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Training/Dictation: (2006-ongoing)

Videos here

We move through the city paced by soundtracks shuffled from commercially produced material, making our lives more fun, more metered, more efficient. Our rhythms are tuned by virtual conductors we happily subscribe to. What new forms of bodily pacing and splicing will be effected as our environments gain intelligence?

Visitors to a mall might be subtly induced to slow down as they pass by consumables, by a beat altered to unfurl just a hair slower than their natural rhythms. (Musak has of course spent years researching and producing the perfect 8-hour shifts in musical speed to produce a more profitable work/consumer force.) But how much better it could be done if gait could be tracked and responded to on the fly!

Or your footsteps might be swapped out for a gait and pace meant to adjust your mood or style. You might walk in the steps of your idol of the moment - coming closer bodily to the one you wish you could be. You might download tracks to help you learn the productive movement rhythms of successful figures in your field. Your body gives way, disappears, as you puppet the moves deemed more desirable.

Meanwhile, as gait-detection enters the arsenal of "security" and surveillance systems, we will soon be identified by these systems through immediate analysis of our natural walking rhythms... Maybe it's time to try out some new (and old) forms of gestural camouflage!

On the other hand, there may be a possibility for a new kind of attunement here. We generally "read" and empathize with others we encounter through language (written and spoken), image, and external observations of physical gestures and qualities. What might we understand of someone through a more direct alignment/attunement with this person's physical state - what if we could inhabit some unique aspect of their bodily rhyhtms? Will understanding be achieved, or is this just another high-tech way to consume others?

In Training, I become a transducer for Hollywood archival footsteps, a hybrid of myself and various disembodied cinematic stereotypes.

In the Dictation series, I try to become the footstep-doppelganger of various colleagues by walking to sound recordings of their walks. I don't look at or listen to the recordings ahead of time; but try in the moment to be an avatar directed by another's sound.

All videos below are excerpts from 10 minute videos. I have made about 30 to date, varying sounds, partners, and locations.

(You'll need the Quicktime 7 player/plug-in windows or mac).

Videos may need to fully or partially download before sound and image sync up.

Training 1

Training 2

Training 3

Training 4

Training 5

Training 6

Dictation 4
with Veronika Bauer

Dictation 6
with Nico Herbst

Dictation 7
with Nico Herbst's Sound only

Dictation 8
with Kate Wall at the beach