"Making Meaning with Machines" Workshop

Embodied Strategies and Choreographic Technologies for Engineered Movement Design through the Laban/Bartenieff Lens
Led by Amy LaViers and Catherine Maguire

Interest in Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals in technology development and design has been steadily growing over the past decades. Researchers, developers, designers, and artists interested in understanding principles of choreography and their applications to the design of new embodied systems and interfaces look to this body of knowledge for information in how people create meaning through movement; rather than measurements of the velocity of body parts or of the internal firings of neurons, this body of work focuses on the aspects of movement consciously noticed by human movers.

In our course, we will expose students to different aspects of choreography, improvisation and the Laban/Bartenieff Movement System as a tool for meaning-making through recognizing patterns, reconciling paradox, contexting, and gaining respect for the complexity of human movement. We approach these ideas through both functional and expressive movement experiences that can illuminate the body as the basis for our “knowing” of the world in order to inform engineering work. Thus, we provide structured experiences in movement alongside the introduction of a taxonomy for more objectively describing features of movement observed in these experiences that is, in our experience, necessary for translation to artificial systems.

Oct. 5 -- Nov. 20, 2020
Bi-weekly meetings for 7 weeks
Cost: $450.00

Please register by September 30 by emailing amy@theradlab.xyz


2 hour class on Monday
1 hour discussion on Friday
3-4 hours of homework during the week


Week 1: Systematically Viewing Moving Bodies
Weeks 2-6: Describing Moving Bodies with an Embodied Taxonomy
Week 7: Applications with Natural and Artificial Moving Bodies

Learning Objectives:

+ define, recognize, and demonstrate distinct modes of movement in each of the main components of the Laban/Bartenieff Movement System; specifically, Basic Body Actions (Body), Basic Effort Actions (Effort), Spatial Pulls (Space), Modes of Shape Change (Shape), and Phrasing (Time)
+ write a simple (action stroke) Motif to notate movement phrases
+ articulate the role of context and the viewer in resolving meaning in motion
+ relate feature of machine designs to induced movements in user and describe these movements using language from Laban Movement Analysis
+ appreciate physical knowledge, e.g., sensing feeling, both in experiencing our own movement as well as in observing movement in others
+ recognize dualistic relationships, e.g., function/expression, in the nature of movement
The Robotics, Automation, and Dance (RAD) Lab
crossmenuarrow-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram