WHAT IF OUR ONLINE INFORMATION WERE DIGITAL TATTOOS?
WHAT WOULD YOURS SAY ABOUT YOU?
WOULD YOU WISH FOR THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN?
It has been proposed that our digital information will last longer than we will ourselves in the flesh. The average person spends 8 hours and 41 minutes per day on electronic devices, over 313 million people use Twitter and over 400 million people use Instagram everyday.
Today because of this, we all have a digital tattoo, an unconscious data trail which will outlive ourselves in the flesh. Though we are regularly told about the potential risks of participating online, we often choose to ignore the inherent consequences of this in favour of social gratification, convenience and shareability.
Katie Dale-Everett Dance is a cross-genre digital dance artists who makes work that explores and questions the increasingly digitalised society we live in.
Digital Tattoo is a live interdisciplinary work that mixes dance with interactive projection. The work exposes the permanence of our online actions and questions the identity of both the physical and virtual self.
Digital Tattoo: Artefact 1 is a three minute, choreographic art film combining dance, animation and sound and is inspired by the Right to be Forgotten law, exploring the permanence of personal online data. The film aims to encourage its viewer to reflect upon their own unconscious, permanent data trail that we all generate through our online activity, unescapable in this increasingly digitalised world.
Conversations About the Digital is an audio interactive work that instructs its participants to answer questions and to carry out simple tasks in connection to their own individual thoughts around and interaction with the digital. The work also reveals and brings together reflections on the digital by both Digital Immigrants (those born before the boom of digital technology) and Digital Natives (those born post digital boom) sharing their concerns and thoughts around privacy, control, identity, interaction and The Right to Be Forgotten. Please bring a smartphone with you if you wish to take part.
Further venue details can be found here: www.circleartscentre.com
Source – brownpapertickets.com
Katie Dale-Everett brings her interdisciplinary film and dance performance Digital Tattoo to Brighton’s Otherplace at The Basement this week. Working across artistic mediums, Dale-Everett incorporates her interest in the themes of authorship and identity, as she explores the transience of our online personas in an increasingly fragmented digital age. Digital Tattoo questions the possibility of true anonymity and suggests that our ethereal identity in the digital space may last longer than we do in the flesh.
A supported artist at the venue’s own Otherplace Productions, Dale-Everett has received rapid recognition since her graduation in 2014, and is now a Brighton Dance network featured artist. As a choreographer deeply concerned with the audience’s role in ‘co-creating’ the performance of dance, she is equally committed to making her performance accessible to others. Digital Tattoo is also supported by the Screen South Ignition Network Centre for Film Work and the South East Dance’s Emerging Artist Programme – a great opportunity to witness a fusion of artistic mediums, and the formative work of a star in the making.
Digital Tattoo opens on Tuesday 10th November at 7pm, with performances throughout the week on 11th, 12th and 14th November. Tickets are available here at £7.50 (plus booking fee).
Location: Otherplace at the Basement, 24 Kensington Street, Brighton BN1 4AJ
Source – themetropolist.com
Katie Dale-Everett is a freelance dance artist working within the fields of choreography, teaching and performing. Within her work, she seeks to practically and theoretically investigate the definitions of the terms ‘documentation’ and ‘authorship, exploring how time and intertextuallity affect the reading of a work. She challenges documentation’s role as a tool for preservation and instead strives to highlight the subjectivity involved within its creation, believing that each attempt to document creates its own performance.
Katie is about to start making a new work called ‘Digital Tattoo’ which explores privacy within a digitised society. She is particularly excited about working with Blast Theory to learn about our work online, but also live performance and digital broadcasting, as well as to learn more about the process of archiving.
Source – Blast Theory
Can an adult enjoy a show made for kids? If it is ‘Chotto Desh’ presented by Akram Khan Company and MOKO Dance then the answer is most probably yes. Joining together text, animation, dance and props, the adapted version of Khan’s ‘DESH’ (2011), takes its audience on a magical journey, escaping reality and transporting them to a range of countries and imaginary worlds.
Starting suddenly, the work draws you in from the first exaggerated and animated movements, as Akram asks a phone call centre company how he can fix his phone. Answered by a wise child, who directs the questions to be more about life and connection, children and adults alike can relate on their own level to the conversation and its meaning. Made up of multiple sections which incorporate props, a cleverly designed lighting plot and musical score and text, throughout ‘Chotto Desh’ (which means ‘small homeland’), we see young Akram struggle with finding his identity, shaped by his two ‘homelands’ with very different cultures: London and Bangladesh.
