dans sans joux



about projects emergent dress design in motion Suna No Onna UKIYO for the time being klüver ... telematics imagearchive ...contact


// early stages: April 2005 //


Notes from the lab on interaction and design-in-motion

Writing on sensual textures/qualities to interact with:

It is difficult to represent memory and the past accurately, our brain compensates and we remember from our position in the present/future. In terms of garments/dress, I wonder about the design and the process of its creation or indeed the state/partial state of its existence. In the case of 'victorian' dress (Galina's piece in the dance of our telematic partners in Arizona), the garment is the 'time traveller' and has many stories to tell, it exists in it's finished well formed, fully resolved state...[The HOOP form, the "rings" and its historical-Victorian associations]

My piece exists in its developmental states/partial states, fragments from the past and the present (evolve in and during the performance) and hints to the future. It is fluid and has the potential to react, can move and exist in different states, alters the pathways of memory, avoids predictable or predetermined solution. 'Genesis', I don't know, maybe I am not making sense right now, I need to consider this further. (the image above shows Katsura Isobe, a long term member of the dap-lab company, rehearsing in the studio wearing partial sleeve dress).

(* the "autopoietic" dress: the biological theories of self-organizing systems or organisms work well with this idea of the "generative fabric and generative "text". JB)

My thoughts on this are just beginning to emerge, but I'm thinking that the dress should not emerge fully until the end of our telematic sessions. It will be created through ideas and movements/explorations that occur as a result of our link-ups with other sites, (Japan, Brazil, Arizona). The 'Telematic Dress' will be the product of our connections and linking of ideas. (Michèle Danjoux)

I think you are absolutely right about these meanings and connotations of memory and history, and the new dress as evolving and being distributed in constellation of process and becoming -- coming to the open, meaning also coming beyond the open.
The open: reading your thoughts, my spontaneous inclination was to think of Agamben's "open" (Giorgio Agamben: "'TheOpen - Man and Animal') and link it with the research on the dance and neuroscience I was engaged in: it made me read new biological and cognitive theories. Maturana and Varela are now much liked by the current generation of new media artists and digital artists working with "systems" in artificial life or modeling projects that involve digital VR works modelled upon living systems.

[see also: Pfeifer, R. and Josh Bongard, How the body shapes the way we think, Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press, 2007]

The thinking that goes into the programming or modeling is derived from biology and what Maturana and Varela have described as auto-poietic (self-organizing systems) systems in the many species worlds and perceptual worlds of our ecology of life forms in the largest sense, that is, any species in the living organic world is - as a life form - organising itself (and its survival) by adapting and adopting and by being in symbiosis with other systems, this constitutes the intelligence of life forms of course, even though the notion of "auto-poietic" systems also implies that the perceptual world of a fly may be different from the perceptual world of a airplane pilot. In that sense, the "auto-poetic system" is like a closed perceptual machine that adapts to its own survival needs and may not care about the survival needs of the other systems. The system that grows and evolves is auto-poetic, and we know from some
dancers (colleagues such as Marlon Barrios Solano) that they think of interactive systems (improvised dance within intelligent environments, with cameras, sensors, and computer softwares that "think") as such open, unpredictable and evolving systems. Interestingly, if one were to listen to an artist/writer such as DJ Spooky, whose work with sampling and sound, rhythms and remixes, has made him see "system" more through generations of "rhythm," it would be fruitful to link the performative sensory experience of "wearing" as evolving with the musical/rhythmic idea, which also links to tyhe climatic and the seasonal, and the rhythms of life and exposures (to our climates) which we ednure. Your thoughts of the "open dress" would go well with this process-idea of a dress that is "genetic" (as you imply) and to some extent engineered, by you and the others who wear it and join the distributed design .

The question of where memory plays across the surfaces need to be addressed separately. We (in Nottingham) did not use any projections on top of the surface of the fabric, but Helenna danced/manipulated the fabric. Now, the Arizona-team was projecting images on top of the "model" - and we would like to hear again what motivated the shot selection/image selection, how this image surface was conceived, what was the contents, or can we speak of contents here (in filmic terms), or do we have to formulate a new concept of image texture (pattening) as a fabric design? What is a video-fabric design? How tactile is it? Or is it meant to evoke the tactility we are refering to, or is it mainly optical?

If it is optical (in the telematic video sense), then how can a "distributed dress" , a telematic dress" become more open, more tactile? Does not projection foreclose? How can the dreass actually be more "worn" or experienced and manipulated by two or three dancers? How is it "poetic"? to some extent since it does function also within a fictional and artistic universe created by the dancers and the teams, and if we allow it to evolve without it being "predictable" -- in the distributed shared but not conclusive sense, yet symbiotically - then could it also be considered auto-poetic? Does auto-generative here refer to the biological intelligence, or is there an aesthetic dimensions, taking to to what Michèle refered to, the textile-connotations, color and shape connotations, the design meanings, eastern, western and hybrid? But the dress (unlike in Jane Harris's work of the floating digital dresses-without-bodies), the dress is not dancing alone, it "is" not alone. There are dancers, in Arizona, Nottingham, Tokyio, and here it might be interesting to think, for a moment, about "models" in the fashion sense, and in the dance sense, how do dancers model dresses in the open? (Michèle Danjoux/Johannes Birringer)



// later stages: March-June 2008 //

design in motion

The aspect of “becoming” through performance is crucial for my work, as the design process for the development of the garments and prototypes described here owes the embedding of microelectronic technology and wireless transmitters to artistic concepts of transporting human expression and sensual experience. The intimate exchange between performance, “wearable” and responsive environments – the latter composed through data flows and filmic or sonic projections – is a temporal and physical phenomenon. But technically and psychologically the corporeal performance constitutes a continuous rhythm of unfolding. When I began this research with the DAP Lab in Nottingham and London, I wanted my pieces to exist in their developmental states/partial states, fragments from the past and the present evolving in and through the performance, hinting at the future. Conceptually, these first prototypes explored fluidity through dance and the live interface with cameras, revealing the potential to react and to move and exist in different states (almost simultaneously), altering the pathways of memory and avoiding predictable or predetermined solutions.

Design-in-motion became the central metaphor for my subsequent work with choreographers, performers, programmers and technologists, as I experienced and learnt from our telematic interactions with dancers in Japan and the US. The instability of the network transmissions created a special ambience for the immanence of moving bodies as connective tissue, cloth becoming gesture and character in projective fantasies of social relations, imaginative sharing of (distributed) space. The most recent prototypes have become “wearables” with integrated sensors responding to motion and light, transmitting information to responsive environments and enabling the performer to affect the virtual space. Garment form and spatial form are emergent, poetically animated by movement choreography chiasmically connected to image movement on the screens.

(Danjoux, from Introduction to "Design in Motion" [2008])




Photo: Katsura Isobe rehearsing with early protoype of DunesWoman garments (c) 2007 Michèle Danjoux


(c) Michèle Danjoux