, a consortium of universities, industries and government that are developing and deploying advanced networking applications and technologies. (Beth Miklavcic and Jimmy Miklavcic, whom I interviewed yesterday about their InterPlay performance, use the Internet2 for their distributed programs).

You should definitely visit the link to the Arts and Humanities Initiatives that I just mentioned above. There are some fascinating resources about a range of distributed arts programs. I happened to come across an interview (PDF) with James Oliverio, director of the Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida, whom I'll be interviewing tomorrow about their dance and performance programs that unite multiple locations around the globe.

I first contacted Ann Doyle because I wanted to learn more about the "Cultivating Communities" dance program that she hosted for Internet2 in 2002. If you visit "Cultivating Communities," you can learn about a series of dance performances that brought together dancers from multiple locations using motion tracking, motion capture and other interactive technologies in conjunction with the near TV broadcast quality of the Internet2 infrastructure - you'll also find a number of videos for these performances.

Ann believes that there are two important ways that the Internet2 project contributes to fostering new types of artistic possibilities and performance opportunities.

First, the network infrastructure delivers near broadcast quality video and audio to participating sites. Plus, there is very low latency, which means that the "roundtrip interactive time," as Ann says, is virtually nil. With top-notch video and low-latency, there are opportunities for distributed spontaneity that really didn't exist before when collaborating with remote colleagues and artists.

Second, this network infrastructure provides an opportunity for dancers and other artists to "think digitally." For example, if you go back to the "Cultivating Communities," a new choreographic question arises. Choreographers now have to think beyond the fixed borders of a single stage and consider their work in the broader context of multiple locations joined together by a digital network. These types of distributed programs raise many questions about the choreographic process and dance in general.

They also raise the question of how dancers and other artists are being prepared for distributed programs at the college and university level. Ann mentioned the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), which has been a leader in leveraging the Internet2 for conducting master classes and performances. Here's an article by Christianne Orto about the educational programs at MSM. Orto is the director, recording and distance learning at MSM and you can read an overview of their Distance Learning programs. Ann also directed me to dance programs at universities that are using Internet2 to conduct performances and classes - I'll be following-up soon with these contacts." [blogged by Doug Fox on Great Dance Weblog] [Related post: Interview with Another Language About InterPlay (image above)]

Posted by jo at March 8, 2006 02:33 PM