What I think is really inspiring for children is the proficiency of Khan as a performer and the choreographic constructs throughout the work to create more characters beyond Khan’s solo self, acting as a wonderful introduction to contemporary dance. Throughout, characters are either created through recorded voice, in which live Akram has conversations or through visual transformation, showing Akram’s mastery of movement and characterisation. One particularly poignant section was the moment that Khan transformed into his dad, drawing a face on top of his head and creating an almost puppet like characterisation, through gestural movements and fluid movements of the head.
Another mesmerising moment and probably the most recognised moment in the piece is when Akram’s mother begins to tell him a traditional childhood story and the stage becomes transformed into a moving jungle through projected animation. Khan’s precision and true dedication to character at this moment, makes us feel as if he is transversing space beyond the limitations of the proscenium theatre and creates a true sense of magic.
Overall, I believe that ‘Choto Desh’ is a show to be enjoyed by both adults and children, a must see for all the family. For me, it was a true adventure and wonderful experience, which one can only imagine how magical it must have been for a child’s mind, not yet limited by the realities of life.
Image: Chotto Desh. Akram Khan Company and MOKO Dance. Image © Richard Haughton
Source – South East Dance Blog
Can you imagine wearing your web presence on your flesh? Having Facebook photographs and Google searches imprinted on you for all to see? What if your body was confronted by the permanence of your online data?
Choreographer Katie Dale-Everett uses the theme of digital identity in her latest work – Digital Tattoo. It is an intimate dance and film projection piece – the ideal media combination for exploring our physical and virtual selves. Anyone who has any sort of web presence or social media profile should see this.
If you are new to contemporary dance, this would be a great place to start. The familiarity of the digital influences in the movement and music are reassuring and engaging. There is a delightful use of typing, swiping and touchscreen-zooming motions in the choreography, and the tones and notification notes used in the music are auditory digital signifiers as well as an ambient, yet dynamic soundtrack for the piece.
Composed by Tom Sayers (whose other work notably includes sound design for Slumdog Millionaire and music editing for the chillingly beautiful Les Revenants/The Returned), the opening music could actually be my ideal blogging soundtrack.
There were lots of things I loved about this performance – the projection of a relationship which created a narrative in my mind, glimpses of a wild night out, the use of data and the right to be forgotten, the scrutiny of a reflection where the audience is the mirror and the closeness of the performers. The proximity of the dancers to the audience gave it a real intimacy, at times it felt quietly uncomfortable, verging on voyeuristic yet still as compelling as scrolling through photos of your ex’s new love interest on Facebook.
The two dancers were wonderful to watch. Eirini Apostolatou is a particularly charming performer, her shifting emotions and facial expressions were a delight.
Often when I watch contemporary dance, I just look at the dancers, the beautiful movements and take it as is, without analysing the meaning or thinking about themes. I find spending too long trying to understand something as it is happening makes it less enjoyable than just experiencing it. On other occasions the theme dominates so much that the dance is almost coincidental. I think this piece got the balance just about right by combining the closeness of the dance with the projected images and Google searches, which were part of both the interpretation and the creative choreography.
The use of projection in this piece, particularly on the body was beautiful. I loved it aesthetically, but it also made me reflect on how I wear my own digital identity.
I am both an incredibly open and private person – I over-share but I am hard to get close to. My online presence has empowered me and has helped me see myself through the eyes of others (in a good way), but for now I am in control of it. There could be a time when that changes, if some weird blogger mishap turns into a viral scandal, if I make enemies who share things about me I don’t want aired in public, if trolls target me or if I make some amazingly high profile fuck up.
If you make a mistake online, you don’t have to look someone in the eye as you do it. The immediate embarrassment may be less, and you might get away with it. It might be drowned out in other information, you could delete that tweet before anyone takes a screenshot, but then again some things might pop up like an unwanted ad when your boss is looking over your shoulder.
Don’t fear your digital tattoo though, we all have regrets, just make sure you know how to wear them… with the grace of dancer.
Digital Tattoo is supported by Arts Council England, Otherplace Productions, South East Dance and Richer Sounds.
The very beautiful photography is by Eleanor Kelly
Source – cassyfry.com
During the residency I have been focused on the journey of the work and the relationships between the different artistic disciplines: dance, animation and film. Working together each artistic strand has been chosen to portray the immortality and non-anonymity of the digital self that is created through the process of online participation and to highlight the unconscious data trail we generate.
