Artist/Research Statement

Artist/Research Statement

I call myself a choreographer. The notion of choreography in my work is not bound, however, to its etymological roots as the writing of dance, nor to the mastery of movement by individual Choreographers. I begin from the premise that choreographers, myself included, are always already subject to choreographies of power/knowledge through which particular bodies, movements, and ideas become available as materials for exploration and (re)presentation. Drawing on my background in somatically informed contemporary dance, I develop work for stage, screen, installation, and page in which the performers and participants are asked to bring attention to the behaviour of their own awareness as integral to that which constitutes the choreography itself. I believe that what comes to matter, choreographically, is shaped not only by what one senses, but also by how one looks, listens, touches, and otherwise relates. 

A key strategy in my choreography is to exaggerate the ways in which we each access events asymmetrically; my works include performances in which each guest is given personal headphones, monitors, and hand-held mirrors with unique content, such that no one—myself included—has an omniscient perspective as the piece unfolds. I also investigate the conditions of encounter: solitary, one-on-one, or collectively facing away from the performers, inviting non-ocular engagements with bodies and movement. A key performer in my work is the heart: materially and metaphorically, the relational behaviour of the heart inspires questions about corporeal boundaries, agency, mediation, and representation.

Each performance, installation, video, or text that I create is a microcosm: a space to interrogate the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of entangled bodies and identities in techno-cultures. Considering evolving techniques for data capture, analysis, and representation, I ask: how does the ubiquity of sensing technologies interrelate with disciplinary ways of seeing, listening, touching, thinking, connecting, and reflecting? Resisting narratives that frame technology as either good or bad, enabling or dominating, my work explores lived experiences with and of technologies, on stage and off. I begin from the premise that everything is mediated: what matters then, are the effects of this pervasive yet unlocalizable intervention in our experiences of our own bodies, selves, environments, and relationships to others, human and nonhuman.

I am committed to the development of critical—feminist, anti-racist, anti-ableist, and decolonial—practices of movement analysis and representation. As a maker, thinker, and teacher working at the intersection of dance, technology, and performance philosophy, my current research seeks to interrogate: 1) the inscription of value systems in the design of hardware and software directed at bodies and movement, including algorithmic bias in machine learning and artificial intelligence systems; and 2) the transmission and multiplication of knowledges about bodies and movement across disciplinary cultures, by way of appropriated technologies and techniques. 

Current projects include:

  • ongoing creations and publications with composer John MacCallum, as well as dancers and musicians in the project III, which takes as its starting point the materiality and temporality of the heart, as well as new materialist concepts such as relationality, intra-action, and diffraction;
  • an online discussion reading/group, co-facilitated with Jessica Rajko and John MacCallum on the topic of race and racism in practices at the intersection of dance and computing;
  • a series of calls for Provocations, hosted online, followed by Panel Discussions, concerning interaction design and collaboration in fields associated with movement and computing; and
  • the development, with MacCallum, of a somatic practice called Interstitial Listening (previously referred to as relational), which emphasizes strategies for engaging with temporal complexity and unpredictability in live music and dance events.

-Updated October 7, 2020