Choreography and Composition of Internal Time: Biosensors as an Intervention in Creative Practice


In performance, biomedical technologies have potential to encourage critical understandings of bodies as incomplete, unstable, and distributed processes. Biodata can be repurposed, creatively, to subvert positivistic and normative accounts of singular beings, and instead point to plural and relational becomings. Considering the increased accessibility of biosensors in contemporary culture, artists have a vital role to play in upsetting the implicit values that inform correlations between bodies and data. Through choreographic and compositional practice-as-research we engage biosensors to intervene in reductive analyses of physiology and time as internal and involuntary phenomena, from which human experiences may be explained. We resist seductive accounts of technology as a means to reveal or represent invisible aspects of embodiment. We resist uses of technology that claim to extend the body while implicitly defining it relative to the apparatus of its augmentation. In place, we invite biosensors to instigate promiscuous and poly-temporal relations between physiology, movement, music, media, and environment. We use electronic stethoscopes and electrocardiograms specifically because the rich temporal structures observed in the body provide uniquely challenging contexts for the construction of performance time in general and musical time in specific, while suggesting multidirectional flows between performers and observers—animate and inanimate. This practice-as-research is being developed through our project Choreography and Composition of Internal Time, which involves performance experiments with dancers and musicians, as well as creations for stage and installation.

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