The Flare strand of the Ignition Random Acts Network, guides artists aged between 16 & 24 years old to take a ready to go a film idea through the professional production process to delivery for a potential broadcast. Being commissioned under this strand has enabled me to turn a film around within a short time period of time and having my own space to use to think and invite artists I am working with to, for example dramaturge Lou Cope has been of great value.
The research and development I have been carrying out will also go towards my new live work Digital Tattoo in November. See details here.
Katie is supported by South East Dance’s Emerging Artist Programme and Otherplace Productions.
Source – Blast Theory Blog
Well, I guess the beginning has begun!
I’ve made my first steps into the world of South East Dance and all the artists they support.
Introductions have been made, hopes have been shared and the initial questions that start any process I work on have been asked.
As a dramaturg, it’s always an odd moment, stepping from the outside to the inside; going from being strangers to being creatively intimate. But people are normally so open, willing and up for it – how can we go wrong?!
Katie is currently creating a new piece of work. We had a great session, my brain was fried on more than one occasion, and I really enjoyed working with her to figure out what’s most important in what she’s saying and then – how the hell she’s going to do it technically. Exploring the dramaturgy of her work was fascinating. As is often the way I was blown away by the choices artists face, and the profound difference even the smallest decision can make to a piece and how it is received.
I also stepped briefly and virtually into Dan Daw’s world. Dan is busy touring his new piece ‘Beast’ as well as developing a Symposium called ‘Get Better Soon’, which will be hosted in Brighton, this November. Exciting times for Dan (who received the BBC Performing Arts Fund and is an Associate Artist of SED) and I can’t wait to get stuck in to working with him.
In addition to working with artists, I have also begun work as dramaturg to South East Dance, which is rather marvellous if a little daunting. I’ve embarked upon a series of meetings and creative thinking sessions with all the staff – as individuals, as departments and as a whole. So far I’ve had the following feelings: a) I want to do this forever b) I want to run for the hills and c) what a strange and wonderful honour this is. Deep and complicated and inspiring and exciting.
Well, enough about the fun I’m having! Here’s how you all get to join in …
Plans for the various schemes that form this residency have been finalised, and – well here they are…
TEST – is a 2 day workshop plus follow up skype support for 6 choreographers, and two emerging dramaturgs, to explore the value of embracing dramaturgical practice. Apply here
COLLABORATE – is an open access investment pot for anyone who wants to work with a dramaturg, whether that’s me or someone else. Apply here
And if you want to keep updated about all that’s happening…
Why not like the Facebook page facebook.com/LouCopeSED
And follow me on Twitter: @LouCopeSED
Or could you just like me, in person, and I’ll tell you…
‘Beast’ will be performed Tuesday 3 November, 8pm, at the Studio theatre, Brighton Dome. Dan’s Symposium, ‘Get Better Soon: Musings on a 21st Century Aesthetic’, will take place on November 9, 2pm – 6pm, at Brighton Dome. Tickets available here.
That’s it for now. More when things hot up in the Autumn!
Katie will also be working with Lou on an additional new live work ‘Digital Tattoo’ later in the year. This will be performed at The Basement Brighton in November 2015:
Tuesday 10th, 19:00
Wednesday 11th, 19:00
Thursday 12th, 19:00
Saturday 14th, 17:00
tribe: When did you first come up with the concept for Digital Tattoo?
Digital Tattoo: The concept for Digital Tattoo is an idea that I have been working on for quite some time. Whilst at university, I originally came across a Ted Talk of the same name by academic Juan Enruquez, in which he warns of the permanence of our online information. This set the wheels in motion. Having written a dissertation on ‘Spectating, existing, remain: An investigation of the relationships between choreographed body and choreographed document’, I was very interested in creating work and researching around authorship and documentation. I was also experimenting, at the time, by working with projection within my film work and with other dancers as a way of superimposing documents from different times. It was then just after I completed my degree that I began experimenting with the idea of projection on the body and how this relates to both the individual and society within our increasingly digitized world.
t: Can you explain the process of how the performance came into being?
