Sunday, 17 February 2008

'Spectatorship is not passivity that has been turned into activity. It is our normal situation. We learn and teach, we act and know as spectators who link what they see with what they have seen and told, done and dreamt. There is no privileged medium, as there is no privileged starting point. Everywhere there are starting points from which we learn something new, if we dismiss, firstly, the presupposition of the distance; secondly, the distribution of the roles; thirdly the borders between the territories. We have not to turn spectators into actors; we have to acknowledge that any spectator already is an actor of his own story and that the actor also is the spectator of the same kind of story.

Jacques Rancière, ‘The Emancipated Spectator’

RELAY - concept

At the core of this dance piece we question the roles of spectator and performer through an exploration of the act of watching. We are interested in the border between observing and taking part, the transition between watching and doing. The piece calls for an audience that communicates their own interest in each moment of the performance.

"RELAY" becomes alive in the choices and interest of each audience member, within the rules and responsibilities we provide as a framework. As a constant negotiation between the roles of performer and spectator.

"RELAY" is hosted in two small rooms – a performance room and a watching/waiting room. Video cameras in the performance room connect to the watching room via a live video-link. It is made for a limited audience, which will stay together as a group in the watching room throughout the piece. The number of audience members allowed in the performance room and the time spent inside will vary throughout the piece.

During the previous research phases in London and Potsdam we have worked with themes of intimacy and status/power-games within a small group or two individuals. Set up as a series of sensory experiments for either the performer or an audience member we have so far used blindfolding and masks, emphasising sensory experiences or allowing for elements of anonymity and theatricality to impact the audiences’ experience of content. Choosing which props, masks or costumes they want to bring into the performance room, each audience visit can also leave a tangible trace in the piece.

As a site-specific performance format the simple look of the set changes with each venue, adapting to the character of the rooms we perform in.

"RELAY" will be premiered on 15 & 16 April at Greenwich Dance Agency London

Thursday, 22 November 2007

watch the watchers

The inescapable rush of technology is forcing us to make new choices about how we want to live. In this era of gnat-sized cameras and clothes penetrating radar, it will be more viltal than ever for us 'TO WATCH THE WATCHERS'. By ensuring accountability throug reciprocal transparency we can detect danger and expose wrong doers, we can gauge the credibility of pundits and politicians ..and maybe even preserve a little privacy. The bigger threat to our freedom is that surveillance technology will be used by too few people, not too many.

from back cover of D.Brin 'the transparent society'

Saturday, 17 November 2007

two new references

Just wanted to share with you that I have found these two authors that wrote a lot about privacy and surveillance culture:
David Brin 'The transparent society'
Daniel Solove 'The digital person. Technology and privacy in the information age'
I read some chapters in the internet and they seemed incredibly interesting and helpful for what we are doing

'The transparent society' by D.Brin

I have read this article which seem to me quite related to what we are talking about. I would like you to read it as well.

