Susan Wiesner & Rommie L. Stalnaker

We have had some aspects of our process rendered different by the rest of our collaborators. All our team members must tap into both sides of our brains, and bodies, as we acknowledge our creative practices within a research framework. We all interpret verbal instructions and visualizations on some level through visuals, sound, and physical movement. Although we have worked with composers and accompanists, it is often recorded music that drives the choreography. Meaning is made through the motivation and intent for a piece. The music nor the animation is intended to be subservient to the choreographed movement. Instead, we intended to create a Whole, where all voices and art forms share equal value with the supporting technologies, without privileging any one element. To accomplish this, we must negotiate within one another’s spaces: Digital Humanities AND the Arts. However, the need/desire to include the computer overshadows our personal love of the ephemerality of our art form. This provides a tension between our collaborators and us as they work strictly from a computer and we approach our art from as analog (i.e. ‘real’ bodies in space and time). Through all of our work/research with our collaborators we always strive to be respectful of each other’s artistic practices, yet sometimes one art form does need to be subsumed by, or prioritized, over another. We are currently working on a computationally tractable notation system that cuts across all art forms, and hope for a universal way to utilize the computer, making the differences in our art forms disappear.

Rommie L. Stalnaker


Susan Wiesner, The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities @ UMD

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