DT: Applying for a different project at Otherplace Productions this time last year, I met Nicola Haydn, a director of Otherplace Productions at The Basement, who was instantly interested my concepts. This led to her offering me support and encouraging me to apply for Arts Council funding. Whilst awaiting the outcome of my application, I auditioned dancers, whith whom I spent three days with researching and workshopping ideas. I continued to develop myself as a digital dance artist, securing a place on the world renowned artist group Blast Theory’s volunteer programme as an archivist and receiving and completing an Ignition Random Acts Network Commission, which I hope to eventually tour alongside ‘Digital Tattoo’.
Now that we are back in the theatre space, I am working intensely with my dancers and collaborators to complete the work. As a choreographer I enjoy working with people and seeing what their experience brings to the work. I therefore create choreography by giving my dancers set material that I ask them to learn, and also by setting tasks, which I then select and shape material from. Throughout this process I have been lucky enough to receive time with dramaturge Lou Cope from South East Dance who has helped me shape the journey of the work, and to receive mentorship from digital dance collaborator Nic Sandiland in order to enable me to work with new software (within my rrepertoire) Isadora Troikatronix.
t: How has Digital Tattoo transitioned from and idea, into a visual performance project?
DT: Before coming into the studio with my dancers, I created short experimental videos along with videos of my searches around my dancers personal online information. During the choreographic process, I worked on a range of tasks with my dancers. Sometimes I just gave them a feeling or a word to work with, sometimes I asked them to respond to imagery or touch.
I also created choreography through games, which is something I have never done before. In one section of the piece where the dancers are passing information or digital signals between each other, as an example, I initially asked them to throw and catch a ball using different body parts. We then took the ball away and worked with the movement that was left.
Isadora Troikatronix is also a wonderful software to bring my idea of digital tattoos to life, allowing the projected film to fit upon my dancer’s bodies or to appear in response to a touch.
t: How do you consider your personal online identity?
DT: This is a question without a simple answer. I believe that it is a collection of self- documentation (I unfortunately do not store my photographs anywhere else than Facebook), a connection with long distance friends and mainly as a professional platform to showcase my work. Having an online presence allows me to create an identity or a self which can interact with a much wider field of people than I could in the flesh. As an artist I am not against the digital, I believe that social media has contributed massively to the development of my profile as an artist, I just believe that it is important to think about the constructs that we become a part of and the possibilities that putting this information online creates for its future.
As far as I am aware, there is nothing that I regret about my being online (apart from perhaps a few young pictures), but I am sure there is information about me online that I am unaware of and I find that a disturbing fact.
t: How did you research online identity and perception?
DT: I have done a lot of reading, had a lot of discussions, looked at and read about other artists work and instrumented interviews. Due to the constant development of online sites, we are always being left behind, there is constantly new ways of gaining information and communicating; people hold many different relationships to the internet. Thus, I feel that this is something that I am always going to be researching and learning about.
I am interested in people and the real, honest affects that this digitalization is having on society as part of my research. For or sound design we have gone out and interviewed a range of people about their thoughts on the Right to be Forgotten.
I am also currently delivering practical and discursive workshops with both digital immigrants and digital natives (people who were born before and after the digital era) to look at how people’s relationship to the digital and online perception has changed over time and how it changes with age, as well as to create further opportunity for people to engage with my work. Of course, every time I go online, I am also learning more about self projection, both through myself, but also through the world of communication and information at my fingertips.
t: Online identity is a hugely visual thing. With this in mind, how important is sound and how closely did you work with the composer?
DT: The sound for Digital Tattoo is very important because it brings the movement and the film projections alive, helping to convey the mood for each section and to take the audience on a journey. Moving between sound design and musical sections, the composition allows the audience to understand locations and emotions, and to introduce thoughts on the Right to be Forgotten; living within an increasingly digitized society through real interviews.
For this piece I have chosen to work with a composer called Tom Sayers, who is new to composing for dance performances (he works primarily as a sound designer for film, for which he has won a BAFTA and has been nominated for an Oscar). This is therefore a very exciting collaboration for both of us. Our relationship is one similar to between the dancers and myself; we discuss the stimuli for the choreography and then he responds. We then come to a mutual agreement. Tom then has time to work on his composition before I give further feedback, or we look at it in relation to the choreography and the dancers in rehearsal.
t: Could this project have been possible without support from the Arts Council and South East Dance?
