Book of the week: Program to Perform

Program to Perform: Exploring Dance and New Media

This book, edited by Ine Therese Berg and Lise Amy Hansen was a gift given to me by Lise herself. She is currently doing her PhD in Full Body Movement as material for interaction design at AHO (Oslo School of Architecture). But more about her great work and my learning from her later!

Program to Perform has a great format, and also includes a lot of images on each of the projects the authors mention. The context for this book is the kedja Oslo Dance and New Media conference organised by Dance Information Norway in 2009. This catalogue presents authors and their work, and sometimes other people’s work as case studies. It varies from the more academic to articles that are very relatable and easy to follow, and that give a lot of insight and reflection on the role of new media and dance, design, technology and even sustainability. After reading it, I reflected on all the overlapping practices related to new technologies, and I reflected on the approach and the principle behind them.

I really enjoyed going through all of the articles, and can highlight the following:

*perception of time

*pattern recognition and micro-behavioral change

*kinesthetic sensibility

*Interactions that are: creative, rewarding and understood

*simplicity and immediate responsiveness

*co-authorship and co-design

*the term participant instead of user (really liked this one)

“What I am is someone who loves to do, to create, to dance in the streets, and therefore loves what helps me to do that. In an environment and its embedded technology that can be implacable, alienating, even frightening, I particularly appreciate those systems, artefacts and people offering tools for doing, which are out there, open, accessible and transparent. These kinds of means to engage  are often thought of as lo-tech, although enormous amounts of “techiness” has gone into them: what they certainly are, due to their evolution, is swift, light on their feet and flexible; easy to access and use, if we’re willing to learn; and lo-cost, both environmentally and financially” –Stuart Jones

A very inspiring read, and lots of case studies for my research!

Some of the inspiring work:

Haque’s open-source reconfigurable house here.

Play Orchestra here! 

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