Man in e.Space _ extended
LAb[au]: concept realisation
Wolf Ka, Res Publica: light costume choreography
Marc Wathieu: sound
Marianne Decamps: dance
Claudia Miazzo: dance
in co-production with:
Le Carré des Jalles / Medias-Cité
with the support of:
'One of the emblems of our time is abstraction.... A further emblem of our time is mechanization.... And last, but not the least, among the emblems of our time are the new potentials of technology and invention which we can use to create altogether new hypotheses and which can thus engender, or at least give promise of, the boldest fantasies. The theatre, which should be the image of our time and perhaps the one art form most peculiarly conditioned by it, must not ignore these signs.' _ Oskar Schlemmer, from 'Man and Art Figure'
The performance title is derived from a drawing entitled 'Man in space' by Oskar Schlemmer, the founder of Dessau's Bauhaus-stage in the twenties. The drawing displays a figure inside a mathematical space giving a planimetric and stereometric representation on the bodyspace. This
drawing synthesises his analytic approach resulting in an abstract and geometric language on which he founded his entire works. The term of "mobile Raumplastik" (mobile sculpture) illustrates this conception of human motion, frozen to geometrical forms and which incorporates the relation of Man and Space. These ideas can be found back in his masterwork "Triadische Ballet"; through the basic (triad) parameters of form-colour-space, height-depth-width, and the three basic forms of geometry: sphere-cone-cube.
But his performance 'Staebetanz' may give the most direct translation of his conceptual representation of the bodyspace. This 'Stickdance' presents a dancer dressed in black on an empty black stage, only visible by the prolongation of his body by long, white, wooden sticks.Here the dancer is reduced to lines in space and each change of posture becomes a new spatial arrangement.
His work is the expression of a fundamental research which did not want to be a copy of reality but an artificial product (art) in order to bring up the essential (pure) idea. From this perspective his work corresponds to the conviction of a generation of artists researching a proper aesthetic of the machine age breaking up with the traditional canon of the arts.
Due to the technical progress of this time it shouldn't be surprising to find similar approaches in experimental photography and cinema. From Etienne Jules Marey's chronographic studies to the audiovisual experiences of Oskar Fischinger, all proposed an analytic view on the body by building an abstract and symbolic representation. The performance ties up with these researches while confronting them with their digital constructs, an objective which is expressed through the adding of the 'e' in the original title and which stands for electronic.
The performance 'Man in e.Space' is based on the reduction of two dancing bodies to dancing lines, outlining the body by light sticks. Furthermore the traditional frontal scene is abandoned for four
transparent projection screens arranged in a zigzag. This central arrangement creates for the audience multiple perspectives by eliminating any dominant viewing direction and invites the public to walk around and to explore the space.
Four cameras are placed at the crossing lines of the screens and film the dancers' movements. The 24 captured images per second are placed and recomposed by the means of a 3d real-time engine developed by LAb[au]. Each camera is linked to a separate but networked computer which calculates one of the four views of the common electronic space projected on the screens. In this construct the 24 captured images form a continuous image stream but which arrangement can, due to its three-dimensional organisation, be altered by navigation. In a linear navigation the image stream constitutes a time-line, a recording, of four seconds of the dancer's movement. This conception of the 3d space is directly derived from the spatial arrangement of the projection screen giving the stage a time-based organisation.
The time-based scenography and its cinematic construct of fps (frames per second) is reinforced by real time processed sounds based on the parameter of 'bpm' (beats per minute). The sounds themselves are diffused through multi-channels binding once more the spatial setting to the performative structure and the dancers' movements. In this construct the dancers create an audiovisual space by drawing their movements in space and modulating the sounds. They become the vectors of space where the logic of the physical and the electronic space overlaps. Here time is space and space is time. The performance thus is a scenic device fusing choreography, cinematography and scenography - in between dance, music and architecture.
In the beginning of the performance the dancers stand as light-sculptures alone inside the space, but the gradual shift towards the above-mentioned space-time logics leads to a choreography between them and their electronic abstract and geometric representation until the point where the cameras are
turned towards the screens leading to an endless closed feedback loop. Suddenly the machines stand alone reproducing over and over the dancers' last inputs (traces).
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