upDate: Chris Ziegler: turned
Wed, November 24, 2004 8 pm CET, Performance
»turned« is a dance and interactive media performance developed and performed by the media artist Chris Ziegler, Artist in Residence at ZKM_Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, the Berlin-based Japanese dancer, Kazue Ikeda, in collaboration with Florian Meyer [Institut fuer feinmotorik] and the composer Sean Reed, from Hamburg.

The performance bonds elements from dance, painting, visual art, and music. The pictures taken of the dancing body are sampled and distorted through electronic processing. The thus deconstructed movements poetically open up views of loss and destruction. The viewer is taken along in the search for tracks.

»turned« is a disc: it begins as a concert, continues as dance, moves into an interactive video sequence and finally channels into a 3D installation. A multimedia spatial body arises before the viewers’ eyes.

Premiere: 4–5 November 04: Dance 2004-Festival, Haus der Kunst, Munich in cooperation with UTOPIA Station [curated by Molly Nesbit, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rirkrit Tiravanija].

direction, video: Christian Ziegler [D]
dance: Kazue Ikeda [J]
music: Sean Reed [USA], Florian Meyer, institut fuer feinmotorik, [D]

The result of the multimedia dance performances by Christian Ziegler with varying dance partners (Jayachandran Palazhy and Kazue Ikeda) is a synaesthetic bonding of the elements of dance, painting, visual art, and music. This in and of itself is nothing remarkable, yet the way in which the body "dances" visual material that is sampled in real time, and the way in which trace elements of these movements and stances are deconstructed in both a poetic and an unsettling manner provides an initial glance at the losses that accompany each "replacement" and each dematerialization.

Even when the white square on the stage of this system marks the boundaries of the mechanical optics, in other words the camera lens - the "off" of this image space has the same significance as an open combinatorics of the dancer's figures which becomes apparent within the image space. A space emerges in time for a dialog between concretion and abstraction in a mechanical, poetic process. The era of image-exchange from human to human, with reference to Gene Youngblood, has since been transformed into an exchange relationship between human and machine.

While our everyday conception of a "scanning process" implies a machine that translates an original - be that an image or a three-dimensional object - into digital code, this is a one-dimensional process of feeding the machine. However the quality of a performance such as scanned V and "turned" lies in the fact that it doesn't pit the one side against the other, doesn't use the one to criticize the other or subordinate the one to the other. Instead, it examines the various relationships between human and image/machine in a dialogical process, thus simultaneously broadening the view of the future presence of the body in multimedia data spaces.
Text: Rudolf Frieling, curator at the ZKM, works a an editor and author on the topic of media art.
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