Sunday, April 22, 2007

Presence - brought to you by...

In "The Reception," the Berkeley Dance Project dancers touched a bit on presence. They mentioned it in speech and expressed interpretation through movement. In the discussion afterwards, they defined presence as action in an environment. The use of a TV on wheels was interesting because the lady showed on the screen was trying to be present with the man wheeling the TV with him. Her request to take her with him was of some success for a few seconds until the extension cord was unplugged and she was no longer. This presence was dependent on technology. But even with the technological advances providing some opportunity to be present with someone at a different location in the same real time, there is still an absense of a sort. I felt it most when the dancers were hugging "someone", but to the third party it looked as if they were embracing air. I could vaguely see the shape of the vacuum but the actual person was not there. I'm not too sure what each act in the show was trying to convey but it was interesting to watch and definitely provoked thought about presence.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Guillermo Murga said...

Regarding the lady on the tv screen, it almost seemed like a robot to me. The movement of the tv screen matched the facial expressions of the lady making it very realistic. I also agree that it ties in with the themes from class about being present at multible locations due to technological communication. Video Conferencing comes to mind, but this seemed more realistic. The movement of the tv stand definetely personalized it and made it seem human.

4/23/2007 1:59 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

The TV cord getting cut reminded me of the limits of technology, both in hardware and software. He could only take her so far before she was disconnected, and even then she didn't seem to be all there. It was kind of like getting disconnected from a cell phone signal when walking through a concrete building; the technology still isn't strong enough to fully provide a service that is comparable to physical presence.

4/27/2007 1:02 AM  
Blogger Dan Ben-Nun said...

Yes, the Berkeley Dance Project was pretty interesting. While I definitely thought that the subject matter and the choreography were very well done, there was one aspect that I felt was very badly handled - the music/sound aspect. Overall I felt that the music and the sound effects were both uncomfortable and very irritating, to the point were I could not fully concentrate on the dancing and I felt myself continually focusing on the abrasive music. While I understand that the music was chosen for its "futuristic" and "digital" style, I listen to many types of music that fit this description which are more pleasing and smoother than the music used during the performance. In the end, I feel like a more euphoric and smoother musical choice would have made the performance much more enjoyable.

4/27/2007 3:44 PM  
Blogger Frank Song said...

i understand what they try to do with the image on the screen and the performer. Their attempt to question presence is remarkable. I agree with your idea that "even with the technological.. ,there is still an absense of a sort" I guess a sense of a touch?

5/07/2007 3:20 AM  

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