Hacking as Performance Methodology


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Hacking as a methodology for choreographic practices.

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Hacking as Performance Methodology

  1. 1. Hacking as Performance Methodology
  2. 2. Hacking is a much-misused term (Jordan, 2008) Cracking vs Hacking “a material practice that produces differences in computer, network and communications technologies” (Coleman, 2013:98) Reconsidering Hacking
  3. 3. Repurposes but recognises the original Low level or DIY Collaborative/Opensource/Sharing Post-disciplinary/Anti-disciplinary Reconsidering Hacking
  4. 4. “As part of this practical capacity, the very nature of hacking – turning a system against itself – is the processing of using existing code, comments, and technology for more than what the original authors intended” (Coleman, 2013:99) Repurposes but Recognises the original
  5. 5. “Hacking is in a dialogic form, not in dialetic opposition. Not to operate with its object as an opponent or foe, but as a field of gravity. Not regarding a system of belief as opium, but as a path of liberation, using it as a trampoline, as a line of flight and a force of gravity” (von Busch and Palmås, 2006:59). Repurposes but Recognises the original
  6. 6. “As I see them they are operating at a low level, using existing infrastructure and power of a system to tinker, twist and modulate it after their own will. Building on the existing system with local patches and modifications. Adding small operational programs to the toolbox and presenting them with a journey of the same stream. Bending flows of power, but keeping the current on” (von Busch and Palmås, 2006:28-29) Low level or DIY
  7. 7. “Hacker knowledge implies, in its practice, a politic of free information, free learning, the gift of the result in a peer-topeer network” (Wark, 2004:28) Collaborative/Open-source/ Sharing
  8. 8. “Whatever the code we hack, be it programming language, poetic language, math or music, curves or colorings, we are the abstracters of new worlds. Whether we come to represent ourselves as researchers or authors, artists or biologists, chemists or musicians, philosophers or programmers, each of these subjectivities is but a fragment of a class still becoming, bit by bit, aware of itself as such” (Wark, 2004:1). Post-disciplinary/ Anti-disciplinary
  9. 9. “Hackers have constituted an expansive pragmatic practice of instrumental yet playful experimentation and production. In these activities the lines between play, exploration, pedagogy and work are rarely rigidly drawn” (Coleman, 2013:99). Post-disciplinary/ Anti-disciplinary
  10. 10. Anti-disciplinary Principles (Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab) ● Resilience over strength ● Pull over push ● Risk over safety ● Systems over objects ● Compasses over maps ● Practice over theory ● Disobedience over compliance ● Emergence over authority ● Learning over education Anti-disciplinary
  11. 11. Sophia Brueckner Singing Code, 2011 http://www.sophiabrueckner.com/# Lauren McCarthy Script, 2010 http://lauren-mccarthy.com/script/ Social Turkers: Crowd sourced dating, 2013 http://socialturkers.com Hacking in Performance
  12. 12. Toshi Ichiyangi IBM for Merce Cunningham, 1960
  13. 13. Hacking Choreography Sound Choreographer <> Body Code Dance Hack Hacking the Body Hacking in Performance
  14. 14. Hacking in Performance
  15. 15. How do you repurpose choreography? Ongoing project since 2012 Hacks include: fluxus scores, spoken scores, 'object oriented' scores, drawing scores Programming Language – Live Coding Hacking Choreography
  16. 16. Hacking Choreography
  17. 17. Hacking Choreography
  18. 18. movement() { move 1 (dancer a=rotate) (dancer b=push) move 2 (dancer a =pull) (dancer b=swing) move 3 (dancer a =static) (dancer b=wave) move 4 (dancer a=throw) (dancer b= twist) } Hacking Choreography
  19. 19. loop () { move 1 move 2 move 3 move 4 } if…then () { if dancer a (move1) 180 then dancer b (move4) facing front; } Hacking Choreography
  20. 20. quality() { quality1 = soft quality2 = indirect quality3 = sudden run loop() { move1; quality1 move2; quality2 move3; quality3 move4; quality4 } quality4 = strong } { dancer a function.loop (quality1) dancer b move3 quality.switch () } Hacking Choreography
  21. 21. right.left() { move1.right move2.left move3.left move4.right } { if dancer a (move4)Right(); then dancer b (move3)Left(); } Hacking Choreography
  22. 22. { move1; blue move2; quality 3 move4 if…then() { if dancer b = beer then dancer a = wine } move4 move4 } run loop() { dancer b = interrupt dancer a } Hacking Choreography
  23. 23. Hacking Choreography
  24. 24. TOPLAP Draft Manifesto Hacking Choreography We demand: Give us access to the performer's mind, to the whole human instrument. The code allows the audience to view the choreographer and the performer's mind, process and interpretations. Not just their bodies. Obscurantism is dangerous. Show us your screens. Code is visible on stage to the audience, not just performers. Programs are instruments that can change themselves. The dancer always has the ability to change the program, ignore the program, or subvert the program. The program is to be transcended - Artificial language is the way. Choreography transcends dance. Artificial language is one way. Code should be seen as well as heard, underlying algorithms viewed as well as their visual outcome. Code is seen as well as the visual outcome of the choreography. Live coding is not about tools. Algorithms are thoughts. Chainsaws are tools. That's why algorithms are sometimes harder to notice than chainsaws. Dance technique is a tool. Choreography is thought and sometimes harder to notice than dance technique. We recognise continuums of interaction and profundity, but prefer: Insight into algorithms Algorithms are insight into the choreography. The skillful extemporisation of algorithm as an expressive/impressive display of mental dexterity The decision making process of the dancer is on display as part of the choreography. No backup (minidisc, DVD, safety net computer) The show must go on. If there is no score the dancer creates the score. But it is still generated in the performance. We acknowledge that: It is not necessary for a lay audience to understand the code to appreciate it, much as it is not necessary to know how to play guitar in order to appreciate watching a guitar performance. It is not necessary to know the choreographic score to appreciate a dance. Live coding may be accompanied by an impressive display of manual dexterity and the glorification of the typing interface. Performance involves continuums of interaction, covering perhaps the scope of controls with respect to the parameter space of the artwork, or gestural content, particularly directness of expressive detail. Whilst the traditional haptic rate timing deviations of expressivity in instrumental music are not approximated in code, why repeat the past? No doubt the writing of code and expression of thought will develop its own nuances and customs. The live coding of dance may be accompanied by typing or other forms of gesture to convey the movement choices. This writing of code is not the dance itself but a way of expressing choreographic thought.
  25. 25. Sound Choreographer <> Body Code
  26. 26. SIT RIGHT LEFT Collaboration with Marguerite Galizia Mapping arbitrary movement to a choreographic score Upcoming Further Development South East Dance R&D Kent, 2014 Dance Hack
  27. 27. Dance Hack
  28. 28. Ongoing Collaboration with Camille Baker (Brunel) Soft circuits, DIY electronics, Wearable technologies Crafting and sewing to make electronic performance tools 3 Workshops last summer in Australia Crochet Breath Sensor Hacking the Body
  29. 29. Hacking the Body
  30. 30. Hacking the Body Http://hackingthebody.wordpress.com Other Projects http://blog.sicchio.com More on my research