A Machine

“A Machine” is an interactive dance performance exploring metaphors about machines and movement. Participating audience members are seated inside a gridded space on cushions numbered in a base 16 numbering system (hexidecimal), which references the numbering systems often used in assembly languages where commands correspond to directly to transistor-based hardware. Prior to being seated each of these audience members have provided their phones and phone numbers, which are used as interactive elements in the performance, controlled by a computer script. Excerpts from academic papers by Alan Turing (computer science) and Catherine Elgin (philosophy of dance) are incorporated into the show alongside live performance and interaction with audience members, who are queried by the performer. The piece evokes the dark, rigidly structured internal world of computers, made visible and experiential through embodiment. Thus, the piece is a metaphor for robots in factories – and humans in dance studios – where movement tasks are systematized.

The Robotics, Automation, and Dance (RAD) Lab
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