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Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and
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Author:  Azlan [ Sun Jul 02, 2000 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED a

Actually, we can really extent this further but I'll give everyone a breather before moving on. There's much here to ponder.<P>And, mairead, I wouldn't say I am more up to date than you. Maybe I just have a more active imagination. I also tend to listen and learn from others.<P>Please continue to enlighten us with your treatises. I enjoy reading them; they push my imagination in amazing directions.

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Jul 02, 2000 11:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

BTW, I'm modifying the topic title to reflect the new discussion taking place here.<P>Also, the Life Forms software grace mentioned is introduced in<P> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000025.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000025.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited July 02, 2000).]

Author:  mairead [ Mon Jul 03, 2000 7:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

Grace,<P>Sorry, its gives me a headache too!!! <BR>In answer to your questions; <P>The other three features of the mind are mental causation, consciousness and cognativism.<P>Allographic is the opposite of autographic. Autographic arts are those such as painting, arts that can be forged. Goodman argues that dance is not an autographic art, but allographic in nature because unlike painting dance is not mediated from the creator straight to the audience. He sees the dancer as an interferring agent, and therefore dance does not have a signature, if you like, it cannot be faked. I don't agree with this, simply because dance is mediated through other artists other than the choreographer (I am obviously talking about dances that are not danced by the choreographer) does not necessarily mean that dance is an allographic art. I believe that the style and technique that are implicit in a choreographer are the artistic signature,and that is what I mean by dancers needing to understand the choreographer, if they don't understand the signature becomes smugged in other words the dancer becomes part of the choreographers style through rehearsals, that's why choreographer's recycle their dancers!!. This is clearer when you watch a company who buys the work of another choreographer thinking it is just a simple matter of adopting a new technique, for example, ABT dancing Cunningham's duets or the company, (whose name I can't remember) who bought Paul Taylor's work. Dances are not not dualitic in this way and these companies presented problems regarding not only authenticity but for understanding and interpretation. On a more basic level, the fact that dance is autographic in nature is demonstrated by the fact that we can recognise the work of a choreographer without necessarily knowing who made it, for example, Cunningham's, Ek's, Morris', Bourne's work is recognisble to us because we recognise the signature implicit in the technique and style of the choreographer in exactly the same way that we can recognise a Monet ot Picasso in an art gallery before reading plate. I suppose you could extend this further to say that all art is autographic.<P>Hope this helps and thanks for the info aboyt the other board<P>Regards<BR>Mairead

Author:  Azlan [ Mon Jul 03, 2000 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

mairead, you've given me a headache. Image But I do see what you mean. Let me give this some thought before I respond to you. I really think trina should be involved in this discussion. As a choreographer, dance teacher and dance scholar, she will have much to add to this. Now, if we can only get her to "thaw" from her lovely vacation...

Author:  mairead [ Mon Jul 03, 2000 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

Azlan, <BR>Look forward to hearing your thoughts. Do you not think anyone who gets involved with this discussion should be provided with painkillers and sleeping tablets!!!<P>Mairead

Author:  Azlan [ Mon Jul 03, 2000 7:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

Okay, mairead, are you ready... This actually will take us on a tangent…<P>Who's to say that animated characters cannot be part of an allographic process? After all, great strides have been made in both artificial intelligence and artificial life. Let's say we have the ability (perhaps in the mid-future) to extract the complete knowledge base of a dancer and enter it into a database. This would give the database artificial life, the ability to respond mechanically to external stimuli and coaching in a manner almost human-like but without true cognition. Now, let’s say the database can receive new information by being taught new steps in a descriptive manner, in context of its given knowledge base, as in, “Take two steps to the right to tempo then leap up as high as you can.”<BR>Does not this allow a choreographer to imprint her signature onto the database?<P>To take this further, the new steps is processed in context of the given knowledge base, “leap up as high as you can” really depends on the ability of the parent/source dancer. Therefore, what the database is taught is tempered by its limitations and its biases -- as would with a live dancer -- but, because the new steps are imprinted in its memory banks, the signature of the choreographer is still definitely very much evident during a performance. However, the performance by this one database is modified slightly given the palette of tools already present in this database. Upon subsequent coaching, the database takes on more and more of the signature intended by the choreographer, who being human, may herself decide she likes what she sees and changes things accordingly, so neither will actually ever achieve the perfect union between dancer and choreographer, as in real life.<P>And now one last kicker, given time, the database will have expanded its palette and become quite different from its parent/source dancer, who himself has also learned some new tricks. So, when they perform together, you will get two similar but different dancers, who can both carry the signature of the choreographer, without randomness involved at all in the entire process.<P>Now, did this make sense to anyone?

