glitching is a digital installation and performance art project that attempts to re-describe movement derived from characters in contemporary sports and action computer games.
Gaming characters of the 21st century have an extraordinary embodiment, fluidity of movement and naturalness, becoming more and more realistic and convincing, thanks to constant improvements in technology. However, there are always exceptions; disruptions, imperfections and glitches, whether through unexpected programming errors, forced “cheats” or the users’ inability to control the characters in seamless game-play. glitching re-focuses the artificial nature of these disruptions by employing highly trained real bodies i.e. professional dancers, to re-stage them. The project attempts to interrogate how real bodies cope with, and interpret into sequences of choreography, the limits of such foreign and unnatural movement and subsequently, how this physically re-enacted choreography can be embedded and re-imaged within a responsive digital environment.
Appropriating the premise of the latest home entertainment dance and training games, glitching employs the motion-sensor controller Microsoft Xbox Kinect, large-screen display and a pseudo game interface, to create a full-body, skeletally controlled, interactive installation. The audience is invited to step into the digital shoes of a ‘lead dancer’ character, and attempt to follow the awkward and intricate, glitch choreography performed by the dancing troupe on screen.
In conjunction with the installation there are a series of glitching live performances featuring dancers Tony Mills, Hannah Seignior, Felicity Beveridge, a performance soundtrack devised by Martin Parker and the interactive installation as backdrop.
glitching continues my attempt to create projects that interrogate the impact of technology on the body, relationships and human experience. Building upon my previous collaborations, I attempted to foster an interdisciplinary research and production environment, encompassing artist, dancers, composer and technologists, that would enable us to discuss, question and create through a rigorous process of critical deconstruction and construction, across disciplinary constraints.
glitching, was created as an artist commission, funded by the Scotland & Medicine partnership, curated by Dr Andrew Patrizio, for the exhibition Human Race: inside the history of sports medicine (with additional funding from a Creative Scotland, Visual Artist Award and Edinburgh College of Art’s Individual Research Awards). The project tours public funded museums and galleries throughout Scotland during 2012, as part of The Scottish Project, an official part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The exhibition presents historical artefacts alongside newly commissioned artworks to examine the relationship between sport, exercise and the body, with audience figures in excess of 33,000 (based on exhibition attendance in Stirling, Inverness and Edinburgh).