The Transparent Society:
Will Technology Force us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?
by David Brin, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1998, by David Brin. All rights reserved. No duplication or resale without permission.
This is a tale of two cities. Cities of the near future, say ten or twenty years from now.
Barring something unforeseen, you are apt to live in one of these two places. Your only choice may be which.
At first sight, this pair of municipalities look pretty much alike. Both contain dazzling technological marvels, especially in the realm of electronic media. Both suffer familiar urban quandaries of frustration and decay. If some progress is being made at solving human problems, it is happening gradually. Perhaps some kids seem better educated. The air may be marginally cleaner. People still worry about over-population, the environment, and the next international crisis.
None of these features are of interest to us right now, for we have noticed something about both of these 21st century cities that is radically different. A trait that marks them distinct from any metropolis of the late nineteen-nineties.
Street crime has nearly vanished from both towns. But that is only a symptom, a result.
The real change peers down from every lamp post, every roof-top and street sign.
Tiny cameras, panning left and right, surveying traffic and pedestrians, observing everything in open view.
Have we entered an Orwellian nightmare? Have the burghers of both towns banished muggings at the cost of creating a Stalinist dystopia?
Consider City Number One. In this place, all the myriad cameras report their urban scenes straight to Police Central, where security officers use sophisticated image-processors to scan for infractions against the public order -- or perhaps against an established way of thought. Citizens walk the streets aware that any word or deed may be noted by agents of some mysterious bureau.
Now let's skip across space and time.
At first sight, things seem quite similar in City Number Two. Again, there are ubiquitous cameras, perched on every vantage point. Only here we soon find a crucial difference. These devices do not report to the secret police. Rather, each and every citizen of this metropolis can lift his or her wristwatch/TV and call up images from any camera in town.
Here a late-evening stroller checks to make sure no one lurks beyond the corner she is about to turn.
Over there a tardy young man dials to see if his dinner date still waits for him by a city fountain.
A block away, an anxious parent scans the area and finds which way her child wandered off.
Over by the mall, a teenage shoplifter is taken into custody gingerly, with minute attention to ritual and rights, because the arresting officer knows the entire process is being scrutinized by untold numbers who watch intently, lest her neutral professionalism lapse.
In City Two, such micro cameras are banned from some indoor places... but not Police Headquarters! There, any citizen may tune in on bookings, arraignments, and especially the camera control room itself, making sure that the agents on duty look out for violent crime, and only crime.
Despite their initial similarity, these are very different cities, disparate ways of life, representing completely opposite relationships between citizens and their civic guardians. The reader may find both situations somewhat chilling. Both futures may seem undesirable. But can there be any doubt which city we'd rather live in, if these two make up our only choice?
# # #
Technology's Verdict
Alas, they do appear to be our only options. For the cameras are on their way, along with data networks that will send a myriad images flashing back and forth, faster than thought.
In fact, the future has already arrived. The trend began in Britain a decade ago, in the city of King's Lynn, where sixty remote controlled video cameras were installed to scan known "trouble spots," reporting directly to police headquarters. The resulting reduction in street crime exceeded all predictions; in or near zones covered by surveillance, it dropped to one seventieth of the former amount. The savings in patrol costs alone paid for the equipment in a few months. Dozens of cities and towns soon followed the example of King's Lynn. Glasgow, Scotland reported a 68% drop in citywide crime, while police in Newcastle fingered over 1500 perpetrators with taped evidence. (All but seven pleaded guilty, and those seven were later convicted.) In May 1997, a thousand Newcastle soccer fans rampaged through downtown streets. Detectives studying the video reels picked out 152 faces and published eighty photos in local newspapers. In days, all were identified.
Today over 250,000 cameras are in place throughout the United Kingdom, transmitting round-the-clock images to a hundred constabularies, all of them reporting decreases in public misconduct. Polls report that the cameras are extremely popular with citizens, though British civil libertarian John Wadham and others have bemoaned this proliferation of snoop technology, claiming that "It could be used for any other purpose, and of course it could be abused."
This trend was slower coming to North America, but it appears to be taking off. After initial experiments garnered widespread public approval, the City of Baltimore put police cameras to work scanning all 106 downtown intersections. In 1997, New York City began its own program to set up 24-hour remote surveillance in Central Park, subway stations and other public places.
No one denies the obvious and dramatic short term benefits derived from this early proliferation of surveillance technology. That is not the real issue. Over the long run, the sovereign folk of Baltimore and countless other communities will have to make the same choices as the inhabitants of our mythical cities One and Two. Who will ultimately control the cameras?
Consider a few more examples:
How many parents have wanted to be a fly on the wall, while their child was at day care? This is now possible with a new video monitoring system known as Kindercam, linked to high speed phone lines and a central Internet server. Parents can log on, type, enter their password, and access a live view of their child in day care at any time, from anywhere in the world. Kindercam will be installed in 2000 day care facilities nationwide by the end of 1998. Mothers on business trips, fathers who live out of state, as well as distant grandparents can drop in on their child daily. Drawbacks? Overprotective parents may check compulsively. And now other parents can observe your child misbehaving!