Author:  Michael [ Mon Jul 03, 2000 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

It makes sense, in a VR sort of way. <P>It's like programming the Coppelia doll. Wind it up and let it go.<P>

Author:  mairead [ Mon Jul 03, 2000 9:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

Mmmmm Let me have along think about this!! I get back to you tomorrow!!<P>Mairead

Author:  grace [ Tue Jul 04, 2000 5:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

mairead, thanks very much for that interesting info. <P>i don't know what i think about the allographic/autographic question, but i certainly agree that we CAN recognise a work as coming from a certain choreographic creator. and that creators work CAN be forged....faked....parodied (trocks! Image sorry, i just HAD to inject some silliness in here....)<P>azlan's post is more than i can take in right now..

Author:  Azlan [ Tue Jul 04, 2000 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

Oh, c'mon, grace, you're no fun. There's much you can add to this. After all, as a certified notator, you can give us a sense of what constitutes a dance performance.

Author:  Cronos [ Tue Jul 04, 2000 11:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

a review of the amazing biped in salon magazine <A HREF="http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/1999/04/28/merce/index.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/1999/04/28/merce/index.html</A> <P>"Merce Cunningham's "Biped" is a dramatic feat of computerized choreography."

Author:  mairead [ Wed Jul 05, 2000 7:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

Azlan,<BR>Yeh, I follow you but am afraid I disagree!!!<BR>I agree that animated characters may be part of an allographic system, but this is surely the crux of the problem we have with works like BYPED. The question for me is can these animations be part of an AUTOGRAPHIC system?<P>Secondly, I am very interested in your idea of extracting the knowledge of a dancer and entering it into a database. I agree with you that the artifical life form would be able to respond mechanically, just as computers do, but dance is not mechanical and like computers these artifical lives would not be able to UNDERSTAND. This is where I also think there is a problem with the idea of coaching without true cognition. Here there is a difference between learning and simply having infomation put into you. For me learning implies understanding and it is this that is a necessary requirement for a collective performance to be understandable and indeed for the signature of the choreographer to be apparent. I can only explain this by a silly example; a computer has a spell check system that highlights words that do not match anything in its database, but it is the human who makes the decision to reorder the sequence of letters The computer does not choose for us because it cannot think. Here is another, try to order these words; KING OF THE FRANCE BALD IS, a computer will tell you that this is not the correct order of wording but it cannot tell you that there is anoher ilogocal element to it, that is that France does not have a king!!! So the difference between artifical and real life forms is the mind and its four features and I wrote about the implications of not acknowleging the mind in dance on June 9th.<P>As for giving instructions to the artifical life, such as "jump"etc...surely this is only a part of the dance, the facts of the dance if you like. A dance does not exist in empirical steps alone but on a conceptual level of ideas and semantics and this is because we have a mind. Surely then the conceptual is only carried by understanding. Can an animation really be a dancer then, or just a mover? This is exactly what Sue Jones talks about. To follow, I think we agree that the choreographic autograph is conceptual matter so, therefore, it is logocally IMPOSSIBLE for the conceptual signature of a human choreographer to be apparent in a performance by an artifical being. Also, what about expression? - do you think an artifical being could dance Graham or project the mixture of humour and seriousness in Morris' works through facial gestures? I am not so sure that it is logically possible for a choreographers conceptaul signature to be imprinted on a database? Can the conceptual ever become empirical? Can artifical life forms really have intentionality? So as you say, yes it is possible for an animated figure to be part of an allographic sysem, but dance is not allographic.<P>Finally if the database is only fed information by the parent dancer source, how could it become that different? I think it is easy to take lots for granted regarding what computers can actually do. No matter how much information or activity and artifical life form can give, humans are one step ahead in that it is us who created them, they lack the mind with conciousness and intentionality.<P>Well we seem to be standing on opposite sides of the fence here!! At least we do agree that this is very challenging and we both love dance!! There, thats two things!!!<P>As for you Grace, Alzan is right, come on!!<BR>Mairead

Author:  Azlan [ Wed Jul 05, 2000 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

Mairead, let me digest and get back to you. It's lunch time here now and I don't want to get giddy while I'm eating... Image

Author:  Azlan [ Wed Jul 05, 2000 9:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

I'm still digesting...<P>In the meantime, grace, trina, Michael P? Anyone else wants to jump in?<BR>

Author:  Michael [ Thu Jul 06, 2000 4:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Merce Cunningham's Summerspace, Interscape & BIPED and

It's the old "ghost in the machine", mind/body argument that's been around at least since Cartesian dualism.<P>Can computers choreograph? I disagree with Mairead that "it is logocally IMPOSSIBLE for the conceptual signature of a human choreographer to be apparent in a performance by an artifical being." Just as writers' styles are evident in their literature, the signature of programmers is evident in the style of their computer programs. Mairead's argument rests on the uniqueness and awareness of the human mind, which he or she has not defined (nor has anyone else as far as I know). <P>The mind/body argument is very old, and by extension the human/computer problem is nothing new. It won't be resolved here, no matter how hard we try. We don't know what the future holds, so everything we say about the possibilities of computers is conjectural. Our time is better spent in dancing.<P>Let's all agree that computers can't dance - yet. Well, maybe they dance like me - real bad.<P>

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