I. F.: Indigenous Futurities

by Dancing Earth

Presented Jun 18, 2020 Livestreaming on HowlRound.tv

Audience Experience:
 - Streaming Video
Development Stage:
 - Public Performance

Summary of Project:

Collaborating artist visionaries reveal cyberspace as a realm of ritual, to reimagine the future from the brink of collapse of the dominant system and re-emergence of cultural cosmologies. Technology is reclaimed to affirm connections between distant places and times. At a time of DisDancing: what is the message from human-to-human; what is the sacred invisible web that connects us? We reach into the constellations to remember ancestral stories of creation after destruction, to guide us forward.

Description of User Experience:

Users could log in and watch the performance on howlround.tv and YouTube.

Unique Innovations: 

The movement language was informed by place, thematic question, and by the tech capacities. These included:

  • Design of movements to reflect geometrics of  boxes
  • Design of movements to be curvilinear and organic to contrast boxes
  • Design of movement to reflect sense of place, and use of skype tech so that bodies could be shifted from their environment into another performers environment – continents away, with the movement quality shifting as if they were now in new environment
  • Design of movement close up to camera, to maximize camera advantage of intimacy  facial expression, hand gestures near face
  • Design of movement along narrow front tracks , away from and towards camera
  • Design of movement horizontally to send energy as if between performers in two side by side boxes, so they appeared to be in duet relationship

Identified “Best Practices” for Mixed Reality Production:

  • Set aside at least one day per week to experiment with and learn the technology, and at least one day per week for the development of the performance. This will give an opportunity to test hardware and wi-fi connections, and to experiment with the technology in interesting and creative ways. In this project, technical discoveries and limitations informed the content and choreography created. Likewise, the dancers’ movements help push the use of technology to break the bonds of the digital ‘boxes’ aesthetic.
  • Extraordinary new ways of performing can surface when artists experiment with media-based creativity. Sometimes, not having a plan or any experience with a technology can blossom into beautiful new ideas.
  • When working with technology, sometimes it is better to show your idea to the group than trying to explain it. Some people find tech-based ideas difficult to understand unless they see the idea enacted. 
  • Breakout rooms are good tool for care, and can help to process traumatic news events. Processing news can be a necessary component of many artistic processes.