Some of the same parents are less happy about the lensed pickups that are sprouting in their own workplaces, enabling supervisors to tune in on them, the same way they use Kindercam to spy on their kids.
That is, if they notice the cameras at all. At present, engineers can squeeze the electronics for a video unit into a package smaller than a sugar cube. Complete sets half the size of a pack of cigarettes were recently offered for sale by the Spy Shop, a little store two blocks from the United Nations. Meanwhile, units with radio transmitters are being disguised in clock radios, telephones and toasters, as part of the burgeoning "nanny-cam" trend. So high is demand for these pickups, largely by parents eager to check on their babysitters, that just one firm in Orange County, California, was selling from 500 to 1,000 disguised cameras a month. By the end of 1997, prices dropped from $2,500 to $399.
Cameras aren't the only surveillance devices proliferating in our cities. Starting with Redwood City, near San Francisco, several police departments have begun lacing neighborhoods with sound pickups that transmit directly back to headquarters. Using triangulation techniques, officials can now pinpoint bursts of gunfire and send patrol units swiftly to the scene, without having to wait for vague phone reports from neighbors. In 1995 the Defense Department awarded a $1.7 million contract for SECURES, a prototype system created by Alliant Techsystems, to test more advanced pickup networks in Washington and other cities. They hope to distinguish not only types of gunfire, but also human voices crying for help.
So far, so good. But from there, engineers say it would be simple to upgrade the equipment, enabling bored monitors to eavesdrop on cries of passion, through open bedroom windows -- or even listen to family arguments. "Of course we would never go that far," one official said, reassuringly.
Consider another piece of James Bond apparatus now available to anyone with ready cash. Today, almost any electronics store will sell you night vision goggles using state-of-the-art infrared optics equal to those issued by the military, costing less than a video camera. AGEMA Systems, of Syracuse NY, has sold several police departments imaging devices that can peer at houses from the street, discriminate the heat given off by indoor marijuana cultivators, and sometimes tell if a person inside moves from one room to the next. Military and civilian enhanced-vision technologies now move in lock-step, as they have in the computer field for years.
In other words, even darkness no longer guarantees privacy.
Nor does your garden wall. In 1995, Admiral William A. Owens, then Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described a sensor system that he expected to be operational within a few years -- a pilotless drone, equipped to provide airborne surveillance for soldiers in the field. While camera robots in the $1 million range have been flying in the military for some time, the new system will be extraordinarily cheap and simple. Instead of requiring a large support crew, its controller will be one semi-skilled soldier, and will fit in the palm of a hand. Minuscule and quiet, such remote-piloted vehicles, or RPVs, may flit among trees to survey threats near a rifle platoon. When mass-produced in huge quantities, unit prices will fall.
Can civilian models be far behind? No law or regulation will keep them from our cities very long. The rich, the powerful, and figures of authority will have them, whether legally or surreptitiously. The contraptions will get smaller, cheaper and smarter with each passing year.
So much for the supposed privacy enjoyed by sunbathers in their own back yards.
Moreover, surveillance cameras are the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Other entrancing and invasive innovations of the vaunted Information Age abound. Will a paper envelope protect your correspondence, sent by old-fashioned surface mail, when new-style scanners can trace the patterns of ink inside without ever breaking the seal?
Let's say you correspond with others by email, and use a computerized encryption program to ensure that your messages are only read by the intended recipient. What good will all the ciphers and codes do, if some adversary has bought a "back door" password to your encoding program? Or if a wasp-sized camera-drone flits into your room, sticks to the ceiling above your desk, inflates a bubble lens and watches every key-stroke that you type? (A number of unnerving techno-possibilities will be discussed in chapter 8.)
The same issues arise when we contemplate the proliferation of vast databases containing information about our lives, habits, tastes and personal histories. As we shall see in chapter 3, the cash register scanners in a million supermarkets, video stores, and pharmacies, already pour forth a flood of statistical data about customers and their purchases, ready to be correlated. (Are you stocking up on hemorrhoid cream? Renting a daytime motel room? The database knows.) Corporations claim this information helps them serve us more efficiently. Critics respond that it gives big companies an unfair advantage, knowing vastly more about us than we do about them. Soon, computers will hold all your financial and educational records, legal documents, and medical analyses that parse you all the way down to your genes. Any of this might be accessed by strangers without your knowledge, or even against your stated will.
As with those allegorical street-lamp cameras, the choices we make regarding future information networks -- how they will be controlled and who can access the data -- will affect our lives, those of our children, and their descendants

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Thursday, 18 October 2007

score for performer

material to be used:

a. copy audience member

b. floor sequence (keeping same proximity to marked chair, whatever happens)

c. motion sensor scan

d. movement phrase (radio)

e. hand scan and dodge


relating to sound produced

movement produced by interaction to initiate set material and vice versa

relate to marks on the floor, by using them as pathways, or reconstructing audience positions