DT: Although I appreciate it is not always possible (I have done and am still doing my fair share of free and expenses only work), I believe that people should be paid, when possible, for the work that they do. Being a supported artist at Otherplace Productions was important. Without the funding, the show would still have gone ahead on a much smaller scale. The outreach programme of workshops and opportunities to help learn how to use Isadora Troikatronix through mentorship would not have been possible, for example, as well as the additional outside support and the help I have set up for the future of the work. The funding is essential in this project to develop me as well as my collaborators within our chosen fields at an important stage of our careers.
t: Has this project been a challenge?
DT: Yes, on a number of levels. I find challenges are exciting and open up new ideas and opportunities. There have been two main challenges. The first one is time. We have only had eight rehearsals to make the piece, carry out photography, document it, work with the composition and for myself and the dancers to learn how to use Isadora Troikatronix, which is new to us all. I am thankful to the team of committed and open collaborators that I have been working with for taking on this challenge, as without them this timescale would not have been so easy.
The second challenge was privacy and rights to information, which is obviously a big question for the work. If there were no laws and regulations for where and how we can use online information, I would have choreographed and then filmed a continuous search around my dancers real online information (which I have received permission to do). However,
I had to get clearance permission from all images that appeared in the work from both the people in the images as well as those who took the images and then design my own social media site for this very reason. Although, for live performance, the rules about personal data are not as strict as it is in the context of my other work, I have still had to come up with a creative, yet honest way of representing the online which has been an interesting challenge, one that has informed and shaped the work.
t: What do you want people to take way from the performance?
DT: Although I hope that all ages can get something from the work, it is particularly aimed at those regularly online, mostly those who are frivolous with what they post. I want them to go away having not necessarily changed their approach to their online presence, but just to consider it every now and then. “If I post this, where might it go? What consequences might it have now or in the future? How does it represent me?”
t : What would be your one word of advice to people who use social media to share their lives online?
DT: To think more about what you are sharing, where this information will go and who will read it. Embrace the online, it creates opportunity for things that otherwise would not be possible. But also be aware of the consequences of this. After all, your digital self which you are not always in control of, can be considered part of yourself, just like a Digital Tattoo.
Source – Tribe Magazine
‘Pact with Pointlessness’ by Wendy Houstoun
Brighton Dome Studio Theatre
Tuesday 14th April 2015, 8pm.
What do you expect when you are told that you are going to see a work called ‘Pact with Pointlessness’? A random assortment of comical nonsense? Clowning on stage? A work which will be enjoyable in the moment but forgotten later? Insert movement artist Wendy Houston into the mix and you receive an intelligently thought through and powerful work throughout which you will be laughing out loud in one moment and then reflecting upon your own life in the next.
Starting with the drawn out choreographed movement of over the top coloured lights, projection of the words ‘Pact with Pointlessness’ and funfair music, the audience is immediately hit with a sense of futility. Entering the stage wearing black tracksuits and a t-shirt, Houstoun continues this theme by running around a microphone stand multiple times and it is refreshing to see an older, female dancer holding the stage alone. Taking her audience on a journey of reflection, we witness not only dance but poetry, film projection, quotes and comedy, each episodic section able to stand alone within its own right, but together creating a constant sense of moving forward, something which Houstoun suggests is the only thing we can do in this pointless world which is taking us further and further towards our death.
Within the final scene, Houstoun’s recognition of the pointlessness of a life in which we are constantly trying to ‘keep everything up in the air’ hits strongly home as she reduces humanity to different parts of the human body. It could be argued that she even reduces her own art form, a form in which she says offers her the chance to be in a constant state of rediscovery through repetition is pointless as it is a construction that will only ever be ephemeral.
Although I had heard of Houstoun many times before, I had never been fortunate enough to attend her work. As an artist I found her performance committed and invested; the audience knowing that of course she is performing a repetition of something which she has done many times before, yet her performance still maintains the ‘innocence of the first act’ (Trisha Brown).
Contrary to the theme of pointlessness running throughout the evenings work, ‘Pact with Pointlessness’ is an important piece of work made to celebrate Houstoun’s long standing as an important figure within contemporary performance. Taking up the position of South East Dance’s ‘Established Artist Fellow’, for this year, the work forms part of the celebration of Houstoun’s thirty five years as an established movement/theatre maker within contemporary theatre.
To conclude, for me this work is a must see not only for those interested in dance, but a work to be seen by comedy lovers, theatre makers and poetry artists. So in answer to the question is this work pointless? I would argue not at all, in fact I think it stands as a highly regarded work, which I will continue to think about for a long while yet.
Written by Katie Dale-Everett
Images © Hugo Glendinning