EVOKE Lab and Studio


Leveling the Stage

What knowledge is contained in gestures, body language and movement? How do we learn from each other as we move in the same space? What of our knowledge is fundamental to being a human being in a body? As gestural computing and movement-driven interfaces continue towards ubiquity, embodied use of such technologies may bring about changes in user behavior and interactions.

Despite the interactive qualities of many emerging technologies, the majority of such technologies are unable to respond to and represent the user’s knowledge of her body moving in relation to the socially constructed place she inhabits. We draw upon improvisational practices in dance to re-conceptualize the role of the body in interaction and move towards STS that accounts for locality, embodiment and creativity in knowledge infrastructures.

The goal of our present research is an exploratory understanding of dance curation, embodied knowledge and affect in an improvisational performance. We address four areas of uncertainty:

  1. What bodily knowledge the dancers embody during their improvisational response to curated communiqués;
  2. What performative skills such dancers bring to the co-locality of the interactive performance;
  3. What bodily knowledge the audience gains in a curated interaction between themselves and the dancers;
  4. How audience response is valued and evaluated through the performance.

Through the analysis of qualitative data (interviews, video observation), we address these issues and explore how a structured bodily knowledge created by a performative curation affects the participation and engagement of the dancers and audience.

Leveling the Stage Project Team (in collaboration with the UCI Dance Department):

  • Miya Sylvester
  • Steve Slota
  • John Seberger


Image used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. Image by Tom Godber.

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