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Sound as Object: Cal Arts Spring 2012 Course/Workshop
Choreography for a Liminal Space

Quick video documentation:
Simon Harding tries it out
filmed by Natalie Metzger

In 2011 Tom Leeser (head of the Art & Technology and Intergrated Media programs at Cal Arts) asked me if I'd like to lead a semester-long, cross-disciplinary workshop, culminating in a collaborative project made by students and faculty at Cal Arts. That sounded like a blast!

Based on a very fun and helpful series of "what if" dialogues with Tom, which wound through the summer of 2011, we designed a kinetic research lab for spring 2012, focused on questions and speculations about "physical thinking". A key investigation: How are concrete and virtual cultures forming our logic by co-forming our posture, movements and stillness?

I asked the workshop members to approach the subject through hands-on gestural research and observation, interactive sound experiments, fantastic choreographic experiments offered by visiting artist Natalie Metzger, and readings ranging from neuroscientific speculations to critical essays on mind-body feedback loops by Hillel Schwartz, Marcel Mauss, Norman Klein, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, and others.Students learned some basic soldering and recording, and we were off...

Contemporary neuroscientific studies, presented in venues ranging from peer-reviewed journals on down to Cosmopolitan magazine bombard us with curious tales of deep connections between mental and physical logics. As physical computing increasingly embeds itself in our daily activities, what buried physical logics might technology be imposing on our minds and bodies?

The resulting collectively designed, interactive environment, Choreography for a Liminal Space, is shown to the right, with video linked above.

Collaborators: Justin Asher, Daniel Charon, Conor Fields, Simon Harding, Jinku Kim, Boone McElroy, Arturo Molinar-Avitia, Bryne Rasmussen and Tomio Ueda
with faculty Nina Waisman, Tom Leeser, Dave Mickey and visiting artist Natalie Metzger


 
Daniel Charon, Simon Harding and Natalie Metzger. Video: Nina Waisman
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Daniel Charon, Simon Harding and Natalie Metzger. Video: Nina Waisman
 
Daniel Charon, Simon Harding and Natalie Metzger. Video: Nina Waisman
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Daniel Charon, Simon Harding and Natalie Metzger. Video: Nina Waisman
  liminal_5
Daniel Charon, Simon Harding and Natalie Metzger. Video: Nina Waisman
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Daniel Charon, Simon Harding and Natalie Metzger. Video: Nina Waisman