Choreographic Objects: traces and artifacts of physical intelligence

Principle and Co-Investigators:

James Leach (Principle Investigator and Award Holder)
Department of Anthropology, School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen

Sarah Whatley (Co-Investigator)
ceMAP, Coventry University

Scott deLahunta (Research Fellow)
ARTI, Amasterdam School for the Arts, NL

Project Partners:

Art Research, Theory and Innovation group, Amsterdam School for the Arts, NL
Wayne McGregor | Random Dance
Intel, People and Practices Research

Choreographic objects: traces and artefacts of physical intelligence is the title and focus of a series of three workshops centring on the output of four research teams working in collaboration with the choreographers William Forsythe, Siobhan Davies, Wayne McGregor and Emio Greco PC. These teams work to bring choreographic ideas and processes into newly productive exchanges with both general audiences and other specialist knowledge areas. The variety of resources they are creating to mediate this exchange constitute the choreographic objects that the workshops will focus on and include interactive scores and installations, choreographic software agents and digital dance archives.

The three workshops will bring these choreographic initiatives together in the same investigative context for the first time to engage theories of knowledge production and knowledge transfer with established social science researchers James Leach, Tim Ingold and Matt Ratto. Drawing on their expertise in how knowledge comes to be embodied in transactable forms (objects) and how these objects participate in the creation of further cultural value, Leach, Ingold and Ratto will work with dance researchers Sarah Whatley and Scott deLahunta in a close dialogue with the choreographers and/ or members of their research teams with the aim of both understanding and adding to the choreographers’ research processes.

The workshops fit the Beyond Text themes of Making and Unmaking and Mediations as the research involves the documentation, analysis and representation of various aspects of dance making through emphasizing emerging, non-textual forms of notation, scoring and description. The ideas emerging from the first two workshops, on making and dissemination, will be brought into play in the third workshop on the constitution of future choreographic objects. The workshops thus have a forward-looking orientation, laying the foundations for longer-term collaborative research and object-making in various media.

Prototype process image from Siobhan Davies Digital Dance Archive projectScreenshot of documentary interactive DVD from the Capturing Intention project of Emio Greco|PC

Arts & Humanities Research Council: Each year the AHRC provides approximately £100 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,000 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. Arts and humanities researchers constitute nearly a quarter of all research-active staff in the higher education sector. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. See Arts & Humanities Research Council website.